David Lehman once wrote to me in a Letter to Younger Poets (published in Teachers and Writer's Magazine a while ago) Carly: The enemy of poetry is a should.
I'm not exactly sure what he was trying to tell me. Maybe he knew how goal oriented I was or how I always needed to be doing something, moving towards some greater goal. Which is funny, because I have never looked at myself as someone who was a "should" person. But when I take a step back, I realize I've always been an organizer, a planner and someone who wanted to do something. And lately, a lot of my friends have been pointing that out. Telling me I'm driven and successful. I haven't seen it that way. Instead of seeing where I am, I see where I "should" be. A part time teacher and part time bartender doesn't seem to be as successful to me as it does to them. Though maybe that's because I'm already thinking of the next step. The next should thing to do---be a yoga teacher because at some point the only time I'll wear tank tops will be on my yoga mat. Although, I'm not sure should goes with yoga and perhaps less than it goes with writing.
So, to stop shoulding, I had coffee with a wonderful writer, Michelle this morning and I'm really lucky to have someone older and wiser to bounce off life questions as well as fiction questions. I think one of the reasons I'm really into the fiction right now is that there's no pressure---no where to feel like I have to submit to yet. The goal is just to write. I miss that. I've been sending around a version of an essay to my girlfriends about where we are in life, and they've helped to reconfirm that we all need to stop playing the should game. There is no place, no dream job, relationship, apartment, house, etc. we should have. We should just be. Though really, who does that anymore?
After that, I met Jonathan at the gym and we sat outside and had lunch afterwards. He just finished cutting the watermellon for tomorrow's dinner party. Staccato cuisine---food inspired by poems with the word "staccato" in mind. I'll post more on this after the fact.
Oh, and I made the Wick news!