People have many reasons for denying reality. Sometimes, it does not reflect the way one would like their life to be. Sometimes, it may reflect exactly what one would like their life to be, but they find it isn’t as desirable as expected. There are many realities people can, and will, try to escape from, but that effort does not erase their existence.
For me, the biggest denial came with my identity as a writer(a non-existent identity to most people as of now). For much of my life as a writer I have been infatuated with the image of being the Hemingway, Baldwin, Kerouac, or Fitzgerald of my era. My obsession with these specific figures focused largely on their traveling. While I will not argue that having role models is a mistake, I will say that any desire to be compared to them, replicate them, or become them is ridiculous on many levels.
First of all, I’m neither homosexual, African-American, nor was I raised by a preacher, so that quite certainly removes me from being anything near similar to Baldwin.
I have never been involved with a war, I am in a steady relationship, and while I doubt Hemingway lived with the goal of four marriages in mind, four separate wives is something I’d rather avoid. I’m very much NOT Hemingway(like I really needed to say it).
I didn’t attend Catholic School, Prep School, or Princeton and, while I have a strong relationship with my girlfriend, I think Cindy and I are decidedly different from F. Scott and Zelda’s dependent entanglement.
While I do enjoy traveling, good times, and being a bit impulsive, I don’t think I could consider myself half as reckless as Kerouac’s epic portrayals depict. I err more on the side of caution as a result of my mother being pretty paranoid.
I’m not them, and I can’t be. That’s probably a good thing, I don’t think the world needs more dead guys, it needs more people willing, “to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life”(Baldwin, The Fire Next Time).
I’ve learned from these writers and I’ve been drawn to them by their lives of travel and adventure. It is a life-style I admired and have begun to live in my own way. The simple fact is the world is not the same as when these idols of mine were living. And, were they alive today, they would certainly go about their business in a dramatically different fashion, whether by choice or by need.
I can’t ignore the reality that times have changed. For a long time I neglected the Internet as a means for serious writing, but it is just another means to be heard. I also have avoided the attachment to the title of ‘Travel Writer’ because that is not what I wanted to be. Well, I travel and I write. Furthermore, I should write more about my traveling. So, I guess I am more of a Travel Writer than I am not. The fact is I write. Call me what you want, I don’t care. The title doesn’t change the content just as the wish won’t change the times.