Month: November 2014

In Which I Finally Understand Bruce Lee and Discover What “Being Like Water” Means to my Writing

My birthday is coming up. This one feels like a milestone even though it’s not. I’m not turning thirty—I passed that a while ago—but I think my heart’s finally catching up to my age. It’s a good feeling, because I think I finally understand what Bruce Lee was talking about. “Be like water,” he said. “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow.” When I first heard that quote, I was in my twenties. “Ridiculous,” I said. “Water’s weak. It’s shapeless. It dilutes.” I wanted to be like fire: vibrant, painful, all-consuming. The passion of my youth was like a roaring bonfire. I graduated from a program that I’d fought so hard to get into and got a job everyone told me would be near impossible to get. I binged on life so hard that I never had to deal with the repercussions of taking whatever I wanted whenever I needed it. I was a winner, because I had to be. Part of that was to make …