I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just gonna ask them where they’re going and hook up with them later. – Mitch Hedberg
I quit. No really, I quit. As in past tense. I did quit earlier in the week. I told Hananah, I’m done, and she said, “No.”
Can she do that?
Can you just tell someone no? Like if someone tries to break up with you, and you just say no? Does the relationship therefore continue?
Obviously not. Everyone knows a partnership has to be a commitment between two people who agree to invest in each other. There are many kinds of partnerships that operate on their own sets of terms, but the common denominator is that both people willingly participate.
That being said, there is something really powerful about the word “No.” So much will packed into such a tiny space.
Hey, the word Yes is very similar. So full of promise and possibility. YES.
The very same day I declared that I quit this experiment, I got a text from David L. Schwartz. (The “L” is imperative. Use it.) The text said something like: “Ooooooh Yeeeeeeah.” Not really. But it was very Kool-Aid Man in spirit.
David is a talented writer and engaging human being whom Hananah and I met at the Kenyon Writers’ Workshop in June of 2014. A dynamic and genuine guy, David fit right in with me and Hananah, rounding us out. I was thrilled that he texted me about an acceptance. That is a treasured feeling – when someone else says “Yes” to your work. When someone tells you, “You have moved me with your words, so I want to share them with the world.”
I won’t write about why we write. To be honest, I have no idea. Though part of it is a desire not only to express myself but also to put words together in a way that moves someone else. That touches them, and what? Makes them feel? Lets them feel? Helps them feel? Who the hell am I to do that? But even if I want to quit, I can’t. The Universe says “No.”
David’s text was a reminder. I only quit because I have fallen behind on the rigorous Bradbury schedule. The fourth week ended on Wednesday, January 28, and my story count still sits at three (and a half). Falling behind made me feel out-of-control, and I needed to get control back. I wanted to say, “No.”
Too bad I’m not a quitter. I am Most Dependable, after all. Yet now that I think of it, Most Likely to Succeed would have come in real handy right about now.
[SPOILER ALERT: I did not major in Biochemistry. Though, I have been known to still hug a tree with earnest conviction.]