When I made that list, my first thought was, how clever! Followed shortly by my second thought, which was...I should really get out more.
In my defense, I've been a little preoccupied. Because there's one other thing:
I'm a fugitive on the run.
I took off at seventeen from a tiny hometown right after graduating from the kind of high school where kids fight with shards of broken mirror from their makeup cases.
Some of us have to outrun a particular kind of destiny.
Maybe it makes sense that -
I nearly flunked out of college.
Not because of boys (surprisingly), or drugs (no thank you), or ambivalence.
Because of black ink and sneakers.
Slinging cocktails for rent, I spent the leftovers of my mental energy learning, for the first time, to communicate on paper. Page after page of black ink. To communicate something clearly is hard enough. To say it unusually in a way that makes us think...that is art.
Writing is an endurance sport.
(Did you know that?)
And all endurance athletes devote their whole selves for hours.
And sneakers are how people like me keep time.
Drenched in sweat, on the 12th, 13th, 14th mile that's when you remember - the time is now.
So keep going.
And when you have blisters the size of quarters on the backs of your heels and on the soles beneath your toes, and the band-aids keep falling off, what does a true fugitive do?
They wrap maxi pads around their feet with duct tape and keep running.
We get creative. We find alternatives.
We pick our paths and run like hell because the destiny we want isn't going to make itself.
I got the B.A. and continued learning at that big fancy school, then that little hole-in-the-wall design place, and then I did the writing workshops here, there, and abroad. I completed the business courses and that web design blueprint thingy, and in the middle of all that, there was the cubes and the soulless jobs, and so on.
From Louisiana to Tennessee, to Virginia to Ohio. To Seattle, Washington, California, and now Portland Oregon.
The coolest thing I've learned is that we have to tilt the circumstances to see them in their true light. That's what I do for people and their businesses. So they too can be fugitives.
So they too can tell the most important stories - the ones that made them strong.