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.