I’ve been pretty MIA on here for the last few days. Just haven’t been feeling like myself, haven’t had my laptop, and haven’t known what to really say.
One of my favorite writer’s, Anne Lamott writes about writing, “just take it bird by bird.”
Those words of wisdom are circling (ha, literally) my head right now as I ease into this practice. For a week there, writing daily became a type of mediation. I’ve always struggled with a meditation practice. I can never sit still with my eyes closed and let my thoughts fall away. I’m oversimplifying a practice that has helped thousands, but for me writing is as close as I get to letting things go for a specified period of time. Obviously, I think while I write, but the sound of my finger’s hitting the keys, the background noise that I choose to turn down, and the anecdotes and stories I relay here, calm me. Write it out, I always say. Easier said than done, when you’re angry at the world and angry at yourself. But, write it out, I do. There’s no choice but to go through even if going through is tiresome and takes everything you have left.
I don’t think people talk about how exhausting it sometimes is to just exist. We get so busy doing things, that when we actually pause, it’s like we finally realize that our entire lives have been one long relay and we are at last catching our collective breaths.
I am excited for the day when I can sit in my office and do my thing for hours at a time. Right now, I’m in transition as is my family. My partner and I are in a middle of a move, I’m looking to work with a new therapist, and I’m trying to determine a writing schedule that doesn’t have me so MIA, but also so exhausted. Writing is exhausting too!
I’m kind of hardcore judging myself for my writing right now, but trying to go ahead and eek out words anyway.
Last night on my gratitude list I wrote: “We are responsible for the stories we tell.” After receiving backlash on several things I’ve written by someone, I wanted to crawl into a hole and stay there forever. But, just because I got some criticism doesn’t mean that I lose my responsibility to tell my story. I still need to share my words and my experience even and especially when I get into a funk or receive criticism that rocks my heart.
I think I chose to be a nonfiction writer because I knew that I would have enough material to share for a lifetime. I have a hard time making things up since I’ve been hurled so many truths over the years. Sometimes I wish I was making things up. I think it would be more interesting! But, ultimately, I stick to the truth because the truth feels the closest thing to goodness to me. And I strive to be good in this world: good and kind and truthful. I also know the truth hurts sometimes. More than we want to admit. It’s hard to see ourselves in a not so positive light, it’s hard to read the choices we’ve made in black and white. I mean, I know. I’ve made it my literal job to write about everything and that’s a super vulnerable place to be.
Today I am 26 days sober. It feels like a milestone while it also feels like I’ve been here before. Well, I have. I know no two times are the same, like anything in life, but recently I’ve been on the compare and despair train with no end in sight. It’s so much easier to criticize myself than it is to embrace myself this time around. I know how much happiness and beauty and deserve, but for whatever reason the endless loop in my head doubts that.
This spot right here is my safe space, which is incredible. It’s a home to my words, to my feelings, and to my truths. I’m going to try to stay because that’s something to celebrate I know.
I want to celebrate something else too though and that’s asking for time to stay. I feel like even though I have so much freedom in my days, I’m not necessarily selfish with it. I’m really bad at saying this, this time here is for me. I thrive when I do though. I feel inspired when I get an hour to look out the window, do some creating, and then hit publish while I’m alone. That feels like a practice. I’ve been writing these posts on my phone recently, rushing to get them done between errands vs. actually sitting and typing them out, carving out a space for me to do so, and enjoying it. I haven’t felt like coming here into this space is a chore, not a gift. And it is a gift. I have a gift, we all do. We have our stories and those are things that can never be taken away from us. They are the things we tell ourselves in the dark to be less afraid or the things that get us out of bed in the morning. Our stories change every single day. They can’t be predicited. They can only be expected.
Maya Angelou said, “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”
Be selfish if you have to. Just do the work you were put on this earth to do and don’t apologize for it ever. Be good to you. We need you.