Beth Lisick / by Steve Rhodes


Today I was eating lukewarm pizza and talking with my husband when I came up with a really brilliant idea for a blog entry. You’re not reading about it now, though, because after lunch I cleared my plate, washed the dishes, took a shower, applied for some writing gigs, and practiced yin yoga as the afternoon sun streamed in the front windows. Poof! There went my idea.

The lesson? Do it now. The other day, I read a great quote by Henry Ford:

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

This probably means I should stop talking shit about yoga training and grad school until these two presumably pivotal experiences actually happen. It’s hard, though, because lately everyone wants to know, “Sooooo, what are you up to these days?” And unless I respond with an emphasis on these goals, I sound like a pretty big flake. Oh, the quandry.

During and immediately following my trip, I was absolutely loving the glorious, hopeful uncertainty of my position. What would happen next? I wondered.

Only time would tell.

But the more I started actually trying explain it to people, the less comfortable it became. It started earlier this week, when I dropped by my former workplace to have lunch with a colleague and say hello. Then yesterday I had dinner with a high school acquaintance I’d not seen in over 15 years. Now, in a few days, I’ll head back East for a family reunion, which is only bound to bring more questions.

What am I doing, after all? The short answer: following my gut.

Many writers and artists before me have made far more drastic career sacrifices than I have in order to continue doing what they love. I remember reading Everybody into the Pool, a terrific collection of essays by SF native writer and Porchlight founder Beth Lisick, who recounts a stream of ridiculous jobs she took to support her writing—including one for which she dressed like a banana and roamed the streets of San Francisco. I have to say, I admire this dedication. I have no idea how she explained the banana suit to curious friends or relatives. Perhaps she didn’t feel the need to … and perhaps that is the key.

I hope that if it ever comes down to a banana suit or a soul-less 9-to-5 grind, I will choose the banana suit. If nothing else, perhaps the absurdity of it all will inspire me to go home, strip down, salute the sun, and scrawl out a story or two.

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