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I have a handful of moments in my life where I have experienced complete and utter confusion, wondering what I am doing with my life. In no particular order:
When I unexpectedly found myself abandoned in Gatwick airport with no phone and no map.
When I brought my dog home for the first time and she jumped on my couch and it hit me – oh, I have a dog now.
When I sat in my car fifteen minutes before my first improv class where I knew no one.
Each of them brought their own stresses with them, and each of them turned out with varying degrees of happy to tragic endings. They were moments that forced me to get myself together and figure out what was happening, whether I had made the decision to be a part of it or not.
Right now, however, I am not alone in a foreign country. I am not bringing home a new pet, nor am I off taking new creative classes. I’m sitting at home in dead silence wondering what I am doing with my life.
The thought what am I doing isn’t said out of fear for me most times. I find that usually I’m making sure that I haven’t “fallen asleep” with my life. Lately, I feel like I’ve been fringing on waking up and to be honest, I could not even begin to tell you what I mean by that. I have NO idea what I mean by that – and for a gal who owns two tarot decks and three crystals, consider me shook.
My friend, Laura, runs a blog about her running adventures that parallels her creative experiences as well. She started posting writing prompts to not only motivate herself to write more, but to get everyone else off their ass and…get back on their ass to write. I completed the prompt and had a spine-chilling moment.
I had forgotten I loved writing.
I have loved writing since I was little. I used to think I didn’t have a passion growing up because there aren’t really writing clubs for elementary kids, and most people don’t think putting down that you isolated yourself in your room for hours on end writing stories is great to put on a resume. But writing has always found a way back to me. I abandoned it when I started high school, and then it crept back in my junior year. I dropped it for a while again, but then I had a professor in college who looked me dead in the eye and asked, “Have you ever thought about a career in writing?”
That question changed my life. Is that too dramatic? It is. But I get to say that because i AM A WRITER aNDd drama iS IN M y BLOOD.
I decided to give my writing a chance. I took writing classes. I joined the newspaper. I sat down and gave it my all, and absolutely loved it.
When I graduated, I lost touch with that side of myself again. I assumed that my writing had only been fueled by a grade, that the pressure to receive an A had been my only motivation. Any great pieces I had were the product of a judgement system.
This, my heifers, is imposter syndrome at its finest.
I do NaNoWriMo religiously each year, and every year I remember how much I love writing. But, I’m afraid to say, I really have stopped writing outside of November. I’ll do blogs which, for some reason, I don’t count as writing. Good for me. But I haven’t sat down, thought about a project, and then completed it in a long time.
So, when my friend Laura nagged me to do her prompt (I’m kidding, Laura. Kind of.), I thought “I’ll just word vomit and get over it.”
Reader, I did not get over it.
Since the writing prompt, I can’t stop thinking about my writing career, what I’ve done with it, and if I’ve lost what I had built up. Like I said, writing always comes back around for me, and I love it every time. It’s like each time I mention going to the gym and how great it is for me, but in between lulls of working out, I think I absolutely hate it. The main difference is that I yoyo more with my writing and have, uh, more lulls with the whole gym thing.
This is why I am finding myself tonight, sitting under my gravity blanket, thinking about what I’m doing with my life. Or, more importantly, what am I now going to do with my life? And to ask this question requires me to have some ski poles at the ready because I tend to do the Diamond Back slippery slope trail on that one.
I’m not sure what the answer is, but I’m hoping my March Mental Health goals will help me get there. Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in March
Write 5 days out of the week
Have a finished writing piece by the end of the month
Care for my body by working out and eating healthy
Care for my soul by not holding back
If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that you shouldn’t ignore the universe when it keeps aggressively throwing things your way.
It is all possible.