Being a writer means a lot of alone time. Being alone, I have a lot to give. Except I don’t really, because I fill my time with two jobs. Neither is full time, not even together, but somehow they own seven days each week. Still I write. Weave words in and around other things.
I fill my time with volunteering; in mental health, a good idea. I fill it with music, singing and occasionally guitar when I bother to practice. Weaving around these, I wrote a few songs and edited some old ones this year. I’m good at editing. It’s kind of like real life, a lot of adding too much in then cutting things out. Yeah. I know that place.
One odd thing about writing that hits my particular funny bone is that it’s possible to enjoy writing about being sad. I’m not sure how I feel about that fact. It reminds me too much of times I was accused of taking that truth a little too literally.
You enjoy being miserable.
No. I don’t. I enjoy the things and people that make me happy. I have many of those in my life lately and I appreciate them. Friends are there when I need them. There’s much to enjoy in life.
Yes, I feel the extremes deeply. I write about them, talk about it and share them. It doesn’t mean I enjoy feeling bad. I am willing to own my feelings, and let them exist inside the places I love writing. I expect doing that has saved me a time or two when grief, fear or depression raise their heads and turn their hungry eyes my way.
Being alone, being a writer, knowing how to use my words and editing skills well in dark moments … that has its finer points.
There is value in writing time.
July 3, 2019 at 10:10 am I started this topic – only a heading, no more. Sometimes you need to drop a line and see what comes. Maybe that’s what I was doing. Maybe I was wise enough to know I’d need the bait, something to catch me and pull me in. A word, a question.
Yesterday, i saw one of those signs … this one had a bible verse on confidence in things hoped for … looking forward with a sense of expectation, anticipation. As long as what we anticipate is good, the world seems a safe and happy place. It’s only when our hope is skewed that how we engage with life goes awry.
I live in both places; expectation both welcomes and pushes me as I move towards something desired or a challenge I’m willing to face. Hope isn’t easy. Sometimes I have been disappointed. Had someone suggest I’m not living the best ‘today’ I was designed to achieve. I’ll think about it. There is some truth there. I’ve stayed stuck too long in unhealthy places and bypassed some offered opportunities. But, I like who I am, and am willing to work with where I am today. I hope I’ve learned some things. I know I’ve pushed myself beyond comfort the last few years, and this year actively sought discomfort in achieving writing goals – small steps, practicing balance.
Identity finds us, sometimes slowly, sometimes soon. I am one who waited ’till it almost passed me by, yet lingered, so I’ll linger still, beneath its quiet ministry, its tender forming of my will. Aah, gentle breathes extend, reach to find a momentary peace, and stretch to fill the empty void, awaiting words not yet employed, who in the wings anticipate their leap at fate, their turn to lift a heart to cry, a smile to form, ideas to fly. As words release, extended, shared, my spirit laughs to form this prayer. Hope is found in who I am.
Growth comes from leaning in, from letting things be, from allowing others also to feed me.
Last night I was given a beautiful gift of poetry; an introduction to Dorianne Laux. I read her poem “The Shipfitter’s Wife” and felt it’s touch. I too am a tactile processor. Her words understood my need to know.
It’s well worth the read.
I completed several pieces of writing in May. One went to an online magazine, the other to a poetry contest. A number more poems were written, I began organizing some poetry for a book I’d like to do this year, and I began editing a short story from last year’s NANOWRIMO.
Illogically, I felt bad that I did ‘nothing’ as I’m very conscious of neglecting this blog. That reasoning is more typical than I like, but I’m growing into a place where I see myself more clearly. When I write it out I can see how much I got done.
The truly hard work of writing has to do with the story I tell myself about myself rather than any I write for publication. Slowly, I’m fighting myself less, listening better, understanding story; I may get the hang of this after all.
Far more important are the laughter lines ….
Names and identity were a topic of conversation today on a walk with a good friend. She is very wise and patient. Why I have been blessed with such good friends is a mystery that i’m learning to embrace. Another word of the day was ‘wonder’. Said by second friend in a simple context, it hit me in a similar way to the word ‘mystery’. Too long, I’ve loved wonder and mystery but demanded I be in a place of knowledge and understanding. I know the reasons; at least some of them. Honestly, on the journey through discomfort to joy, they’re irrelevant.
Far more important are the laughter lines I’m forming, the people who help me live fully while I put them there, and the daily opportunities to do so.
This year has some intentional and unintentional places of discomfort. I don’t need to pretend that I enjoy them. Acknowledge them, lean in, let balance re-establish itself. Be honest. Be kind. Be willing to find myself in the moment and not back away. It’s the only way I’ll truly know and be who I am. Breathe. It’s enough.
Language and Place.
Learning to Play
Learning to Breathe – long, slow, deep breaths of joy
Life reaching out – laying the possibilities before me
Dec 9, 2018
All discomfort comes from suppressing your true identity. Bryant H. McGillIn
In the past few years, I’ve allowed my identity to shift, to reorient; better yet recalibrate. Long after the fact, I’m learning to live, to remember to breath, and to support myself alone. Part of the shift involved going back to work. Finding space to write is a also a big part of it.
When I was looking for work, people spoke about imposter syndrome, learning to wait through its discomfort, to know everyone goes through it. It’s a struggle but it gets better.
Counselors have encouraged me to become more aware of my identity in the past few years. My current counselor suggested learning to lean into discomfort as a good goal, and that is one reason I found the above quote. Apropos. There’s lot’s of opportunity to practice!
I agree that learning to lean into discomfort will benefit me, but that doesn’t make it pleasant. I feel awkward saying so, but I find it very distressing. At times, I feel this stretching may break me. Just doing normal things may break me.
I felt it coming into Easter. The expectations, questions around how I would spend the time, they had my blood pressure up. And at its peak, I spent a few hours in emerg waiting to hear what I already knew; I was not having a heart attack. Every once in a while the pain that just never quite goes away, from old neck and shoulder damage, takes a journey down my left side rather than staying in its usual lodging on the right. Uhuh. Lots of fun.