one question

posted on: November 13, 2012

Once I saw an interview with Michelle Williams. She was doing press for My Week With Marilyn I think, and in between the normal publicity bits, she said something that I really haven't stopped thinking about.

She said that she's learned to make decisions by asking herself one question: "What does my heart yearn for?"

It seemed so obvious, and so revolutionary too.

And sometimes when I'm deciding what to pick up for lunch or when I'm deciding between the green floral or the red floral, I'll ask myself what my heart is yearning for. Sometimes, when life is flustery and blustery and I don't know about the most important things, I'll ask myself that question. And you know, the answer is always alarmingly clear, and simple.

I was walking through Chinatown in Manhattan a couple of weeks ago with two friends, and I told them about this question, and they laughed at it, at me for using it. And that's fine. It's a self-indulgent question and it precludes reason a lot of times. But sometimes it's nice to remove your head and it's nice to know that you know what you really desire, even if acting upon those yearnings is more foolish than not. It's nice to stop, and feel hard, rather than think hard.

And so tonight--

My heart yearns for book club. I vow to always gather together with smart, wise, kind, honest, and funny women. (Gretchen, Julie, Mandy, Emma, and Emma's friend Kat who I just met--I like you guys so much.)

My heart yearns for my little nitrate-free all-beef hot dogs on toasted whole-wheat organic hot dog buns, with organic ketchup and all-natural yellow mustard that isn't really yellow at all because mustard isn't so yellow when it is all natural. Did you know? I imagine that it's the most pretentious hot dog on the planet, but I love those dogs on those buns with the condiments.

My heart yearns to write, and sometimes that is blogging, but more and more it is not. And I hope that's okay. I have met the most wonderful people in the blogosphere--I'm not saying this because bloggers are supposed to say it--I'm saying this because I really do feel so thankful deep, deep down. Genuinely. How can I say that more genuinely? I have become friends with the best sorts of people that I never would have known or even tried to know, and thank heavens for that. Blogging has made a writer out of me, and thank heavens for that too. But, as everyone says, there is a time and a place for everything. So maybe there is a time and a place for blogging too?

My heart yearns to be a little feminist heart--I want to be a strong voice for women having strong voices, and I don't want to be ashamed.

My heart yearns for God, and for pure religion and faith. I'm looking for that.

My heart yearns for so many things that I barely admit to myself--for seasons and for cities especially, tonight. But for muted candles and towers of white plates and empty calendars and search engines and restraint and freshness too. And for the occasional, well-placed curse word.

My heart even yearns for that.

[Addendum: I read this from Meg and this from Laura this morning. You should too.]

10 thought{s}:

  1. I love that line " my heart yearns to be a little feminist heart-I want to be a strong voice for women having strong voices, and I don't want to be ashamed."

  2. oh brittany. this is so good. i understand your blogging being writing but having it be writing less and less. i understand completely. this question, this way of life is beautiful. i'm going to steal it. i'm going to live it. thank you.

  3. this is fantastic. you are fantastic.

  4. We didn't make fun of you, that much. I've shared this question with a billion people since NYC. It really does help clarify life for me these days.

  5. Is it weird that I feel like I've been living instead of blogging these days? The writing is still there, but I don't have a place for the words like I have in the past. I still believe in blogging -- and plan to continue blogging -- but it does seem as if it has a time and a place, and maybe that time and place are changing for me. And that question, "what does my heart yearn for?"... I think it's an important one to ask, especially now, while we're in our 20s and able to change, able to take risks, able to ask honest questions. I would love if you lived in Tallahassee, and then we could ask the questions out loud and prod ourselves to give truth-filled answers. Come visit! :)

  6. love this idea. wonderful post, girl!

  7. Brittany, what a beautiful post. It's funny how things will strike you hard at a certain time, no matter how simple they seem. I feel those are the best moments, when you're able to think clearly in what you want in life. I hope you find all things that you seek to be! I'm still trying for mine :)

  8. I think this is so beautiful. I've read it a few times, I must admit, and although I've been amazed with your eloquence since stumbling on your blog day 1, every post is more and more beautiful than the last (and that is saying a LOT). You better keep writing. You make the world a prettier place when you do :)

  9. I've been thinking about this for days...I think you're a fantastic writer. thank you for writing something truly meaningful.


She's a piratey soul, full a' vinegar and glitter.

THE LIFE OF B All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger