My workplace is unremarkable in a lot of ways. People wear collared shirts tucked into pleated Dockers and corporate lanyards around desk-weary necks. Everyone is required to wear ID badges at all times, so lanyards are the less-awesome version of corporate friendship necklaces.
I once asked my boss if I was allowed to swap out the friendship lanyard for a retractable custodial key chain.
“You know, the ones that shoot from the hip and go, ”zzzzzzz. Key! zzzzzzz. Different key! zzzzzzz. Whole keychain!! It would be like a retractable leash for my face!”
I don’t think my boss thought I was funny yet, so I folded. I wore the lanyard. Now an unflattering photo dangles around my belly button every time I commute down the hallway.
My building has a few floors with multiple wings. The variable “wings” only indicate the flavors of getting lost in halls that are long and wide, paved with endless tile flooring that is glossy without being clean.
My first week on the job, the only thing I was good at was wandering the halls without arriving at my intended destination.When I wore high heels, I traveled with a pounding announcement:
Clack clack- clack clack-clack clack- clack clack.
It was like being Paul Revere without a message. People spun their lanyard-adorned necks around to look at me, they peered out from their glowing computer screens, and poked their heads out of office doors.
I never knew what to do, so I replied with a smile and still-motion wave. It looked more like an unreturned high five.
The high heels were a means of being lost loudly. Everywhere I wandered by accident, people noticed. It was like trying to pull an illegal u-turn in a yellow school bus. There was nothing discrete about it.
I was wearing a lanyard with my face on it. Even strangers knew who I was.
This high-heel traveling reminded me of the blog and of you and of the discipline of writing.
Blogging feels very much like walking in new tile-territory with loud high heels. It is where people take notice at the exact moment you have no idea what you’re doing.
Writing is exploration strategically revised to look like direction.
Sometimes writing is easy, like transcribing photogenic thoughts. On those days, writing seems linear, like you’re pacing yourself into epiphany, controlling an inexplicable momentum.
High heels seem to fit better on those days, on the days you can gauge the distance to where you’re going.
But most of the time writing is hard (especially the day after it was easy).
Writing is walking and walking and walking down endless hallways until you finally arrive at the place you wanted to be, at the thing you actually wanted to say. It is being lost and dead-ended until you arrive somewhere completely by accident.
On those days, on most days, epiphany is an utter miracle.
Writing is not time-efficient. (I spend 2-6 hours on each blog post, which breaks down to roughly 30 seconds a word).
It certainly is not cost-efficient.
It feels productive only retrospectively.
But somehow my most persistent impulse is finding words to describe this
Somehow I only feel like I’m going somewhere if I write it down.
Sometimes I claim my very own life by telling it in my own words.
Blogging is just writing with high heels on.
I’m not sure you should follow me to where I’m going.
I’m just saying that you might hear me as I go by.