Things to Write About

Generally I anchor each little post here with a photo to write about. I learned this technique in my college art history classes and stand by it to this day, although my posts are not long enough to be true essays, they are the armature on which one might build an essay. This site has been the way I have kept writing and looking while I went through many changes in the past decade.

From my early teens to my early thirties I would carry a journal with me every where I went. As a private document, these books carried all sorts of things- fears and desires, loneliness and budgets. An emotional outlet more than a creative outlet and many times company and security, a place to ground myself when I was in unfamiliar surroundings.

This site was a try at a more professional place to practice writing and it became a way to connect with my family and friends who would stop in regularly to read and sometimes comment. Isn’t it incredible that it is still possible to build your own little corner of the internet? But of course you can’t put down your full self in a public document. At some point I stopped journalling and discarded all my old journals as if I could be the personality that I project here instead of the self flagellating and confused list maker I was when given complete privacy. Not bad to step away from those habits, but…

I went through mostly underarticulated phases of following internet/cultural trends- food writing, travel writing, tiny house fancying. I also was following the strong contemporary demand to treat yourself as a brand, and I have always been very careful about the personality and actions I share here being something I would be totally comfortable discussing with my bosses.

These kinds of boundaries and circumspection do not generally lead to great writing but working within them I feel I am keeping my hand in and increasing my understanding of what is happening in the world. I also mostly keep my photo memories here which is nice to check on once in a while.

The question I have now is what is the story I would now like to tell here? And, do I have other stories I would like to tell elsewhere? As usual, I think the answer is to write it out.

Last night, Nick and I went to a restaurant and I was selecting from the cocktail menu and the menu had the following drink:

Whiskey, Tomato, Basil

And I said, of course I will get that one, because I am curious about how that could taste good.

And Nick said something along the lines of, are you really? Is that the drink you actually want? You always order the weirdest thing on the menu. Does that usually work out for you?

And I said (and I could feel the tiny gears turning) no, actually I would like another simple drink that I think will taste much better.

And he said mildly, you should order what you want.

I ordered what I wanted and didn’t need to order any other unlikely drinks on the menu just to try and gosh doesn’t it make things much simpler if instead of running around chasing things that are new I stick to what I know I want. It changed my entire night. I had a delicious vegan dinner, followed by no dessert and then went to see a great band that was not trendy but was utterly joyful.


Author: Emily

Writer/ Librarian

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