Earlier this week, I found a brand new writing challenge hosted by Lady Harvey (click here to check it out.) Each week, she will post a quote and we have up to 1,000 words to write a response inspired by the quote. All you have to do is post your response on your blog (tagged ‘quotespiration’), then go to Lady Harvey’s site and add a link to that post. Easy, peasy 😛
The quote this week:
“What I think is this: you should give up looking for lost cats and start searching for your shadow”–from Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Responding to this challenge fit in perfectly with my tendency to procrastinate. I have some writing that I must get done today and my brain is doing its best to focus on everything else. I was going to write a post about this for today, but maybe I’ll do it next week. (See, I’m good… procrastination is my thing. Finishing stories for anything other than this blog, apparently is not!)
BEYOND THE HORIZON
I sit across from Father with my arms folded over my chest. My expression sullen, my mood even worse. I feel like a chastised teenager, even though I’m 22 years old.
“You need to focus. Pick a major and excel. It’s irresponsible to make attending college a career.”
I look away because I’m afraid if I look at his face, I’ll explode and say everything that shouldn’t be spoken. “You’ve lived your life,” I mutter.
“Don’t get mouthy with me. As long as I pay your bills, you do as I say.”
I smirk-smile. “Yes, sir. Are we done?”
“Have you decided on a major?”
“I need to go to my room and contemplate my future.”
Satisfied, he slides out of his chair. “I have to run to Home Depot. Dinner’s at 6.”
I make it to my room before tears sting my eyes. I still occupy a ten by ten room in his apartment palace, but he hasn’t paid a dime of my college. If mother were here she could talk some sense into him. But she died eleven years ago. I don’t want to pick a major. I don’t even want to be in college. I want to see the world, explore my likes and dislikes. How can he expect me to choose my life’s work if I haven’t even found myself yet?
I slide my suitcase off the top shelf of my closet and toss it on the bed. I select my favorite clothes and roll each item to maximize space. I line them up in rows and stack them until there isn’t room for even a t-shirt. I’ll leave the rest. I dump the books from my backpack onto the floor and fill it with undergarments, makeup, a thirteen-year-old family photo, and mother’s musical jewelry box.
Everything that matters fits in two bags. For some reason, that thought liberates me. Before I leave, I sit at my desk to write a note. He deserves that much.
I’m not ready to commit to a life. I need to discover whether I find my peace sitting on a beach with waves crashing at my feet, or if my clarity is on a snow-capped mountain. I want to be carried by the wind. Maybe I’m not meant to be rooted in one place.
I know you don’t understand. To you, my indecision is akin to looking for lost cats. To me, each found cat is another step toward my shadow.
I don’t know where I’m going, but I’ll call along the way.