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Excuses

There’s an excuse for everything.

Us young people are fantastic excuse-makers. Well, I’m a fantastic excuse-maker. This blog entry is an excuse for not working. Sigh, so the cycle begins.

The reason I bring this up is because we all have personas that we project to the public, but they’re not all that easy to maintain. For instance, I’m sure there are thousands of people who call themselves “musicians” but have really only mastered the four standard cords that unlock 90% of all popular sing-a-longs. In that case, throw me a guitar and call me Stevie Nicks. Well, OK, realistically call me Alanis Morisette. And then there’s the out-of-college web developers who have coded two functioning web sites, one for a final class project and one for their mom’s craft fair friend. Would you call these people web designers or just people who know how to copy and paste code in the right order?

When I approach the crux of my being – in conversation, on my resumé, online, what have you – I always narrow it down to writing. Me = writer. My goal in life is to get paid to write. I love writers, especially funny writers. And I admire the hell out of authors. The only caveat is that I don’t really write that much. Hell, I don’t even read that much. Who has the time to read?

But! Hey! I have an excuse! You want to know why I haven’t been writing?

…….

My journal isn’t spiral bound.

Really – that’s my excuse. I’m picky about my journals, and can’t stand a thick sloppy stack of papers that can’t fold over itself. Give me a mid-sized, hard-cover spiral bound notebook, and I’ll write you that novel that I’ve been talking about for five years.

So I’m calling myself out, and calling you out too (when I say ‘you’ I’m referring to the Internet because no actual human will likely read this): stop excusing yourself (unless you break wind in public). Go find what’s holding you back, stare it in the face, and then punch it to the ground. Continue to punch until it doesn’t exist. Repeat if necessary. Don’t let your excuses hold back your creative talent.

I’ll leave you, Internet, with an excuse for why I’m ending this entry: my cat is licking my toe and it tickles!

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Travel

Big Sur Diary: Holy Shit Moments with Mom

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We went to Big Sur to get off the grid.

Up at 7am, drip coffee hot on the dash, thick-framed Persols hatched behind my ears. After two hours of weaving into expanses of nothing but still, blue water and out of dense fog patches, I met my parents and brother for breakfast and we ate outdoors. iPads and iPhones sat beside our cage-free pasture-raised egg omelets and organic dark roast as we caught up on work, family matters and emails.

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 As we winded down Highway 1, getting swallowed by central coast foliage, I grew pensive – sedated by what lies beyond the redwoods. Did this highway look the same fifty years ago? Was this Kerouac’s Big Sur? Is the mystery of this sanctuary everlasting among the magazine articles and RVs and thousand-dollar weekend resorts?

I yelled “Holy shit!” while shaking my mom and motioning to look at the coast. If there was a gamut of only heavenly colors, it would pull its palette from here. This is a place that is not transparent, rather, translucent, deep, lucid. Ostensibly, we see a side of earth holding a winding tar road trying desperately not to erode into breadcrumbs.

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Yet behind the outer forest cloak rests the mystery that often leaves travelers breathless, introspective, shocked. What lies on the other side is simply holy: giant sequoias native to only this coast that house thousands of years of California history, and trinkets, buried by wandering hikers wanting to leave a symbol of themselves. Wildlife, quietly watching explorers stumble deeper into the woods, rests, not knowing their place on the lifelike illustrations on sedentary wood posts. No grid organizes the forest.

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If Big Sur was transparent — if the coast and the forest called it even — the mystery would be solved. The beauty could be defined.

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 So this day and everyday, let’s leave it as it is – an unobstructed piece of a place that deserves the right to remain itself.

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