First, a confession: when I began my time off from this blog about a month ago to work on my "music project," a) I had been needing a break for some time, and the music was marginally more than a convenient excuse, a worthier reason than laziness, to stop writing for a while, and b) I was not fully committed to coming back.
Writing every day wore me down, what with a full-time job, a partner and pet at home to enjoy my evenings with, music rehearsals, and assorted other hobbies and flights of fancy to compete for my attention. I will not lie--this past month, without the onus of daily writing, has been nothing less than a blessing. I had forgotten how it felt to be without this layer of responsibility.
And, just like when I overextend a hiatus from the gym, I found it near impossible to start back up again. Not only to write this first entry, but also to recommit myself to the hundred or so entries I still have left in this year. Do I have it in me to pick up where I left off, shake off the rust and run?
I'm still not really sure, but I guess I would never know if I kept putting this off. Truth is, I finished my music project a couple of weeks ago. On my computer right now sits the completed draft of an a cappella arrangement of "Run Freedom Run" from the musical Urinetown, with a little bit of George Michael's "Freedom '90" mashed in there. I can not attest to the quality of it, but I am proud of it nonetheless. Whether it ever will see the light of day, or get sung in the dark of a theater, I have no idea, but I do know that I was able to accomplish something that I did not think was possible, even after so many years of exposure to a cappella music.
In addition to that, I have had much to be grateful for in the time I took off. Sam surprised me one nondescript Wednesday afternoon with tickets to Billy Elliot the Musical. That he took the unexpected effort made me smile; that he did so for a musical made me fall in love all over, even if we both ended up hating the show itself. Somewhere this past month, we celebrated four official years together. On a different night, we had dinner at a favorite restaurant in our old neighborhood with some new friends, and I remember one particularly beautiful moment where we all laughed together, where I was completely swept up by the lightness of it all.
And there were other things in which I've had to struggle to find gratitude. A few days into August, Sam and I woke up to a leaking water heater that flooded the washing machine, damaged some of the hardwood flooring, and ultimately cost $700 to fix. Just yesterday, somebody broke into my locker at the gym, stole a couple of credit cards, and promptly purchased around $3,000 worth of Giants tickets. Twitter officially turned down my application to work for them, and I couldn't tell which scenario feels worse: never hearing from a prospective employer, or having the employer reject me outright.
Through it all, I constantly thought about this blog, how I could have written about this or that, even the bad stuff, how I have handled the bad stuff in what I hope was a healthier way, and how maybe the blog and the positive thinking I've been doing contributed to that. How I needed to rekindle my drive to write in order to make my journey back.
It all starts with one, I guess, one thought, picking up my pen and writing the first word, one entry, all of which I have done (or will do, once I send this off), but I'm not even sure if this signifies my return, as I found a new goal to work towards that may replace this blog.
A couple of weeks ago, I entered Grr into a "Cutest Dog in SoMa" contest, and since then, I have convinced myself that he will undoubtedly win. Just about every day, strangers at the dog park will come up and tell us how cute he is, "pretty" or "beautiful" if they are women, "cool-looking" if they are (straight) men. Yesterday, a woman commented on how "stunning" he is. I mean, seriously, how could he not win??
And of course, I beam with pride every time I hear these compliments, but I also feel more protective. He fears the world, strangers and the unknown, believes that all are out to harm him. Even a compliment and a slowly-extended hand makes him jumpy, and I wish that I could do something to ease that.
And from one thought to another, I eventually land on the realization that so much of my life revolves around this little dog, and I don't necessarily mind. This is particularly epiphanic (?) since I never thought that I would feel parental toward him, especially after the first few months when I was ready to leave him at the nearest fire station or swaddled and drifting down the American River.
Sam often notes this spectacular transformation in my relationship with Grr. And though I often fail to see it myself, much like I fail to see how big he has grown, I recognize that these feelings I have inside, the love and fear and an inexplicable and ill-defined nostalgia, have not always been there, have taken some time to solidify, yet now are something akin to fatherhood.
This new endeavor will involve him. I hesitate to describe anything more for fear of jinxing it; in grad school, I could guarantee failure in a poem-in-progress if I told somebody about it before I had a draft completed. So I will hold on to this project for a little while until I see it take shape. Either way, whether it comes to fruition or lingers as nothing more than just an idea, I don't think it would have happened, meaning I would not even have had the inkling to embark on it, without this blog. For that, I'm thankful.