The feeling that I’m going to “waste” this sabbatical year keeps nagging me. What is this year about? Do I want to take an epic road trip (no, see: Marfa posts)? Do I want to go someplace and stay for a few months (see: original idea and still a contender, aka the Eat Pray Love model)? Do I want to stay in Austin the whole time writing? Or some combination? The year might be over before I make a decision.
I am not, usually, a ‘strike while the iron is hot’ kind of person. I’m more of a ‘hot iron is really dangerous, why don’t I let it cool off’ kind of person. I have an idea. It flames bright, lights up my imagination, and then I think about it. And think about it. Then I think about it some more. I cool the idea down with all its imperfections, then once the it's cold, I let it go. Sometimes this takes seconds. Sometimes it takes years.
I shocked myself by selling my house. I freaking quit my job. And for the first time I actually managed to escape cube life. That’s huge. HUGE.
This is where my anxiety about “wasting” the year seeps in thought. This year has never been about writing, traveling, learning new things, whatever else is on my long list, although those are all important. This year has always been about trying to escape cube life, permanently.
Whenever I think of escape, I always remember Mr. Day, my Greek professor at Vassar. He taught us the pluperfect tense by using the word “escape.” I don’t know the Greek word for "escape," but I remember his explanation. “If you escaped from prison,” he said, “and you were caught, you didn’t really escape. You attempted to escape. You tried to escape. To truly signify that someone 'escaped' – that she escaped and was never caught – you have to use the pluperfect. ‘She made good her escape’.”
I need to strike while the iron is hot, make good my escape.