Strangely enough, as I sit here looking at the white ‘paper’ of my screen, I can think of nothing to say. I titled this Blog ‘A Writer’s Life’ but now the eternal question of whether I can be a writer pops into my head again. I’ve stopped writing. What happened to all the commitment and desire of just a month ago? How did I slide so far back into my previous wanting-to-be-a-writer-but-not-writing life?
I feel trapped in the circle of my life, trapped in the good days and bad days cycle that I know so well. I know that if I could just step one inch to the side I could be in a totally different place. I know my life could open and expand into something that I long for and yet have never found except in broken moments here and there. So how do I know this and know what I need to do to take that tiny step, but I don’t step.
All my life I’ve known that I was a writer. Telling the stories of the characters in my head, or rather telling the stories they tell me, has been all I’ve ever wanted to do. I have worlds expanding inside me, fears and strengths and failures and successes, that are not mine. But without finding out what it is holding me back, I can’t let those worlds show.
Of course, I know what it is. Fear. I’m terrified of opening up; terrified of reaching that life because if people don’t understand me now how will they understand me when my life explodes the impossible into the possible? I am afraid to live my life to it’s fullest possibility. What if the ambiguous ‘they’ out ‘there’ don’t like what I write? What if they laugh? What if, after all the starts and stops, all the failures and successes, they tell me that I’m not who I’ve always known I was?
And why does their opinion run my life? Because somewhere back in my past somebody told me that I couldn’t trust myself or my own thoughts. I had to trust their thoughts, their beliefs, their decisions about who I was and who I was meant to be. Even if it wasn’t me at all.
I know what I need to do to take that side-step. I’ve done it before, but lost all progress when another person tried to dictate who and what I was meant to be. I still have ‘responsibility’ tugging at me. Kids that don’t seem to know how to fly, who expect me to continue to take care of their lives even when they are 18 and 21. The difference is that nobody owns me or runs me or tells me what to do or who to be. My family tries but I’ve stopped listening. I can’t listen. If I don’t make a break now, will I ever?
I need to sleep more and exercise more – healthy body, sound mind. I need to put pen to paper ever day even if all I write is “I don’t know what to write.” A tiny step every day. Just a tiny one. Nothing much. Carrots instead of chocolate (not all the time, of course). Exercise instead of being a bed potato. Accomplishing instead of doing nothing. Every inch counts.