The Hardest Homework
I am smack in the middle of my second VCFA semester, and, along with a new essay, and the usual reading and writing, my wise teacher gave me the hardest, most impossible homework of all.
Not to stop writing, to stop working. So damn hard.
She told me to stop trying. To just come to a full STOP.
Do not plan, she told me. Stay in the present. This she said to the person whose planner is a jungle of criss-crossing to-do marks. All the planning, all the activity – it isn’t even so much about publishing for me anymore, hasn’t been for a long while now. It’s just how I am — I am all about moving forward, productivity. I’m a goals girl, a hard-work addict.
Look, she told me. Listen. Feel. Breathe. Play. Have fun, she said. That’s your most important homework. Ha! My dear teacher couldn’t have asked this A-type overachiever anything harder.
Still — Okay, I told my Jedi of a teacher. Okay. Thank you for telling me that. I needed to hear it. So…um…do you think my goal for this semester should be to come up with a solid beginning of the novel? How is that? Is that a good goal?
What? No! she said. Your goal for this semester should be to surrender goals. Your goal is NO GOAL.
Grit teeth. Sigh.
Here I go. Letting go. Trying to. It’s harder than you’d think, at least for me. Getting out of my head. Allowing myself to fall. To fail. To flounder.
But isn’t that what I’ve been doing anyway? I might as well have fun floundering.
I might as well enjoy the fall.
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