Just so we’re clear, this shit ain’t easy. And when I say this shit, I mean writing along the eclectic levels on which I express. I’m like an amoeba, shrinking, expanding, morphing— showing up in different shapes from moment to moment and one day to the next.
I’m not doing it on purpose …. not exactly. I mean yes, I am writing on purpose and yes, I do show up to the page to write with intention. But the incessant changing, the way I contort and morph through approaches from hyperventilating and sniveling with overwhelm to the hyperbolic kicking down of doors and imagined breathing of flames like a badass she-dragon. Yeah, that.
It’s always iffy, often unpredictable, depending on how I am feeling at a particular hour and depending on what’s going on, what I’m facing. I feel like Jeckyll and Hyde, as if I am battling multiple personas. It’s my beautiful plight as a creative. Inspiration can change in an instant, turning on a dime. It can be a sprint or a marathon and so I lie in crab-crawl mode, ready to spring at the directional whim of the muse.
About two months after I quit the day job to pursue my writing dreamlife fulltime, I fell into the first of a series of panic spirals and I confronted God in wild-eyed frustration. I had a steady income. I had my own office. The commute was less than ten minutes. And then it was all gone and I had begun to panic. I was all like, What the entire fuck, God?! Whyyyyy? Why would you place this cursed passion for writing into my heart? Whyyyyy?! I quit my job! What the hell am I supposed to do with this stupid gift?! Fuck.My.Life.
Long story short, God answered. And She kept her answers coming, patiently and repeatedly.
[Daily meditations are magic!]
So I kept going. I said, okay God. I trust You.
BUT, dammit! But but but!!
Here is the shit that annoys me about adulting. It’s sooo dumb! And when I say this, I am letting my twelve-year-old self have the floor because contrary to generally accepted popular opinion, I believe that children are way more intelligent than we give them credit for. So now that I’m older and no longer give a crap about social rules of engagement, I am shining the light on my previously stifled parts of self.
As I was saying about dumb adulting standards ….
[Aside from the rare exceptions among us…] All these grownups we are surrounded with, right? Hundreds of years of following social mores of the given time, so many of us struggling privately to figure our lives out, all of us dealing with respective burdens and most have been managing to get life done. But are there constructive conversations about the pitfalls? Noooo. Whining and venting don’t count. I’m talking about sharing vulnerable truths with suggestions for improvement.
Nope! It’s a big fat secret. We tend to keep the trials and eventual solutions close to the vest, as if life is fuckin poker and we’re hiding our hand.
[Well, nowadays we have blogs, thank god! We’re making a little progress, but we still have some ways to go.]
So here’s my truth today: This shit ain’t easy. For example, just because I once wrote that I went on a love journey and learned to be more intentional about daily self-love activities, doesn’t mean the story is over and I am filled with love and serenity, farting rainbows and belching butterflies every day. And just because I once wrote that I faced down my demons and won doesn’t mean they didn’t show up enmasse a few days later and whooped my ass.
Here’s my problem, I don’t want any problems. Yah! I know …. if only. I’m in this weird place where I’m trying to strike a balance and I’m struggling. When I have my head down and I’m doing my work, it’s all gravy— smooth, no lumps and pure deliciousness.
The other day I was watching the furtive movements of a squirrel in our backyard. The squirrel was up on his haunches with his back to me, both paws up to his face, serenely chewing on a nut. And when he heard me open the screen door, he panicked, looked left, looked right and then took off like a jack rabbit. And I realized, this is me! That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling and living life. Embarrassing to admit, but it’s the truth.
I get these string of consecutive working days, where I’m writing and/or creating. I fall into a rhythm of productivity and I’m on cruise control. But then reality comes calling, as it usually does, the world needs my participation. So off I go, venture out into the world, reconnecting with people and suddenly I’m all topsy-turvey. I’m attending meetings, making phone calls, going to events. Depending on what’s happening at the time, I tend to swing like a pendulum, back and forth, from aloof to pleasant to joy to enthusiasm to surprise to dismay to confident to insecure, and eventually I end up in emotional hangover territory.
Confusion sets in as I try to pick up where I left off with creating. Now I’m battling distracting thoughts, trying to pick up the thread of creativity that I seemed to have lost track of. Then, like the squirrel hearing new sounds, I dart, cocooning off and retreating into my hermit world of writing once again.
Unless you’re hanging out with other recovering addicts in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, here’s something you might not know: when you’ve poisoned your otherwise intelligent, working brain with noxious substances for extended periods, it can take years to get your mind working correctly again [I had spent 25 plus years swilling way too much vodka].
I have been sober for eight and a half years, the first six of which were spent in professional and social circles being lost as fuck to myself. So really and truly, not counting childhood, I’ve only been living like I have sense since I quit my job twenty-six months ago.
The point is, despite some appearances I do not have this creative life down to a flourishing science. I remain in the process of becoming. For the rest of life, I will be figuring stuff out as I go along. I am all the things, fearless and frightened, included.
Woe is me, right? Heh. Alas, I am just a fabulous creative woman taking less traveled roads to get hard shit done.
Insider Note: The blog post was inspired this morning by bouncy endorphins following a 1.5 mile run with a great playlist. Playing this awesome song (Just Like Fire by Pink) on repeat made me feel like a certified badass by the end of the run. I don’t wanna make you jealous but after the run there was also mirror dancing and lots of shaking of these hips. Yassss!! Go Maria, Goooo!!
Just Like Fire by Pink
(I want it all, mmm, mmm)
And I’m wishing they’d stop tryna turn me off
I want it all, mmm, mmm
And I’m walking on a wire, trying to go higher
Feels like I’m surrounded by clowns and liars
Even when I get it all the way
(I want it all, mmm, mmm)
If I can light the world up for just one day
Watch this madness, colorful charade
No one can be just like me any way
Just like magic, I’ll be flying free
I’mma disappear when they come for me
I kick that ceiling, what you gonna say?
No one can be just like me any way
Just like fire, uh
See I would rather we just go our different way than play the game, mmm
And no matter the weather, we can do it better
You and me together forever and ever
We don’t have to worry about a thing about a thing, no