Five hundreds posts is a nice even number. In my heart I find myself fantasizing that I am halfway there. Halfway where? The emotion of a midway point is somehow powerful to me. That I could have known when I started that I’d make it even 100 days let alone 500 seems preposterous. And yet now that I am here I have the quiet confidence to say that yes I will make it to one thousand. That is what I’ve learned from writing every single day. I’ve learned I can do what I set out to achieve.
Writing every single day has transformed my life. I say this without guile or metaphor. I just drove back from Montana to Colorado today. I left Bozeman with the expectation that I’d be returning to spend my next decade in Montana. When I set off on this experiment to write something every single day I didn’t expect tangible impacts. I did it because I thought the exercise would be good for my thinking and my writing. And instead I found that the daily discipline pushed me to life my life more honestly.
It’s been good for my emotions. To have to bring some part of myself to every day and genuinely be present has quietly and slowly grown capacity to be present in the world. I’ve learned more about who I am as a person. I’ve learned more about my needs and wants and boundaries. I learned about how I love and who I love. By ruthlessly prioritizing one activity, I came to see what my actual priorities could be with some investment. Writing is the discipline that gave me the framework to become myself.
And so here I am picking a place to spend the next decade. It will be a huge transition. We are going to be rural people after decades of city living. Because finally we can.
I can’t tell you that all of this emotion about moving is about the pandemic and how much I’ve experienced it as profound sense of displacement. It’s all true. But also I’d been unsettled by illness and medical leave long before lockdown. I have felt like my life was unanchored for sometime. Previously I’d been a Manhattan woman through and through. And then an escape presented itself and I found myself longing to go through to see what else I could find.
We didn’t commit to rural living at first. We went to the Hudson Valley. The first foray out of the city after a decade didn’t stray too far afield. We’d seen friends of ours find farm houses nearby. But it wasn’t enough. It didn’t have the mountains we longed to see.
As our first summer wore down, we after an intense two weeks, decided on a townhouse sight unseen in Boulder. We’d discussed a move to Colorado for almost two years prior to that. We’d run scenarios on how we could pull it off. But it seemed like a fantasy. But then the pandemic made work remote possible. Plus telemedicine meant I could leave my doctors beyond a days drive. I was finally free to do what I wanted without it being a huge risk to my health.
And this is why I say the writing was so crucial. Doing it every day slowly focused my mind.
I’ve had five hundred careful days of assessing the life I was living. I had five hundred days where I thought about what I valued and what I wanted to invest in. And it paid off. Suddenly the things that I’d never quite seen clearly were manifesting themselves in our lives perfectly formed. And it was clear that we needed to make the leap to take these dreams and make them real.
After five hundred days of writing, I have a new sense of clarity on my desires. I am shedding the weak and thin desires. And I am honing in on where I want to build and with whom. And yes much of it centers on being in Montana and living a life of resilience.
I’m totally serious about the chaotic.capital thesis. I am preparing for a more volatile world and I plan to be as present and grounded as possible in it. I’m an American and I’m proud of what that used to mean. I’ll be building out there with everyone else who makes the choice to live a real life and make real things. It’s not going to be easy but I’m not going to live life on anyone’s terms but mine.