For being a self-proclaimed sufferer of hypergraphia, my website is embarrassingly sparse. A few snippets of prose, short stories, the ubiquitous unclassifiable ramblings, sometimes labelled as poetry. And, well, not much else.
So as I sit here, looking forlornly at the calendar to see just how many days of freedom I have left (the answer is 13, and “freedom” means before grad school picks up again) I feel compelled to write something blogworthy. While I could ramble on and on about what exactly constitutes something as being “blogworthy” (which more than likely would wind up in a rant that inadvertently offends a whole, what, three people…?) I realized that, maybe I’m feeling the need to reach out because I have willfully cut myself off for so, so long. Even if by “reaching out”, I mean reaching out into the void of cyberspace, where, thanks to social media, you’re never alone by yourself.
I write this for my friends, to let you know that hey, yes, I am alive. I’m still having health issues, but remember, I’m Andi Dobek, I’ve cheated death twice. I’ll live. I’ll be ok again.
So why the silence for so long? In three letters: M. F. A.
I’ve been working towards my Masters for two years now (with a six month hiatus in there, because I realized that a mere ten-day break between 11-week quarters, back to back to back, is just plain suicide). But, I have gotten published. I have written things I never thought would come from my pen. Things that I am immensely proud of. Other things that I know, once I sit down to revise them, will take me places I never dreamed I would go. And that’s what drives me.
There’s a meme out there that says something along the lines of, ‘Discipline is just choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.’ So many nights, that could have been spent at the movies. Out to dinner. Just chilling in a friend’s basement like we did in high school. I’ll grant you, every now and then you have to choose now, indulge in a little instant gratification, or you’ll burn out. There have been plenty of times when I wanted to quit, but I can’t. I simply cannot. There is a part of my brain that refuses to switch off. I want to be social, but I can’t afford to be.
I’m writing this for those of you who believe (and understandably so) that I have let you fall by the wayside. That your friendship meant, means nothing to me. Nothing could be further from the truth. The happy memories I have with so many of you is sometimes all that can make me smile on my darkest days.
When you ask me if I can hang out this weekend, and I say no? Please…please, know that my reasons are sound. I do have homework. I always have homework, whether course-related or self-assigned. If I work extra hard, I can usually free up a break of two hours, maybe more…but the truth is, there is always something for me to work on and revise. I go to work, put in an 8-hour day, drive home, do homework, and sleep. Rinse and repeat. Do not mistake my silence, my seeming unwillingness to be social as aloofness, or at worst, indifference. A lot of times, my decisions are made by reminding myself of this one, simple truth:
You cannot write if you’re [insert activity]. And if you’re not writing, you’re not getting any closer to your goals.
It’s as simple as that. Well, and I’ll admit, sometimes I’m just plain tired.
So, this is a letter to those of you whom I so desperately miss. I miss you all so much it hurts, deeply, in a part of me that hasn’t felt anything for a long, long time. This is a letter to those of you who call, leave me voicemails, only to get a cursory text in acknowledgement, some days later. This is a letter to those of you who share pages with me on Facebook, of things you know I like, or you hope I still do, since we haven’t spoken in so long. This is a letter to those of you whom I haven’t spoken to in several years, but still think about. This is a letter to those of you who have (again, understandably) given up on ever inviting me to do anything with you ever again. You know I’ll say no. And unfortunately, you’re right. But this letter is for you, to help you understand why.
I will never stop. My dreams are monstrous. The plans I have for myself…they haunt me. They are no longer dreams, or goals. They are needs. There are certain things I must do, must attempt, certain things that must come to pass, events, accomplishments, what have you, that I measure my happiness by, both present and future. And I’ve, sadly, had two reminders that life can be snuffed out in the blink of an eye.
I haven’t any time to lose.