Friday, October 26, 2007

Project Life Change


Somehow, clicking my way through the blogosphere, I found this post. It's about Project Life Change, a challenge by two bloggers to take small, concrete steps toward the life change you want.

Now I have an unmanageable, impossible Christmas wish-list of goals, of changes, of things I want to do in my life. Even if I didn't have two little bean girls, it would be impossible to address most of them now.

But I can do one small thing (I hope). Surely in the chaos of my days, I can carve out a small space--just a little one, I beg you!--in which to write. Just the littlest space, a hidden pocket of air in which to breathe. Just for myself.

I don't have to write anything profound. I don't necessarily have to post on this blog. I'll write whatever I feel like, for myself or for an audience, to share with the grandparents or to share with no one at all. Even if it's just a few sentences in a Word file that will never be opened again.

I used to write. In high school I spent all my time up in my room alone, writing. It was the typical existential teen angst, but when I read those old scribbles I feel something... A wind moving through me, a wind of feeling and possibility. Something I no longer feel in my daily life.

I thought I would be an English major. I did minor in English, and I took creative writing workshops, including one from the novelist T.C. Boyle (who is really a very nice guy). And I wrote two, maybe three, stories that held truth at their core. And then I stopped for a very long time.

I became a scientist. And I loved my work. The only writing I did was academic and scientific. I stopped reading novels. Life got too busy, and the only reading I did were scientific journals.

But now that's past, and I'm trying to write and read again. So my Project Life Change is this: every day I will write something just for myself, and everyday I will read a little fiction. Because fiction was once my lifeblood, and writing was once my air. And even in the midst of squirming children, dirty dishes, and editing deadlines (as I've taken on some freelance scientific editing/writing work--and that's a whole other Project Life Change story)--even in the midst of all that, surely I can take some time for me.

And with this post, I've just started.

4 comments:

ScienceMama said...

You and I must have been separated at birth. I was GOING to be an english major in college, but I got sidetracked and did Biochemistry instead.

Good for you. I am actually trying to start reading a little bit every day too because it has been so long since I've read anything but journal articles... So I get in a bit of lit during my carpool home each day.

Stefania said...

I love this change. You can do it!

The bean-mom said...

Sciencemama,

We're so similar in so many ways--it's amazing! Yes, I was going to be an English major and then I got sidetracked/suckered into biology. I agreed to take the pre-med curriculum in college just to please my father while getting an English degree. Then I took my first course in molecular biology and it was all over. I fell in love, and switched my major at the end of the semester.

Funny how life works out. Ironic that I thought science was a "safer" career than English.

ScienceMama said...

That's EXACTLY how I ended up in science too... Taking some classes to please my father, and I fell in love... I too switched my major after 1 quarter. I never even took a single english class...