Yesterday was a lovely fall day, a crisp cool morning and a clear warm day. It was a beautiful day for a walk, so I took two. The first walk was one and a half hours long by myself, and the second one was a shorter one in the afternoon with a friend. They were both lovely.
After the afternoon walk we stopped at our local coffee shop, ordered our coffees and sat outside chatting. It was great to spend time with her and catch up.
I told her that I have been waking up in the middle of the night wondering what I was going to do with my life.
As we all know, things are always worse in the middle of the night. There are no distractions and you have ample time to “Go to Rome” as one of my past therapist would say. Meaning, that your thoughts take off in a panic and go on a trip all their own, ending up who knows where..usually in a worse case scenarios with lots of assumptions..usually wrong ones at that!!!!
I know this, but I am still waking in the night with that question going on in my head. I am trying to find out where this is coming from and what’s really behind this question.
As with each time I go through this, and I do have to remember “I have been here before,” I get frustrated with my limits because of this illness. I cannot do as much as other people do, and they seem to do it so effortlessly. I know there is a reason I am like this, but that does not take away the frustration of the situation.
I get frustrated with being able to do something one day, and not being able to do it the next. As I have mentioned before, this tends to screw up for planning ahead. I can hope to do something, but that does not mean I will be able to carry it out.
I know I do stuff with my life. I guess it just does not look like the “normal things” people do with their life, which really means have a career and be successful at what they do. But I guess success looks different to each individual.
I don’t always feel like this, but I guess this is my “flavor of the week.”
As I am talking to my friend, the topic turns to my writing.
I enjoy writing, I feel better when I write, and I think I am not too bad at it. I remember as a 7 year old, writing for a class assignment – (Grade 3)-and feeling the muse, even though I did not know what it was at the time. The story seemed to pour out of me and it seemed to come with no effort. The teacher was impressed and read it to the whole class, my mother’s friend wanted to publish it. But as with anything I did as a kid, it got squashed and was never encouraged. That part of me that wanted to write never wrote again and hid away inside, until these last few years.
As I’m talking of this I realize that the “what am I going to do with my life?” really means, what am I going to do with my writing? Where am I going to go with it? What am I going to write? And what makes a successful writer? I guess the last question is the one I have been hung up on.
I know some successful writers. Now these writers have been published and their books are doing well. Some write whenever they get the chance, and some have a schedule they stick to ever day to write. I don’t, and I can’t, I have tried and it just does not work for me.
So, I guess I have to find out what works for me. And, with me I know this is a work in progress.
Then as I’m talking it hits me.
I found a piece of myself on my Outward Bound trip; I had many great discoveries and came back a much more whole person. Taking this course has changed me, it has been life altering and it has been a gift. Then I realize it’s kind of like when I come out of the hospital.
When I come out of the hospital I have recovered a lost part of myself and it takes time to “get back on track”, and this is no different.
And, like every time I recover a lost piece of myself, I am elated, and I want to get on with my life. And like every time, I need to process what has happened and its re wiring the brain, this also takes time and energy.
And, like every time, I learn that I am not as patient with myself as I would like to be.
I am once again finding out who I really am, and until that is done I cannot focus on my writing like I would like to.
I tell this to my friend and she says “You are doing research. You are learning who you are, that’s research. You are thinking about your writing and what to write, that is research. It may not look like what we think research is, but you are doing it”.
I liked that and told her I am going to borrow it.
So, like any good writer, I guess I am doing research. This sounds much nicer then “Why the hell aren’t your writing more?” And it does help me take the pressure off of myself.
I ask myself and my friend…Am I going to write a book, what am I going to write, who is going to read my writing, will there be lots of readers, or will I be a quiet writer and have just be a few people who read what I write?
Where I am going to go with my writing?
Then I realized I am not going to go anywhere with my writing, it is going to take me and go where it is supposed to go!
Just like the time when I was in therapy shortly after I was correctly diagnosed. I was wondering where I was going to go from there. I was trying to plan my future. What do I have to do, maybe I have to go back to school, find another job, what am I going to do with my life? Then my guardian angel lovingly hit me across the side of my head with a very padded 2x4 and told me to “stop reaching for the brass ring. Stop trying to find the glove to fit you, it will be there when the time is right, but for now you need to do your work and be formed for that glove so you are ready when the time comes.
So I sat back, relaxed and opened myself and my trust to the universe and knew that I would do what I am meant to do, and it would be all right.
I guess I have to do the same thing with my writing. I have to sit back, be open to the universe,do the research, and believe it will work out as it is supposed to.
I received many wonderful, amazing and heartfelt gifts on my Outward Bound Course; I have grown and changed for the better. I need to do the research and process all that happened to me, all that I gained and all of me that came back.
It will take time and I need to be gentle and patient with myself. And I do know that my writing, like my life, will be much richer for it. For that I am grateful.
I wish you all well in your discoveries and research.
Those are my thoughts for today
Cheers and be well