Still Holding On

wagon wheel

image from Getty Images

I may not have hit the ground with a thud yet, but I’m hanging on for dear life. I can’t let go this time. I will not let my need for perfect override my need for progress. Here, right now, these words are progress.

I’m learning things here in my imperfect world of words. I’m learning that it will never be perfect. I know all writers say that, but I have a feeling I’m going to need to remind myself of this often. I’m learning that I don’t need to love the process but I do have to endure it if I want to get anywhere other than here. And I’m starting to learn what moves me is what should make my fingers move, otherwise it’s all for show.

I glance at the word count below and realize it’s not enough. But I glance at the publish button to the side and realize that this is perfect. It is enough because it is something and that’s all I needed.

When did I become timid?

FIERCE, STRONG-WILLED, INDEPENDENT, HEADSTRONG, OUTSPOKEN.

All me. Or at least that was me.

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I’m not sure when things changed and I became….weak. At least it feels like weakness. When you’ve spent your whole life being one thing and you suddenly look in the mirror and you cannot recognize the person starting back, you start to wonder.

I wonder when things changed.

I wonder why I changed.

Is it a good change?

I’m timid in making decisions because I don’t want to disappoint. I want to make people happy. Why? So they’ll love me of course. Yes, a shrink would have a field day with me. We’ll save daddy issues for another day and just stick to my personality changes.

Is it a change or is it a shift? Is this something that happens when you get older and softer and worn into life? When you realize the ideals you once held don’t hold water and you feel like you’re drowning in the reality of life.

Life feels deep and strong and I suddenly am aware that I can be swept away in the current. I have this battle swirling inside me between my ideal heart and my real mind. I think I liked it better when I was only in my heart. Filling my mind hasn’t helped my heart, it’s only tugged at the strings.

heart

So, who do I want to be? Where do I want to be: my heart or my head? Being somewhere in between feels hard and weary making me long, not for youth, but the heart that I had in my youth.

Is this all part of living and growing older or is it a series of choices I’ve made because I’m afraid of who I am. Strong-willed doesn’t win you many friends. I eventually realized that strong and hard are two different things. Can I be one without the other?

What can be found between my heart and my head? Is that the place where I’ll find my voice?

Afraid to Write

I have a journal I’m afraid to write in.

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What if I write on those creamy lined pages and they don’t? (Make me famous, that is.)

What if I write the wrong words?

What if it never happens?

See, I am not one of those people who wants my words to simply exist in a folder in my computer or penned on journal pages. I am also not looking for fame according to the world’s standards.

What am I looking for? I am not sure what I’m looking for, but I know what I long for.

My name printed on the spine of a book in a bookstore. I have little desire to write under a bushel. I want to let it shine. The only trouble is I’m not sure where the lighter is, or the candle for that matter. Ideas swirl. Passion flickers. I see pieces of the endgame. But all the in between…well that’s where I’m lost.

I’m trying to convince myself that the only wrong words are those not written.

That’s easier to type than to believe.

freedom-cage words

So, here I am doing the one thing that most published authors agree upon: putting my seat to the chair and typing words that will hopefully string into sentences into paragraphs into pages into chapters into inspiration.

Maybe that’s my goal more than a book: inspiration. Not for me as much as those who read what I write. I long deep inside for my words to be more than black Arial 12.  I long for my words to stir something in the reader so that she reflects, feels, hopes, longs, cries, screams. I want my writing to bring anything real to the surface so that there is no room left for pretenses and, ‘I’m fine’ responses to life. I want to write words that evoke real, imperfect emotion in the reader so that she is left naked in the most beautiful way.

In order to get to that place, I need to go through those same emotions in myself.

And that is perhaps the scariest part of all.

Fear sits on my shoulder mocking every honest thing that pours out of me. It holds the pen in midair, stops the cadence of my fingers on the keyboard. Fear feels like a beast, and I pray that somehow each click of a key chips away at a piece of that monster so that I can be free because…

someday THESE words will make me famous.

woman freedom

Wednesday’s Writing

Wednesdays I will be offering a writing prompt and my response. Please feel free to share your response as well. This will encourage us to stretch ourselves to write in new ways. Happy ink dance!

Prompt: Begin with, ‘I thought I saw…’*

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photo credit

“I thought I saw you in the new spring leaves, but then in noticed the dead branch hanging from the tree.

I thought I saw you in the smile of a stranger on the street, but then I realized he was missing some teeth.

I thought it may have been you when I watched a father push his child on the swing, but then I saw him walk away to answer his phone.

I thought it may have been you when I watched a wave roll into the shore, but then I saw the trash left on the sand.

I thought just maybe it was you when I heard myself praising my child for the new math fact he learned, but then I heard myself rushing him along in frustration.

I thought just maybe it was you when I woke to the sound of, ‘mama can I lay with you?’ but then I looked at the 2:54 of the clock.

I thought I saw you, but I must have been wrong.”

“I was there, but you chose to see the little thorn instead of the beautiful rose.

You choose your focus in all that you see.

If you dismiss all that is good and beautiful because of something that is not, you choose to miss the beauty.

You choose to miss me.”

 

 

*Writing Prompt is from creativewritingprompts.com

Getting to know me…….

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photo source

Since we’re both new here (and I’m trying to figure out exactly what I’m doing here) I thought I should tell you a little bit about my favorite things. These are a few…

Favorite place….my bed. Seriously. Second place….the beach (off season).

Favorite food…chocolate.

Favorite color…blue.

Favorite thing to do…spend time with my family.

Favorite thing to do with my kids…read.

Favorite flower…lily of the valley was number one until it prompted a trip to the ER with a curious two year old. Now, I’d say hydrangea.

Does anyone else feel like this is beginning to sound like an elementary school beginning of the year ‘list’? Let’s change this up a bit.

Here’s the first edition (this does imply there will be more doesn’t it?) of The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly. All this in an effort to let you know you’re not alone. Or for you to feel a lot better about yourself!

What I don’t want you to know……….

The good: I feed my kids daily.

The bad: I brush crumbs from said food off the table onto the floor.

The ugly: I’ve eaten spoonfuls (yes, plural) of peanut butter in my bathroom. If I had a walk in closet, I’d go there, but I work with what I have. I’m resourceful like that.

The good: I read to my kids daily.

The bad: I’ve rushed through story time because I want to watch TV.

The ugly: I’ve rushed through BIBLE stories because I want to watch TV. (Yeah, I like TV. It’s an escape. I know, I know it’s bad, but I never said this would be pretty)

The good: I love how I feel when I exercise.

The bad: My wii fit doesn’t remember my name.

The ugly: Does typing count as exercise?

Here’s to keeping it real people. Ok, take the spotlight off me for a few minutes….what’s one of your good, bad, & ugly traits?