Three times in the past week, I saw the streetlight outside my front window turn off. Each time, as I sat tucked under the heating blanket in my oversized chair, it struck me as something remarkable.
I’ve lived in this house for over 15 years, and I’ve never seen it happen before this week. I want to say it’s because I’ve had some enormous shift in perspective. It would make my mom happy to hear I have taken her advice, I’m finally slowing down and appreciating everything around me.
The truth is, I’ve been trying to write my book again, and it involves me staring out the window thinking, fighting against fear, until I open my damn laptop and start writing. Then I stare out the window some more.
I wish I could slow down, and in lots of ways I have, but it isn’t in my nature to ever be satisfied with doing the same thing over and over. I’m not restless, exactly, but more curious. I want to test my limits, figure things out and explore, all things I can’t do without discomfort.
The past few months have been filled up, and parts of me feel completely depleted. I have taken risks, driven hundreds of miles, pushed myself past exhaustion, learned to be friendly to people even as they are insulting me, and to trust in my own abilities to learn new skills.
I have gone from feeling an outsider in a room full of artists, to feeling as if I am an amateur who can learn and grow from being around them.
I am accepting my need to create, but also solid in the knowledge it comes with moments of complete panic. I know the perfectionist within me will scream with anxiety often, and I’m learning to be OK with embarrassment and rejection.
These ARE sounding like big shifts.
I swear they aren’t.
It feels more like I’m uncovering something which has been there all along, like digging up the old Ewok figure we buried as kids in the backyard some 20 years later. It has been there, waiting, it just took a long time for us to find it.
I’m getting paid to help run a writing workshop, encouraging others to let go of all the bullshit lies we tell ourselves. I am writing with this group of highly-talented women; basically, getting paid to work on my book. It’s the push I need and I’m not wasting the opportunity.
My house is fully decorated for Christmas, and I feel overwhelmed by all the new things the kids acquired. My garage is impossible to walk in, and the recent rain has caused the weeds to grow in the front yard to a level I’ll have to address soon. I’m supporting a friend by eating a very restrictive diet, which forces me to cook a lot, so there are always so many dishes.
All this, and I’m still sitting in my chair staring out the window, watching the streetlamp go out and thinking about characters, unmapped futures, the meaning of true love and thousands of other strands of thoughts swirling within me. I’m battling within and holding sacred this space I’ve been given to create.
This is exactly where I am supposed to be.