11.28.2008

Life vs. the Living

I can’t write myself out of unhappiness. Trust me, I’ve tried, for I’ve believed happiness lies at the end of a sentence. So on the days that I didn’t write, couldn’t write, I berated myself for creating my gloom, believing that transformation – my transformation – lay in my words and my diligence and my follow through.

What I haven’t wanted to admit is that my happiness lies outside the words, or in parallel to them. My happiness lies in the living.

In the past few years as I’ve turned inward, away from external work and into the stories of my mind, the opinions in my heart, the look and feel of a sentence, my joy has walked away. Now I sit in tune with struggle and out of tune with pleasure, out of tune with the fun of life.

I need to turn it around.

I don’t fault the writing but the way in which I’ve lived the writing life, cloistered in my bedroom, laptop poised, determination scrawled on my face. But in this process, I’ve omitted the necessary step of being in life, of being outside that room. Others can’t see this. They see me on the go, in the world, living. But I can tell you I haven’t been, not in the true sense of participation.

I’ve put enormous weight on writing, how accomplishment in that area would give me the life I want, the one I need, a sense of purpose and belonging. But under all that weight falls the reality of life delayed, the proclamation that only when I get there, (there, of course, being a completely unattainable destination for it moves faster than you can chase it) will my life begin.

Life begins now. Declaration. Proclamation.

So I am accepting a job, a teeny tiny job of a week or so, a chance to be outside myself and in a project that has nothing to do with me except in the way I translate its goals. And I’m excited because it takes me out of the center, gives each day a destination beyond my choosing. I am racing towards what so very recently I ran from.

Curious how life works, eh?

And I’m hoping this dip into life will remind me how to be in the world, how to give to it and take from it. I’m hoping it will fill me with fuel to nourish my depleted projects, the ones running – no, slogging – on empty. I’m hoping I will have conversations with people I’ve yet to meet because the conversations with self and Chihuahua are circling back on themselves leading to the title of Boring.

But most of all, I’m hoping for hope, the commodity that when missing makes every day a challenge.

16 comments:

crazymumma said...

Yup. conversations with a dog get a bit shall we say lopsided?

I love the idea of you locked in your room with your face all scrunched up. I dunno, it seems when I try the hardest is when nothing at all happens.

kristen said...

i love this. it resonates in a HUGE way as i try to define my creativity.

and i think having my acupuncture practice, which i love but doesn't define me, has been a way to allow my creativity to come out.

i'm glad for your teeny job.

i'm calling you today. xo

Woman in a Window said...

I've been in that room many a time. As luck would have it right now I'm out there happy, conversing, experiencing, laughing and then coming home and hugging up all that I own in a day. I know it won't last but it's sweet for now. I wish it for you.

Wattcha writing?

Laurie Viera Rigler said...

Life begins now. Yes and yes and yes.

Thank you for the reminder.

meredithwinn said...

yup. you'd think being out in the world would shrivel up any last bit of creativity. that sitting down and getting serious could be enough 'work', but it seems quite the opposite. i worry about such things. i fret over them and they render me sleepless. i hope you find interestingness out there this week.

essgee said...

"But under all that weight falls the reality of life delayed, the proclamation that only when I get there, (there, of course, being a completely unattainable destination for it moves faster than you can chase it) will my life begin."
I am too familiar with this trap. I love the way you articulate it.

Maggie, Dammit said...

I really, REALLY feel this.

slouching mom said...

i understand every bit of this. here's to hope.

Stefanie said...

For me, writing can be cathartic or writing can be a huge pressure depending on where I am in the rest of my life. I totally get it. What's the job?

Rrramone said...

potent words there m'lady. congrats to you for being brave enough to speak your truth. sending you strength and a hug. ;-)

floreta said...

good luck. we all need a change every now and again. i think we also need balance from life and introspection. too much of one thing is never good. i hope you find your way :)

ConverseMomma said...

I live so fully in my head, sometimes, that I forget the world at my doorstep, usually remembering when it slams me full in the face.

I cant' wait to see your conversations come to life here as all your words do.

therapydoc said...

I found you commenting on Dana's blog. It's so interesting, isn't it, how writing can give a person such a high, and when it doesn't work. . .well. The eastern religion spin is that the words in our heads are the ego, and the secret to happiness is less ego, not more. For what that's worth, right?

llc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cat said...

I think I should have written this, could have but for whatever reason was not brave enough to put that into words...

well done!

Michelle York said...

Trade 'TRUST' for 'Hope'! Big difference..