(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)
All I need is fifteen minutes to bang out 750 words. That sounds pretty crazy to me, someone for whom writing a thousand words can be like pulling teeth. But when you’re just rambling, not looking for mistakes, not always putting the commas where they need to go, and when it’s not about plot, pumping out the words can be easy. The only problem is that, with this new job, these are about the only words I get out these days. That needs to change. I do not want to be doing this job for the rest of my life. It’s a little bit more than I wanted, but I guess the trade-off is that I’m making more money. Any other retail type job, I wouldn’t be making eleven dollars. So I can deal. I can get through this first year. I have to soon make a decision about grad school. Oh fuck, I have to make that decision quick because I would need to put together a portfolio. Ugh.
But back to words. Because words are what I love more than anything. I was waiting at the bus yesterday, sitting next to a girl on her phone. Not texting or talking, just sitting and looking at her phone screen. Not for a moment, but for the whole time we were waiting for the bus to come. And we were waiting quite a while. So she must have been reading, right? Maybe looking at Facebook pictures? I don’t know. I couldn’t see what kind of phone, but it wasn’t an iPhone.
I was on the other end of the bus stop, reading Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. It made me think. If I ever went on a blind date, I’d describe myself as the person reading a book. Everyone else will be on their phones; I’ll be the person reading a book. There was another guy on my bus. He was reading a book, too. That’s a good sign. Of something, I’m not quite sure what though. I didn’t see what book it was. That would make a difference. Not much of a difference, but some.
I know that, at the heart of it, the specifics shouldn’t matter. There was a Daniel MacIvor movie on recently, about love, of course, and he described it as, it’s not the things we love that bring us together, but the wanting to love. It’s a big difference. It’s not about what you love, it’s that you love at all. That you have enough passion at all. It’s the wanting of something more, not the something more itself. Because some people don’t want. It’s crazy to me, but it’s true. Some people are happy to settle, mostly because they don’t know they’re settling.
I don’t think I’ll ever be happy for that reason alone. I’ll always want something more, something different, because I know it’s out there. I want big things, great things, and I don’t mean size. I just don’t want my life to be a waste. I want what I do to mean something. It’s why I like to do my own thing. Because I get to decide what counts. I can decide if something is worth it.
This new job is a great example. Because sewing isn’t much practiced in the western world anymore, all the other ladies in the shop are immigrants. A South American, a Vietnamese, an Indian. And they’re all women, too. That’s worth noting. And older. It’s not young people, white people, Canadian people like me that know how to sew anymore. The women know how to sew, but everything else, they do by rote. There’s no imagination, outside the creativity to solve a mending problem, there’s no creativity in how to do anything else. The paperwork: this is the way I was taught; this is the way I do it. No going outside the lines.
I have a real problem with being told how to do something. Sometimes my brain just wants to do its own thing. It’s a problem; I get that. That’s why I’m trying to build my own business. That’s why I’m trying to get my own stuff out there, be my own person, be my own business, because, mostly, I don’t like other people, and I especially hate the way they do things. All things. I always think I’m the only one using something the way I use it.