A post before The Post

Oh my god, finally!!

Hello, friend! Happy New Year! I hope 2019 has been as good to you so far as it has been to me. What does that even mean, right? Because it’s all relative, isn’t it? My “good to me” might be dismal sounding drudgery to you, while your “good to me” might sound like superficial nonsense. So who really knows! But I love it! The kaleidoscope of our separate realities is what makes it all so much fun to be here.

So what the fuck, right? What happened? Where the hell have I been? Yah, I know, let’s talk about that. 

First things first— this isn’t even The Post. This is the post before The Post. I have an actual Post which I have been working on for the past three weeks. I call it the Love-journey post, a bit of a tome about my lessons learned over the past year as I explored Love in a deeper, more deliberate way for the first time. It’s been a fascinating year.

But then it occurred to me, that’s such a heavy topic to return on, there are just so many layers. I love what I’ve written, yes, but I needed something of lighter fare to kick off the new year on OBM. So here I am. And let me tell you, I am thrilled to be here at last! Thrilled!

I had no idea when I was going to return. None. I had been leaving since before Thanksgiving. That was when I began feeling the need for a blog hiatus. Inevitably, my angels said, ok, start shutting it down, Maria. It’s time for us to go. And I was like, ok sure, I can do that. It was mid-November 2018 and the holidays were upon us. And in case you didn’t know, I fuckin hate the fuckin holidays. Hate them. And I relished any excuse to skip them. So if the angels said, now would be a good time to disappear, I was all in. 

But it wasn’t as easy as I thought because I truly missed writing here on my blog. I defied my angels and came back to the blog a couple of times after Thanksgiving like an addict needing her fix. I was so torn about being gone. Once the December 21st post went up, I was finally able to concede to the angels. I figured, the sooner I did what was asked of me, the sooner I could come back. 

Two weeks later, in the early days of the new year, I thought, surely now …. yes? Is it time to come back yet? After all, I was brimming with blog topic ideas, I really thought I was ready for a return to the blog. But the answer from my inner-most wise Self was a firm and resounding, NO. When then? You’ll know, came the response.

So much has been happening since mid-November 2018, I can’t write it all here. All I can say for now is, my time away from blogging was very well spent and very necessary. 

This morning, while making a breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs with bacon for my husband, a feeling came over me so strong, I could barely concentrate on the cooking.  Words began filling up in my thoughts like water running into a tub, blogging kind of words! I grabbed my cell phone and began jotting notes into my journal app. It was time! 

I paused. Wait, are you sure, Self?

Because I can’t tell you how many times I had been here before, feeling an idea pounce, feeling certain it was time to get back to the blog. And then being disappointed later, only to discover it was merely my impatient ego, scratching for attention. 

How will I know if this time is different? If this post makes it to the blog, that’s how. If I write it through and hit publish, this is how I will know. I have file folders full of unpublished essays. There’ve been numerous times when I didn’t hit publish.

I think this is the one, though. I think I am back at last. 

How do I know? If you’re reading this, I think it’s safe to say my blogging hiatus is done.

A book did it. I’ve been reading a book wherein the author reached out and touched me, she touched my heart. She reminded me in a subtle way, why some of us write. There are various motives for us as creatives. For some of us, it is about setting free our truths. 

One of the things I have learned along the Love-journey is to go deeper with my truth than I have gone before, to be less ashamed about it, to be less preoccupied with how my truth will land on another person’s soul. I needed to acquire this understanding in order to release my writing genie, she who had previously been bound and gagged by my ego at society’s behest. 

My ego, she means well, but she tends to be the enforcer of social codes for female behavior. And this can get in the way of really good writing for me. My ego has an on-going dalliance with Fear. They sometimes get into bed together, my ego and Fear. For instance, Ego says, don’t say fuck so much, it might turn people off. But my writing genie says things like, fuck that and fuck them, this isn’t required reading. 

See? That’s good stuff right there.

~2~

The angels kept whispering into my heart, telling me to wait a little longer before coming back here to the blog. I didn’t know what to think. Is that me talking, or is that really my soul speaking? Intuition told me to trust the whisperings telling me to wait. 

Meditation helped. I highly recommend meditation. I sit for at least twenty minutes every morning before I begin my work, eyes closed, breathing deeply, soft music playing in the background. You know how our mind works, thousands of thoughts bouncing and pinging off of each other, every second of every day. However, once you sit down to meditate, the thoughts may not stop completely, but they do slow down. And if you’re patient, if you can sit still long enough, eventually, you will be able to truly hear yourSelf think,— not the crazy, torn a million different ways by the frenetic feeling world self— your REAL Self, your wise all-knowing Self.

I read a lot of books. In rare instances, some of them move me, however a lot of them keep me entertained. I love books. And yet, I find that as I have grown older, I am less moved by the popular writers. Popular writers are chosen for us by the cognoscenti among us. Yah, I know. What the hell is a cognoscenti? I came across that word while reading a journalist’s memoir two years ago. (For those who already knew this word, congratulations. Give yourself a biscuit, smarty-pants).

The definition of cognoscenti: persons who have superior knowledge and understanding of a particular field, especially in the fine arts, literature, and world of fashion. 

A rebel by nature, when I learned that cognoscenti are meant to speak on behalf of our social culture, I was all like, fuck the cognoscenti. Fuck them. 

So I came across a particular book which has been moving me lately, one not approved by the cognoscenti and my inner-genie/sorceress/muse stood up, stretched, belched, scratched her pubes and her ass and said, Well, hello there! And here I am, back on the blog.

I am at the stage in my life where I feel full to the gills with entertainment. Nowadays, I need The Truth. I want to consume the kind of content which feeds my hunger for another person’s version of the truth, not agreed upon collective truth. I want raw, possibly mortifying, and definitely vulnerable truth. I am so tired of polite society, women pretending that their crotch and nipples never itch. Bleached white teeth of television actors. Shiny looking people dominating all media. I need the truth. Even if it’s fiction, as long as there is an element of the artist’s heart-felt truth, I can be all in with it. 

Not everyone’s truth is necessarily appealing, of course. Therefore not everyone’s truth is going to grab onto us and keep us engaged. After all, variety is the yummy spice of life. I don’t expect my writing to appeal to everyone. But the Love-journey has also taught me that there are a handful of people (probably a bit more) who need to hear from a writer like me. Just like with the book I am reading right now. This particular writer— an Irish woman from Canada— has put her heart on the page and her writing is feeding my soul.

So getting back to the original question: how do I really know it’s time for me to blog again? The stars are aligning in my universe. After months of not being moved by a book, a book by an unknown writer has found its way into my possession. Said book has nudged my muse from slumber. And now I am vibrating with the kind of writing flow which feels effortless when I am in a particular zone of creating. When you know, you just know.

~3~

On a last note ….

I live deep in solitude. In the beginning, when I first quit my day job, I resisted the solitude. It scared me. I felt like I was missing out on something, as if people in day jobs and elsewhere were moving on without me (silly fomo, I guess). 

But the longer I have remained in solitude with writing, the braver I have become. Oh man! You don’t even know the half of it, how much fuckin braver I feel. There is so much I want to say. But not yet. Not yet. I can tell you this much: when you are steeped in truth—and I mean REALLY steeped in truth—you begin to see the world with a deeper understanding. Lies and pretense melt away. There comes an insight like nothing you’ve ever seen before. It’s amazing.

As I reflect on the various social circles I’ve been active in at different turns of seasons,—be it at work, church, alcoholics anonymous, nearly every group I have ever joined— I can now see clearly: we are all holding something back, deliberately hiding pieces of ourselves, desperate to maintain one pretense or another. 

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Myself included. For instance, I am fifty-two years old. I grew up in a home with two siblings, a younger brother and a younger sister. I haven’t had a social conversation with either of them in over three years. I also have four brothers, brothers who didn’t grow up with us, from my parents’ previous relationships. I haven’t talked with any of those brothers in over thirty years. It just wasn’t in the cards for any of us to be friends as adults. Too much hurt, too many painful reminders.

Hiding in plain sight, we all are, each of us human beings. Secrets. Shame. Weird, uncomfortable topics that don’t fit into our socially tidy and regimented lives.

Solitude revealed Me to Me. The real me now lives and breathes. The fake me— the one who was a chameleon, the shape-shifter, the one who wore so many different kinds of masks throughout life— she has been dying in steady increments since I quit the day job. I have been killing her slowly and deliberately. Fake, pretentious, mask-wearing Me was a previously sexually abused girl, one who was also physically and emotionally battered, and one who felt so full with shame about her formative years, she’d convinced herself that she didn’t deserve to belong anywhere. And so she trusted society to tell her HOW to be and WHO to be. In frequent states of lostness and blind trust she tried to be all the things a woman was supposed to be, all the things a black person was supposed to be,  and all the things a mother, a friend, a sister, and a daughter was supposed to be. And then society proceeded to fuck her over. And so she remained fucked until she quit her job and began to wake herself up.

And now here I am, writing my sweet little heart out. And believe it or not, this is only the post before The Post. The Love-journey has taught me a few really helpful things in the past twelve months. I think it will be useful to share some of these learnings with others who may be interested, so stay tuned. I’ll be back soon. I love you, friend. Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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