Friday, January 9, 2009
A Year in Rear View
Determination strikes half past the hour as the fluorescent lights from above hug my shoulders and rubs my tight back. Another late night shift picked up to guarantee another 40 hour week pay check and I am almost done with the tasks at hand. Finally, I have time to write and a computer in front of me to do it.
I’ve been meaning to talk about my life. Day after day I promise this self to expel insight and grace on this page and day after day I find wordless emptiness has taken harbor in the brain. I’ve always been a person who struggles with writer’s block until epiphany strikes me in the head with a 4X4. Only then am I a bleeder of inspiration that eventually coagulates into silence once again and I must wait for another blow to release it all over again.
As 2008 transgressed into a New Year, I found myself not wanting to review my experiences. Not because 2008 was a bad year. In fact, it was a very good year. I am glad for it. I was able to publish 3 articles this year and 2 proses were published in anthologies*. That’s more then the year prior. I have fallen in love someone who fits me and I never thought I’d let myself do this. I let myself believe someone could love me. I have successfully maintained 40 hours a week employment, even when so many have been laid off, and technically I only have a part-time job at the moment. I have been disowned and loved by my family which is a yearly cycle, but hey, at least it’s consistent. I said goodbye to old ghosts who have promised not to cross my threshold again. I made different choices, healed, and grew. I laughed and cried and did it all over again. I took comfort and gave it. I made mistakes, stumbled, and got back up again.
2008 was a vintage year for me. I just didn’t have the words to express them. And for me…for me, this is a hurt like no other. I blamed my growing assurance of my oars to navigate life’s waters for writing leaving me. I believed happiness silenced my creative side and I wondered if I needed angst to compel me to keep writing. Lets face it, who wants angst. But then I realized it’s the fear of being seen that has quieted me. Every time I expose this self in words, I seem to want to recede into my shell and cower. Since I began the first blog in 2005, every entry written came with a need to recede. Then I actually began to publish and it got worse. Insecurity perpetrated my thoughts and I began to doubt my ability to write. Comparing myself to every experience outside my own, I summed up that this little ole GoGo had nothing to offer. So, for the most of 2008, I hid in my shell.
And like inspiration, this realization had to hit me in the head like a massive stick to get me to see it. I was waiting for my bus between tasks on the to-do list yesterday. I was staring vacantly at the cars piling up at the red light on the road in front of me. I’m pretty sure the mind was blank, completely void of any thoughts and my body reacted with the blink of the eyes and suddenly my pupils focused on a rear view mirror of the car in front of me. It was broken and dangling from a makeshift string like an acrobat, serving no purpose except to entertain the driver. Hovering above the dashboard, its neck spun a semicircle from the twining of the string. When it slowed, the driver wound the string again setting it off into a gyratory madness. I watched the mirror reflect the world in my view’s arch. Spinning I could see myself a blurry mass captured for brief moments only to be lost again. My body stuffed into my winter gear – only my eyes peered out from behind my hat, hood, and coat.
I found myself feeling flushed and my internal dialogue murmured its dry wit, Its staring at me. I wanted to push the hat down further. Wanted to turn my gaze. I wanted to run. My heart beat fast and my internal dialogue began to race Dude, its seriously freaking me out, make it stop! And like magician to my thoughts, the passenger in the car suddenly stopped the mirror from spinning, the reflection pointed right on me. She seemed to look annoyed at the driver, perhaps with grievance to his odd form of entertainment.
My internal dialogue wasn’t happy. It was down right pouty and all I could do was stare at that bundled self of me staring back at me and behind me was the number 2008, which really was the house # 8005, but the 5 looked like a 2 in its reverse. Wham went the stick! The universe smashed in my thoughts and my internal dialogue was left trying to negotiate the bleeding insights. There was me, inside my shell**, staring back at me.
Oh snap! Went the internal, realizing its not happiness getting in the way of me, but the risk in it all. Leaping has never been my strong suite and g-d forbid if someone is watching me do it too. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna belly flop and it’s gonna hurt.
What does this insight mean for me? I don’t know yet. I just know it’s true and something I need to sit with. I know that I need to pick up the pen again and keep doing this writing thing. Writing comes from a very important core of me and I don’t feel like I’m living without it in my life. I need to keep trying to publish. I need to keep posting personal sketches of my world. I need to leap and trust I don’t have to hide while doing it. I need to keep risking even if my internal self is uncomfortable and scared and wants to recede.
So here I am under fluorescent lights typing my banter on the page, peeking my head out from behind the shell.
It feels good.
*I promise in 2009 I will actually post where one can find these things. That's the next step I suppose.
**I have to thank someone special for pointing out my shell and its tendencies. Without her I wouldn't have seen it myself :).