I’m baa-aaack! I hope your June was so sunny and full that you didn’t even notice the lack of new posts with each passing Thursday. And here we are, right on schedule: happy July, all.
So, the year is half over—we’ve passed the tipping point. In my mindscape the first six months of each year are a steady climb out of the cold and into the light, a trek that gathers strength week by week. Once we’ve reached the peak, we teeter in brief, heady bliss—the longest day, the hottest night, the July Fourth fireworks echoing in their own smoke—and then we begin the slide back down again. The second half of the year.
What did the first half of 2015 entail for you?
Looking back, I took a leap into this series of personal essays and into the intimidating world of online exposure. I commented on the scars and calluses such leaps have gotten me thus far in life. I noted that all the risks and rewards of writing are ephemeral, not expected to land me a legacy in the literary canon.
Even wrapped up as I was in all this writing and revising, I still strove to maintain balance each day by cooking, reading, and growing. I contemplated my past. I focused on the present. I considered whether I was prepared for the future.
Back on the book front, I grew frustrated and fled the writing desk, then recommitted to a consistent, persistent work ethic. I struggled with related questions: what drives us to write, anyway? What drives us to share what we’ve written?
Week by week it was as steady an uphill push as any, I think. But finally, perhaps exhausted with my own endless introspection, I took a break. In my last post before the year’s peak I announced my intention to take some time away from these weekly essays for the month of June to focus solely on my book.
My year peaked with heady bliss indeed: June brought a flurry of progress on the rewrites, followed by an even bigger break in the form of full-fledged vacation. A road trip took me down the rolling landscapes of the coast to a reunion with old friends, and the experience was as sweet as watermelon, as freeing as the open road, as refreshing as summer itself.
And there you go. The first half of 2015.
We’re at the peak, teetering. The days are long. The nights are hot. As we slip from June into July, I know it’s time to decide what to do with the second half of 2015. How will I direct my efforts as we slide back down into gradually shorter days and cooler evenings?
Stay tuned for word on what’s next. But first, let’s enjoy the fireworks that are on their way this weekend: happy July Fourth, all.
And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby