It’s been 12 days since my last post and I’ve been itching to write. Many topics have crossed my mind: a review of The Invisible Man, a look at the “Mission Impossible” cars, a photo of my new coat from Tobi, my current view on relationships, and the weather. The first sentences always come to me easily, as beginnings usually do. I try to see the rest of the post and it just doesn’t happen.
There’s the daunting task of facing a blank page with only the slightest inclination of a direction and the fear that paragraphs of careful crafting will lead to nothing.
My coworker recently mentioned his dissatisfaction with the way Hemingway ends his short stories. There seems to be a lack of commitment to an actual ending; the stories simply trail off ambiguously. I can sympathize. The endings are the hardest part! We demand so much from the end of stories, as if the climax is at the finish line, as if we’re watching a display of fireworks instead. The ending has to wrap everything up nicely without being too trite or clichéd; there needs to be a lesson learned, a conclusion. And if the story is really good, if the journey is truly everything we could have hoped for, then the ending inevitably brings loss and regret that it had to end at all.
There’s also a lot of pressure on the first blog of the new year. Ideally, it should be both a wrapping up of the previous year and a looking forward to the next. Some would say the first post sets the tone for the entire year. Others demand a list of resolutions and goals.
How about I just write instead?
I love the open road, nothing but endless possibilities ahead. I drove to Sacramento recently for the first time. The crisscrossed number/letter streets and the idyllic movements of the place reminded me of D.C. I never appreciated D.C. because it was always the place away from home, a foreign and seemingly random city. Its beauty was completely lost to me. I couldn’t take in the majesty of the White House and I barely remember the Capitol. Whatever it was, it wasn’t home.
There’s a walk I take five days a week, between the hours of 12:30 to 2:30 pm, from lunch back to work. Quite often, that walk takes me from the middle of San Francisco Chinatown to the Financial District. It’s a sad walk, and not just because I’m going back to work. I always pass by the park on Kearny Street, packed with elderly Chinese people playing chess, and that quintessential image never fails to make me homesick.
If not now, then when?
For the next six months, every task I accomplish will bring me a step closer to home. Maybe I’ll go back only to realize that nostalgia has its place in the past next to the fading memories of my childhood. Maybe I’ll discover with certainty that I don’t want to be anywhere but in the Bay Area. Or maybe, quite unexpectedly, I’ll never want to leave Shanghai again.
Whatever the answer is, I’m tired of feeling like I’m helplessly floating along as the current of time takes me farther from home. So I’m taking matters into my own hands. I’m going to take a risk, follow what my heart knows to be true, and see where it takes me.
I’ve always loved the open road, the landscape constantly unfolding, promising to take me exactly where my heart desires.