You know how at the beginning of January people pick a word to inspire them in the coming year? Like, “Win” or “Thrive” or “Beauty”? I never really do these because I don’t like rules even if they’re self-imposed but this year is different because I have a word.
I have begun reading Moby Dick about 380 times in my life and always give up after 200 pages. That book is my white whale. But this year I decided to finally finish it so that I could stop seeing it on my reading list and I was rewarded with passages like this one:
I read countless passages about whale anatomy, including an entire chapter about how you can turn a whale’s penis inside out and make it into a sleeveless raincoat. A then in like the last few pages the whale finally showed up and at that point I was 100% rooting for him to destroy everyone including me. And then it was done.
And I felt really happy. Because I never have to read it again. (Apologies to those of you who like it. You are smarter than me and probably have less ADD.)
I felt a profound sense of accomplishment in finishing a book I’ve literally been reading since I was in hight school and I decided to take that forward and let this be the year of finishing. Of finishing the book I’ve been writing and rewriting for years. Of finishing this blog post that I started writing LAST YEAR but then got stuck in the draft folder. Of finishing everything that I can that weighs over me.
Maybe not everything though, because to truly finish you have to die and I’m pretty sure I’m not ready for that so I guess sometimes it’s all about setting limits to your accomplishments so you don’t end up dead.
I’m writing it here so that maybe I’ll follow though and finish. With luck I’ll soon tell you that I’m done with my next book. And when I get stuck and doubt myself I’ll just remind myself that Moby Dick was all about sperm and making whale schlongs into robes and that thing was a damn classic so maybe I need to be just a little less hard on myself.
PS. There were no pictures in my copy of Moby Dick so I went online to look for whale penises and now I have to go burn my computer. But before I do I thought I’d share this from reddit:
It’s waving, y’all. I’m never going back in the water again.