Junior year of college I took this awful class. It frustrated me more than any creative writing class I've ever taken, mainly because I never knew how to get better based on the feedback I was getting. Annoying. But anyhow, we had one assignment that I just remembered the other day. We had to write a Credo, which is Italian for 'I believe.' (Side note; I was taking Italian at the time and I actually knew that word, which was really exciting for me since I never knew any of the words) Our teacher got the idea from an NPR segment called This I Believe. The assignment was to look up the segment and follow its guidelines and write our own Credo about something we believe in.
This I Believe is just that, people talking about things they believe in. It's like a competition; all different people write their Credo's in 500 words or less and submit them to NPR who every week would pick their favorite and invite its author to read it on the radio. On the website you can read Credos written by every day people as well as famous authors. Most of them are about life changing events that shaped the author's life in monumental ways. They are fairly inspirational, you should all go check it out or just click HERE and read the day away.
Recently I inspired a friend of mine to write out a Life Goals list. I have had mine for a few years now and I am always trying to get others to do the same. Money, position in life and likelihoods are never issues in a well crafted Life Goals list. No matter how unattainable they might seem, I insisted they go on the list. All you need are your innermost desires and a piece of paper.
People are always saying that you should live life to the fullest. I have often wondered how I could actually do this. One day the answer hit; make a list. Sit down every night and make a list of the things you need to do the next day like turning in your library books and writing your history paper. Then, write down all the things you want to do that day like writing a poem, taking a walk or watching Star Wars again and saying all the lines out loud. If you keep to the list during your day, you will have lived that day to the fullest. Do it every day and you are going to have an extremely full life.
Life goals are not the only things that I make lists of. I have a list of "movies to own", "books to read" and "places I want to go". There is nothing more satisfying than being able to cross something off of a list or placing a well deserved check mark next to "read Dubliners." I have lists of quotes I love and a growing collection of names for new fictional characters currently undeveloped. Lists make life easier. They can organize anything from your book shelf to the things you want to get your friends for Christmas.
Lists put your mind at ease. Some say that writing things in a list actually help you remember them. It has worked both ways for me. Writing a grocery list helps me remember to buy pitas when I get to the store. However I have to constantly refer back to my 'movies I need to own' list when I go to FYE and forget that I wanted to find a copy of The 5th Element.
My Life Goals list is still my favorite. So far it consists of the following: learn to tap dance, be an extra in a movie, attend a gay wedding, see Aerosmith again before they die, get published, be the voice of a Disney character, read Moby Dick, go to the Oscars, ride in a hot air balloon, go to the Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals, kiss Oscar Wilde's tomb and travel the world. With this list in hand I have a pretty exciting life ahead of me.
Not inspirational, not deep, not really all that good, I know, and on top of all that it's 28 words too long. My teacher's only comments were all about things I should add to it and not things I should take away, which is oh so useful when it's too long to begin with. But whatever, that's my Credo and I'm sticking to it. I might just submit it to NPR too, so there. Or think of a better one. Who knows?
Speaking of writing, here is something else cool I stumbled upon recently. By stumbled I mean Beth's mother sent me the link. Also a product of NPR, this one is about creating your 6 word memoir. They have a whole book of author's summing up their entire lives in 6 words. Can you do that? If you click on that link you can read a handful of ones that obscure and famous authors have come up with. My favorite by far is James Frey's: "So would you believe me anyway?" Funny guy.
I thought it would be hard coming up with mine, but it wasn't. It should be right? Summing up your entire life, everything that makes you you in 6 words; should be near impossible right? Nope, easy. Just write down the first thing that comes to your mind, and bam, there you go.
If you really know me, you will know it's true. I have Peter Pan syndrome BAD. It's not that I'm not looking forward to what the future holds, not at all, I'll just always envy the blissful ignorance of real life's responsibilities and concerns that all 5th graders have. Sure, they are about to go to middle school and are freaked out that they won't have a recess anymore, but honestly, I'd take that any day to paying student loans and doing taxes (thank you Grandmother for doing my taxes).
In other unrelated news, it snowed more than it ever has this past week, and I don't want to talk about it. No one has ploughed our road yet and I hear there is a snow drift that's about 6 feet tall down the road from our driveway. I'll probably go investigate that after I post this. What else…I'm mad about all the snow (not even fun anymore), have not been to work in over a week, dyed my hair pink and won't be able to drive my car out of our driveway for another month and a half when the snow melts. A 5th grader could probably see the bright side of this situation, but I can't. At least my hair looks cool.