When did you know you could do whatever you wanted?
I think this is a process — you’re always becoming aware of the forces you’re responding to, and a lot of yearning is wanting to react to different forces, even if you can’t articulate them. But do you have a first? A first time you remember “holy shit, I can do whatever I want. Be who I want!”?
I think this is some of the power behind a lot of popular nonfiction books, I talked a bit about it here, when I talked about When Breath Becomes Air:
It reminded me of an Elizabeth Gilbert line from Eat, Pray, Love: “I had actively participated in every moment of the creation of this life. So why didn’t I see myself in any of it?” She was living a narrative, then a major event derailed it (the divorce), and she had to figure out what her life was about, actually. This has a similar arc: Paul was on a blessed path, a shocking event makes that path impossible, and he’s forced to become very reflective on what life should be.
Discuss this and more on Tuesday, March 7, at Pablovania. Ping me if you need the address
(Last Tuesday was a simple prompt like this one, and I may go back to “let’s do an activity together” like the first Tuesday, but we’ll keep prompts for now.)