20 Questions


I sort of lied to you in my last (first) post. I said that my motivation for starting to write again was to have a way to process the immense changes that I am going through these days. That’s true. It’s just not the whole truth.

Yesterday, as I struggled to draft a paper proposal on the combined influence of food price and food availability on dietary intake, I received an email from Tim. The email was nothing more than a link to an article, from CNNLiving, which I unwittingly opened.

Now, the articles that Tim chooses to forward are (almost) always interesting, and many…I mean all…of them I read in their entirety. This was the first one that made me want to get up from my desk, walk out of the office, and never come back.

The article outlined 20 questions (collected via “crowdsourcing”- meaning that they were collected by asking a bunch of actual women) “that could change your life.” Many are, I think, important reminders that there is no right or wrong (#4. Why do I like {cupcakes} more than I like {people}?), that groups to which you do not belong, but think you should are not better than you (#7. Are {vegans} better people?), that we know ourselves better than we think we do, we just need to learn to listen to ourselves (#8. What is my body telling me?), and that we can, we really, really can, learn to live with less, and feel good about it (#9. How much junk could a chic chick chuck if a chic chick could chuck junk?).

But these were not the questions that tempted me with sending our family into financial ruin. The first, which gave me pause, was #2 on the list: Is this what I want to be doing? “NO,” I wanted to shout. “How did you know?! It’s not. Not at all.” Then came #5 (How do I want the world to be different because I lived in it?) and in quick succession #6 (How do I want to be different because I lived in this world?). It was like a screw turning. Then #14 (What do you love to practice?) and #15 (Where could I work less and achieve more?). My chest felt tight; in a good way. It felt scary and empowering.

Then came #20. Really truly: Is this what I want to be doing?

The author encouraged me, in black and white, to ask myself again. “Not to make you frustrated, Kiyah,” she said, “just to see if it’s possible to choose anything, that would make your present experience more delightful.” The answer was clear. “Yes Martha,” I said quietly. “Writing would.”

It strange for me to say these things out loud. Especially yesterday as I sat with Tim and our two dear friends, all of whom are phenomenal (and I mean that) writers. This has never been my thing; I certainly don’t think I’m very good at it. But it makes me happy. And that feels so good to say. And to feel. And that’s more important to me than being good.

-kjd

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3 thoughts on “20 Questions

  1. Ooh, that’s exciting kiya! Darren mentioned your interest in writing to me yesterday and it is so exciting! Good luck (and pass on that article)!

    Like

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