by Jennifer on December 7, 2008

I do this thing if I realize that I’m lost when I’m driving: I speed up.

And the more frustrated and uncertain I become, the faster I drive. Headed toward somewhere I don’t mean to go, I become hell-bent on getting there as fast as I can. I have a good sense of direction, which means I don’t get lost all that often, so who knows, maybe I feel like I’ll find a way out sooner that way. But it’s not a conscious thing at all.

Well, my life has felt like that for the last couple of months.

I’ve taken on an extra responsibility, one that requires a few hours of study time each day. (I’m studying for a professional exam that’s about as far from anything I would have ever picked for myself to do – and, seriously, yawn – but it will help our family’s bottom line, so I’m doing it. Kind of like every other grown up in the world who goes to a job they don’t like, so I’m not whining about it, I promise. My fingers are firmly hooked through my bootstraps. Plus, it’s kind of something-to-fall-back-on, too, if the need is ever there. If I pass (or when, I should say), it will be a good thing to have under my belt. The exam isn’t until April, but only 10% of those who take the test actually pass, so holy crap, I’d better study.)

The studying has changed my days, and hasn’t left much time for writing. (It’s also the reason I had to abandon NaNoWriMo after 8000 words.) So I feel the trade-off in a big way. I’ve switched out one thing for another, and I miss the thing I’m giving up right now, especially since I was gathering some momentum in the writing I was doing. I don’t feel like myself, either, even though I know this is temporary and will be worth it. (But wasn’t studying easier when I was younger? Good god, what happened to my brain?)

All of it leaves me feeling like I’m speeding toward the unknown, on unfamiliar roads, faster and faster as the weeks pass.

And definitely feeling lost.

I haven’t even been going on my drives. A couple of short ones, but not my favorite route. Seriously, if it keeps going like this, you should all ask me change the name of this blog. You should insist, really.

Or. Maybe I’ll carve out at least enough time to do that one thing for myself. It’s been almost two months – sometime around the middle of October – since I’ve driven my usual route, and do I ever feel it.

This week, though, I will. I might not even wait until Thursday. And maybe when I come back home, I can slow down a little bit.

And maybe, just maybe, I won’t feel so lost.


Just this week, I discovered the music of Ray Lamontagne (one of his songs was featured at the end of Private Practice, which I happened to catch this week). I am in love with his music now – but I’m wondering, am I the last one to know about this guy?

When I heard this song, I knew it would become a favorite. The lyrics…I’m pretty sure he wrote them just for me.

I just bought his album Gossip in the Grain, and can say for sure that it will settle comfortably into its very own spot in my CD changer in the car. I can also imagine listening to it on Sunday morning, with the New York Times spread out in front of me on the bed (if I ever got to do that these days). YouTube has a decent selection of his songs. Check out Let It Be Me, Roses and Cigarettes, Shelter, and Be Here Now. And this: Empty. (Oh, and then buy the album!)

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Attila the Mom December 7, 2008 at 6:52 am

Eh, good luck on your exam. Hubby recently had to take one for his industry after a required 16 hour online class.

He couldn’t just skip the class (all done by automated video) and take the exam (he’s been in the industry 15+ years and knows the regulations) because every once in a while a “pop quiz” would jump up to make sure he was watching the yawnfest and he’d only have a limited time to complete it.

Don’t let the statistics psych you out. I’ll bet you do great!

Attila the Moms last blog post..You’re a Douche Bag!!

maggie, dammit December 7, 2008 at 10:21 am

I think that as long as you’re still aware that you’re on the map at all, you’re not truly lost. I hope, anyway.

(I love Ray.)

maggie, dammits last blog post..Saturday

Jenn @ Juggling Life December 7, 2008 at 11:12 am

It may be boring, but there is some satisfaction in being a bootsrap-pulling grownup and not whining about things–I hope you’re getting that satisfaction. It sure is a lesson for your kids, that will stand them good stead in their lives.

I’m glad you’re not giving up on the writing completely–you’re so talented.

As for the 10% pass rate–I bet a lot of them are not bothering to get prepared. I’m shocked at the number of people taking the RICA (a teaching test) 2 or 3 or 4 times. Hello? Have you heard of studying?

Jenn @ Juggling Lifes last blog post..Procrastination Central

The Redheaded Lefty December 7, 2008 at 11:51 am

I second the bootstraps comment. Good for you. I have to study, too, and there is NOTHING I want to do less. Makes it feel pointless! I’d rather clean toilets. I have to get into a mode.

Hang in there.

The Redheaded Leftys last blog post..Never Been So Scared

Crazycath December 7, 2008 at 3:34 pm

You should go for the drive. asap. Nothing should stop the drive. It’s your R&R time.

Sorry I’m not around as much but still posting now and again on the newer blog – Cath’s Cradle. Linked on this comment.

Crazycaths last blog post..Through A Child’s Eyes Part 1

flutter December 7, 2008 at 4:34 pm

that song is gorgeous. I think, my sweet friend, that the best of us have to be lost to find ourselves. Don’t you?

flutters last blog post..It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Emily R December 7, 2008 at 5:53 pm

I truly cannot imagine studying at this age

Emily Rs last blog post..Part one: Friday

texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvana December 7, 2008 at 6:22 pm

I do that. Speed faster to the unknown especially when it is in my gut that it isn’t the right direction. I have no idea why or any insight to share. I like the song and it would be fun to play while driving. I consider yoga my Thursday Drive and I haven’t been there in a month which. Veering from the drive may have both of us speeding ahead in a questionable direction?

texasholly @ June Cleaver Nirvanas last blog post..Two Boys

the mama bird diaries December 7, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Ok.. when I’m eating really yummy food and I’m starting to get full, i start eating faster and faster to try to stuff as much in before I’m totally full. Do i have a problem? Does this in anyway relate to your post?

Good luck with the studying. You can do it girl.

the mama bird diariess last blog post..rock bottom please

melissa December 8, 2008 at 10:14 am

I think you speed up so you can get found faster–keep up the hard work, though. It’ll be through before you know it. And you’ll be so proud.

melissas last blog post..Philosophical Musings

Ree December 8, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Take the time and go. We need the beauty that is you.

Rees last blog post..Drunk Facebooking

Suzanne December 8, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Study hard, I know you will pass the exam with flying colors because you are so smart!

And I hope that you will find time to go back to your novel-in-progress because the premise you shared with us sounded so interesting and I know you will pull it off with grace and beauty…..which is why I hope you will find 30 minutes here or there to work on it.

Suzannes last blog post..They Sustain Me: What’s on Your Nightstand?

Bruce December 8, 2008 at 3:15 pm

This sounds as if you might have some Lemming DNA in your blood…..the urge to speed up into the unknown and then realize you have no brakes right before reaching the cliff.

Bruces last blog post..My – POV [Mobile]

Franki December 8, 2008 at 3:51 pm

I’d not heard of the artist, but I’m ALWAYS out of the loop. Thanks for the intro!

Frankis last blog post..Golgi Apparatus

Kimberly December 8, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Good luck with the exam, though you won’t need it because you are so going to be a famous writer. You’ve got so much talent.

Have fun on those future drives; can’t wait to hear about where they take you.

Kimberlys last blog post..Can Mr. Gav come out and play?

Louise December 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm

You’re not the last; I’ve never heard of h im.

I hope this weekend is fun for you. And slower. And something different and not “lost” feeling. P. Charming forgot to take games to CO 2 weekends ago, so he knows he’s in BIG trouble if he forgets this time. I’m pretty sure I won’t forget the Christmas cards. I’m already trying to figure out what I can eliminate from the “hand-made” part of the holidays this year!

Louises last blog post..The Climbing Tree — My World

JCK December 8, 2008 at 10:33 pm

You are NOT the last one to find out about him. I am! What great music. Thank you for sharing.

I know well what you mean by not having enough time to do what you find yourself loving to do. It sounds like you’re busy being a grown-up, which is hard to do sometimes. I admire you for it. Your writing gift is important, though. You must not let it get too far down the priority list.

from Miss Bossypants. 🙂

JCKs last blog post..Tis’ the season for bedtime high jinks

jenrantsraves December 9, 2008 at 7:01 am

Logistics? That sounds…ZZZZZzzz… Being a grown up sucks, huh? I hope you get that drive and can somehow find time to write still. I absolutely hate to be lost. I panic, and I speed up also, but just because I am stressed and want to hurry up and get somewhere familiar.

RiverPoet December 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Jennifer, whether you take your drive or not, you’re one of the most wonderful writers I’ve ever read. Please never give up on yourself.

Peace – D

RiverPoets last blog post..Midlife and All Its Brambles (#1)

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