August 2, 2011

Poetry & Career Ponderings

I wrote a poem today. To be honest, it came out of nowhere. I was sitting at Second Cup at York and Queen's Quay, enjoying my hard-earned Italian soda after a 5.5km run. I sat back, enjoying the serenity. Then I started thinking about how all this running has kind of isolated me, because I opt to run instead of socialize with people at lunch hour. Then I started thinking about how I'm not that isolated, because we always seem to have plans with someone or other on the weekends. So how could I be socially isolating myself. And then my thoughts turned to how, even though I was social, I was still isolated in a way. At which point two lines of poetry magically popped into my head, and I found myself furiously jotting them down on my iPhone. And so, in 5 minutes, a poem was born. It didn't take any effort. It practically wrote itself. Which is exactly how I like my poetry to be written.

It is a little-known fact that I am a published poet. I've had my works published in three anthologies. Don't get too excited. Two of my poems were published in anthologies compiled by the school board when I was in high school. The other was published in an anthology from some poetry society. I have the book somewhere at home. It's thick and has teeny tiny print, and there are A LOT of poems in there. Still, it's an accomplishment.

The other day, my mom was asking me about why I don't write poetry anymore. It was almost a lament. One of those, "Oh, you were capable of such greatness, and you just kind of gave up." kind of comments. Without actually saying the words. Truth be told, it stung a bit, though in knowing my mom, I think it was meant out of encouragement. That's her way. Even if I don't fully get her method.

Did I tell you that I've written music before too? I've written a couple of clarinet duets, and as part of our first Christmas together as a married couple, I wrote a piano piece for the hubby. I never finished the arrangement (ssshhh...don't tell him). As part of my OAC music independent study project, I wrote and arranged a piece for my high school's senior band. I used to know stuff like chord progressions and it turned out kind of cool for someone who had never tackled such a large musical project. I had it recorded, but something got screwed up during our run, and the recording was never made. I'm kind of bummed over that, but the experience itself was what mattered. I got to try something that I'd never done before. It was pretty cool and rewarding.

I don't really write music anymore because I guess my heart just isn't into it. Besides, if a piece doesn't write itself, it's not worth writing. Just like with my poetry. The last poem I wrote was almost 3 years ago, when my grandmother died. Again, the poem just wrote itself. I jotted it down on my Blackberry one night, shortly after I'd found out about her death.

So today, I was pretty pleased with the fact that I wrote this poem. Not just because it's been a while, but because I think it turned out kind of neat. And also because it sort of awakened the inner poet in me, and allowed me to realize that I am more than just my job. I'm still in a job funk, and I am searching for something to get me out of that funk. I keep returning to this place every year, and I guess it's because I'm so unsatisfied with my professional life. My friend Jesse from university wrote a great post on his blog about this. And today I read a great post from my favorite career blogger about this. Bottom line: it seems that way too many people are stuck in careers that they hate either because society will look down upon them if they try something different, or because they will disappoint their parents. I am CONSTANTLY worried about disappointing my parents. I can almost hear them in the background as I type this.

Which is why they don't know that I am on the verge of launching my new photography site. It's almost done, and I'm pretty excited. Now I just need to sell a few prints and/or get a few clients to take pictures of their cute kids and I'm set. If you want to check out my site in progress, message me. I prefer to stick to anonymity on this blog, so I won't post it here.

Now back to the poem. You're probably dying to read the poem, if only for morbid curiosity, so I've posted it below. I have to warn you that I was in a pretty agreeable mood when I wrote it, though the tone is totally sad. That being said, if you're ever wondering the despair/depression that I felt in my first couple of years of motherhod, this gives you a pretty good glimpse. Happy reading!



Surrounded by people, yet lonely I stand.
Alone in the void of this large, barren land.

My husband and child, filled with life, play together.
While I sit here and stare for what seems like forever.

The world, it moves on, not a beat being missed.
While I linger here. I await for my kiss.

A kiss to wake up from this wretched nightmare.
But until that day comes, I just sit in despair.

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