I made some resolutions near the start of the year, and I’ve been thinking about them some as half the year is gone. There’s still too much snow on Lone Peak to have ventured up there yet, and with the late spring (and more than a little laziness) I don’t know if I’m going to make my running goal. But the one I’ve been thinking about most this week is my failure so far to increase my writing output. I think a lot of things, but unless they really grab me by the throat and demand to be born, I find it really easy to just push them to the back of my mind where they whither in the dark.
I spent the evening putting up drywall in the garage (at least that resolution is moving along) and came in the house just after sunset, dirty, tired and thirsty. I decided in the absence of an open smoothie shop to just run to the store for something tasty. On the way back I was ambushed by one of those thoughts. It was well into twilight and the streets were dark, but the sky was still shining with that last glimmer of daylight. The air was cool and I drove with the windows down. I just wanted to keep driving aimlessly. There was a little lightning in the distance and it was just one of those nights, the promise of which can get me through a winter. And I remembered countless nights like it, driving alone or with friends. Hanging out and drinking sodas on the trunk of a car and watching the stars come out. All these gilded memories were from so long ago, none of them recent. And I wondered, is it because I was so young that those first experiences were seen with new eyes and had no better memory with which to compare? Is it that I am too shackled to the reality I’ve molded about myself to actually just cast free and explore and enjoy at the spur of a moment? Or is it that I’m now experienced, and driving aimlessly is not the adventure it once was, and any attempt to replicate the past will only prove a sad counterfeit?
I used to live for summer, especially summer nights, and the rest of the year was torture waiting to get to that point where I could feel like living was actually worth something. And then the years started flying by, and I found that I didn’t get what I used to out of the brief season of warmth. At first I thought it was, perhaps, that I finally grew up and spent my summers behind the desk my dad used to tease me about, but the more I think about it the more I’m inclined to say that it is a lack of new. It’s so easy to fall into a routine and to accept that every day is going to be much like the last. To fall back into the security of day-to-day duties that eat up the months without much growth. But I think I need to start pushing a boundary here and there. It’s not enough to just trade idle downtime for task completion. I am happy things are getting done, but it’s time to start living again, as difficult and scary as that may be. Driving aimlessly filled a purpose once, and the memories of those golden times could be fuel enough to get me moving again.