Merely the Beginning of the Journey

I am Carolyn Reid Carpenter, aptly named after my mom’s life-long best friend. Why names define our existence is one of first things on my list of things I don’t know.

My home is the blue, smoky, life-giving mountains of North Carolina. Why, you ask. That, my friend, is on the list of things I don’t know.

I currently reside in Nairobi, Kenya, in a 3-bedroom apartment with my younger brother, mom, and dad. Why I love Nairobi, you ask? That, my friend, is also on the list of things I don’t know.

I am a loud, extroverted, colorful, most likely obnoxious person. Other adjectives might include ignorant, bright, loving, silly, poetic, cat-lady-like, alive. Why these different adjectives have connotations and self-defined definitions would be on the list of things I don’t know.

So here I am, living a life of unknown things. That, I do know.

And because of this unknown, I write. I write because I’m not so sure why I live my life as I do. I write because I have a beating heart and I’m not so sure why that matters. I write because I don’t know why I love rain and why I love hammocks. I write because I feel my feet trudging across dew-covered grass and I don’t know where I’m headed. I write because I bite my nails and tap my feet and I’m not sure why my stress makes its home in these places. I write because I hear the ibis yelling outside my window, and I don’t know what they’re saying, so I give them my words. I write because I feel the funny thump of love deep in my stomach and I don’t know if I like it or not.

I write because I’m not sure where I’m going, why I’m going, how I’m going, but here I am, still going. So I write to find out.

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2 thoughts on “Merely the Beginning of the Journey

  1. This was great. I liked your poetic repetition of “I don’t know”. I also lied the imagery you used (dew-covered grass, life-giving mountains, etc). One thing you could change to improve your writing is to cut out words that don’t contribute to your sentence. For example you could change “not so sure” to “not sure” being that they nearly mean the same thing. You could change “self-defined definitions” to “definitions”.

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  2. This is beautifully crafted. But I’m not TOTALLY sure I buy it (or maybe I’m just not quite satisfied with it) — do you really not know why North Carolina is your home (obviously, it kind of depends what, exactly, you mean by that statement)? Or why you love Nairobi? Isn’t that just a little bit of a cop-out? (At least without further explanation of what you mean by not knowing?)

    I’m also not totally sure what this statement means: “Why these different adjectives have connotations and self-defined definitions would be on the list of things I don’t know.”

    I love the way you write, Reid — but make sure you’re being careful with clarity as well.

    Like

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