Summer goals and big little things

Emery Morales, June 2012 – Photo by Erin J. Bernard

Hmmmm …. It’s a gorgeous Tuesday evening, the kind of evening that makes me want to just go rambling along the beach. Alas, I am icing my ankle after a long run and thought it an opt moment to recommit myself to my recommitment to blog semi-regularly.

The freelance writing business is treating me well, so this month, I sprung for a Canon point-and-shoot camera to replace the model washed out to sea during a trip to El Sal four years back, plus a shiny, silver MacBook Pro. (Arriving tomorrow, I hope I hope I hope.) I’m planning to make this a summer of many creative projects, and I was in desperate need of an equipment upgrade. All I need now is a new pack of fine-tip black Sharpies and maybe a glue stick and I’m pretty much great to go.

It’s been quite a week. My grandfather died a few days back and it’s got me thinking a lot about life’s seasons. When I was younger, death was hard for me to place. Sort of a non-event that left me numb, mostly. I usually didn’t even cry when people I knew died. Now that I’m older, though, coming face to face with oblivion feels a little more raw and intense, and like a golden occasion to rethink how I’ve been doing things. Over and over in life, I tell myself I will be more appreciative and accepting, less caustic and judgmental of others, less inclined to choose the Dark Side.

In some sense, I am making progress on those goals, and on becoming the person I really want to be.

A year ago, I was clocking 50-70 hours per week as a newspaper editor, popping antacids like nobody’s biz, and wondering how life had gotten so out of whack. Or should I say wack? Yeah. Now I am a free agent, doing what I’ve always wanted to do when I decide I want to do it, and I feel reenergized and full of new ideas.

I’ve been writing a lot about the Oregon coast’s art scene lately and it’s crazy inspiring to learn about what other creative types in these parts get up to. It gets me hungry to invent new, weird things, to tell more stories, to go on weird roadtrips and wander out into the wilderness and whatever else.

But saying goodbye to my grandfather has also forced me to reckon with the fact that I’ve got a lot more growing up to do, and a limited amount of time in which to do it. This August, I turn 31. Wow. 30 didn’t gnaw at me too much, but 31 feels perilously close to 41, and somehow, that feels big and ominous. Maybe the vague revelation I’m getting at on this sunny Tuesday evening is that my time is not unlimited. Double negative! But it seems fitting.

Today while I was running I decided on a new personal goal: I want to think bigger. In all things, whatever they are: I want to make them and do them bigger, grander, more ostentatiously. Wilder and crazier. And with loads more heart. I’m not sure what this will mean for my writing, except that it’s time to start thinking about a larger outlet than this little blog.

During my recent trip to Indiana, I took some photos of my beautiful nieces, Sawyer and Emery, and I’ve been thinking back to my time with them as I ponder what it means to live life more fully. I think most of us crabby-ass grown ups could take a wise cue from the big joy small people regularly emit.

Sawyer Morales, June 2012 – Photo by Erin J. Bernard

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