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Friday, September 25, 2015

Excuse Me While I Beat Myself Up

I am in the family room of my dirty, cluttered, unorganized home in my PJs, hat covering my unwashed hair, with unbrushed teeth. I have not exercised yet today. I just finished last night's dishes. I can't do anything else until I fold last week's clean laundry because the dirty laundry has overtaken the upstairs. While I fold I am listening to the inspirational podcasts of Elizabeth Gilbert, Magic Lessons.

My eyes are filled with tears, my chest is tight, there is a knot of guilt inhabiting my throat. I am so full of dread and anxiety that I am about to throw it all down and go find a job because now that the kids are in school all I am is a financial burden on my husband. I'm a sub-par housewife and mother and I'm not even writing. Everything Elizabeth Gilbert is saying about living creatively and writing, I already know. I already know the root of my procrastination is fear. That all the other things I do instead of write is just another way of giving myself permission to not do this thing gnawing away at me. I already know that I need to just sit down and write and forget everything else -- forget about who's going to read it, forget about if I'll get an agent, forget about if I'll ever get published. And yet I don't write and somehow my house is still in chaos. I sit here knowing that if I were to ask Liz Gilbert to call me for her podcast, she wouldn't because she'd have nothing left to say to me that she hasn't already said. I just suck and can't seem to do anything right, I can't even write. 

And then suddenly in Episode 6, she and Ann Patchett reach their hands out of my computer screen and grab me by my filthy old sweatshirt and get right up in my stinking face and say to me:
Don't let not writing be one more thing in your life you feel badly about. Don't let it be another weapon you hurt yourself with.
Wow. I guess she does have something to say to me after all. Because, as she says in Episode 7, any talent you don't use becomes a burden. If writing is nothing but a burden, nothing but another chore that I suck at tackling, then it takes away from the very creativity of it. 

So this is what I will try to do: I will try to just sneak in pockets of creativity when I can, try to plug away at this latest project, and not let it be a creativity-sucking source of self-loathing. I will write my blog when I can and not get bogged down with the date of the last blog entry (3 months ago, June 12th). I will embrace my disorganized home as a sign of life being lived and not of my incompetence. If I have to get a job because the kids are galloping towards college, it is not a sign of my failure as a writer. (I will work on believing that last line) 

Thank you for allowing me to take a moment to beat myself up. Now I will get up, brush myself off, and move on. At least I've accomplished one thing today: I've written a blog. The other things will get done eventually... I may even brush my teeth and exercise. Possibly shower after.
The clean laundry
The dirty laundry
Dirty me with my dirty teeth in my dirty bathroom