Write the story of why you moved to the city in which you currently live.
About a year after moving to New York, I read a story entitled “Goodbye to All That” by Joan Didion. It struck a chord with me. I asked my wife to read it, and kept bothering her about it until she finally did. I made copies of the story and gave them out to friends. Didion’s story is all about moving to, living in and then leaving New York, about her experiences in the city, and how those growing experiences eventually lead her to depart. Trying to unravel the mystery of exactly when she decides it’s time to move on is the point of the story. The way she writes, it’s like she’s telling the story in a depressed whisper, but she knows how to rhythmically throw in that deceptively simple, yet perfect sentence which seems to summarize exactly, and I mean exactly, what is going on — not just with her, but with your feelings as well.
More than anything, though, I just like the idea of this story, of putting down on paper why you moved to the city in which you currently live. Why you left where you used to live, what you like about your new home, what that first night was like, the feeling you had the moment you stepped off the plane or drove across the bridge… It will all end up finding its way into the story. You build your life, and a lot of what you build it with has to do with where you’re living. The reasons why you move to a new city can reveal the undercurrents of how you are trying to shape and direct the course of your life.
Next: Project #11