I am participating in The Daily Post’s Writing 101 Challenge in an attempt at reconnecting myself with my writing. I enjoy sharing my travels with everyone, but I worry that my creative skills are becoming slightly dull. While on my layover here in Dublin, the first writing task went live. What better time to have a completely loose, stream of consciousness writing opportunity than after a few pints in the Temple Bar district? Our first task was to Unlock the Mind.
What is posted is raw, unedited, and completely disorganized. Proceed with caution.
…Today, take twenty minutes to free write…
There are so many things to consider for my blog, and the more I try to sit down and sort out what I want to achieve, the list becomes longer and more arduous to achieve. Like the many headed Hydra, each time I slash at one head, two grow in it’s place. I want this project truly become something I can be proud of, and not just another hobby that I tend to be mediocre at.
I have so many questions with regard to my legitimacy as a blogger. Do I travel enough to consider myself a travel blogger? Do I run and train enough to consider myself a fitness blogger? Do I truly know enough about food and beverages to consider myself a foodie or connoisseur of any kind? Do I like too many things? Is it okay to have so many passions I want to write about? Do my readers find my adventures interesting? When I talk about all the fun on my layovers, do people think I am bragging or have I successfully written in a way that I am transporting them with me?
My goal is to take my readers with me on the road and in the sky. The one consistency in feedback from my readers is that they enjoy traveling to places with me; that I help them take a miniature vacation while sitting at their desk. I help people day dream about all the places they dream to visit.
On the other hand, I have had feedback which is less positive. I have been accused of trying to make my lonely travels sound glamourous in overcompensation for not being married or having children. That at 35, my “gypsy-lifestyle” is simply sad and unfulfilling. “Don’t you want children? Don’t you want to be married? Don’t you want to settle down?!”
I do. I truly do. I always have.
The hardest thing I need to remind myself is that I cannot compare my life with that of my friends. I have made decisions over the years which have provided me with the life-shaping experiences that have cultivated the woman I am today. Yes, I chose my successful, healthy career over a failed marriage. I have not lived in any city or country for more than five-to-seven-years. Yes, I am aware that as I get older, it will become harder for my to have those long-dreamed of kids.
I never said the choices I made in my life were easy. The decisions most important in should never, ever be easy. I sincerely wish I could write a letter to 25-year-old Karen: The 10-Years-Ago Me. I wish I could tell her truthfully and honestly that while things were rough, they will eventually become so incredibly better. It’s funny, it really is. I wish I could pull a Marty McFly and have a conversation. Manipulate the future, no. Just give a little extra assurance that the difficult decisions would in the end, be so completely worth it.
25-year-old Karen dreamed of getting re-married and spending the rest of her days in Japan. 35-year-old Karen now understands that Japanese living, while my childhood dream, is now a closed chapter in my life. I would love to visit it again, explore my old haunts, and see all my treasured friends from that time, but I have no intention of moving back. That is now where I long to be any more.
It has been quite a long time since I did any version of stream of consciousness writing, especially against a ticking clock. The hardest part is just sitting there and letting the thoughts flow out without stopping to edit grammar or shooting my horrendous typist. Having a pint at the ready is quite nice. I always remember Hemingway’s “Write Drunk. Edit Sober.” While, I am more responsible in my writing under the influence these days, there is something comforting about this old, winged-back chair, all the dark wood furniture, and the heavy draperies.
I like this kinds of library. I should come here again.
Location: The Library Bar at The Central Hotel, Dublin, Ireland.