I wrote this piece for a Facebook group I’m in where we were encouraged to share something about our deepest selves. I wrote this as a stream of consciousness – no editing, I just poured my heart onto the page (on paper in fact; it prevents self-editing.)
I was quite surprised at what came out, and decided that I would include it here as well. So, before common sense and simple decency can kick in and stop me, here goes:
This was a real challenge for me. For so long I’ve been hyperfocused on my business and as a result, I’ve only been thinking of myself in terms of “bios” and “pitches.” Ghastly stuff. Looking back, perhaps that’s why I’ve struggled so long – I’m trying too hard.
Anyway, when I sat down to write – I’m still far more comfortable ensconced in the beautiful miasma of words and phrases rather than the realm of psychic dislocation created by video – I began to realize how little I had thought of who *I* was.
Not just the 30-second-bullet-point-unique-selling-proposition-elevator pitch, but me: 40+ years of beliefs, fears, loves, hates, hopes and dreams that make up the semi-sentient monkey made out of star stuff… me.
There are so many labels that I could fall back on, writer, male, Canadian, widower, failed [insert absurdly long list here], history-buff, foodie, musician, artist ad infinitum… and yet, while each is accurate in its own way, they are simply aspects of the whole, facets if you will.
I have absolutely no doubt I’m overthinking this – it’s one of my more endearing qualities – but perhaps… that’s the language in which my heart speaks. Perhaps that’s who I am. A soul who revels in the mad complexity of life, who firmly believes that if something can be said in 5 words, saying it in 20 will be a lot more fun.
I do feel called to share this: While for some the destination is the point, I’ve always valued the journey itself far more, in every area of life. It’s one of the reasons I so vehemently refuse to write succinctly. It’s why I cringe at “efficiency.” I don’t want every journey to be the shortest distance between two points. There’s so much to see an do along the road of life, but we miss so much of it in our headlong flight. The simple truth is, the destination will still be there in the end.
To take that back to writing, I write the way I (try to) live my life – long, discursive sentences that revel in the intricacies and effusiveness of the language itself. I want to try every word on for size, and luxuriate in the magic that occurs when you stumble upon a particularly fun combination. The phrase “a profusion of periphrastic prolixity” still makes me wriggle with delight. I try to live life in a way where “living” is the entire point of the endeavour. Racing like a madman toward some future destination, whether in life or in a sentence, is like saying the point of life… is death.
That I cannot countenance.