Screw niche. And other stories.
Also…I still don’t know where to start!
See, this is the problem with trying to get organized. It causes a backlash of over thinking the process. Last week I wrote about my new found creative streak and some of the challenges I’ve had over the past year, peppered with a good burst of “I’m gonna do this, gosh darn it” gusto.
Irony called and gave me a good tongue lashing. Here I boasted about my right to stray away from my niche and what happened? Every time I sat down to write, a story–a memoir–wanted to come out. And what did I do? I resisted it. I turned it away. I spat in its face.
Fine if I want to use this space to document getting my writing back on track and to talk about other things like the beautiful baby lying by my side right now and my new-mother-given-right to bitch about the twenty pounds I want to lose. But why turn my niche away when I’m feeling it!? I previously alluded to feeling lucky that I had found my niche. I just didn’t want to feel boxed in by it. Suddenly, now, I feel boxed in by wanting to stray. Now I’m fighting it. How the hell does that make sense? Instead of fighting it, and ultimately slapping the cover of my Mac down time after time, why didn’t I embrace the momentum? Why didn’t I embrace the need to write? Just because I started this space does not mean the Internet cops are going to arrest me if I don’t post something. If my goal is to write, to publish, to finish that damn essay book so I can move on to other projects–why didn’t I add to my book? Why didn’t I just write? What do I have to prove? Is it fear? Am I afraid of losing balance again?
I look at my new baby.
For the most part, I’d rather play with her and catch some sleep when I can–and also not miss opportunities to watch kitschy old movies with my ten-year-old son. Joy. Stripping everything back this year opened my eyes to the raw things in life that bring me joy. Funny, I learned that my joy has a lot less to do with my creativity, writing, career, and desire to get my womanly figure back than simply the people in my life.
I feel like my perception about a lot of things has changed over the course of nine months. As a forty(ish) something middle-aged lady, I have come to the rather late realization that all the stuff that muddles our minds, spirits, and bodies really is not what marks our lives in the end. My family back home, my boyfriend, my dear friends, and my children–they are what make my life…mine. It’s my people–not me–who bring me joy. My hobbies, my creative interests, my additional stuff…those are the adornments. The jewelry. The accessories. My writing, my performing, my knack for marketing, my new foray into jewelry making, my love of kickboxing (when I’m doing it)…yeah, they contribute to who I am, and make me a more complete person. But they are not joy. They aren’t my people. I can still be a whole, complete person if I had to give up any of my adornments (which I have from time to time, like anyone)…but I would not be complete without my family and friends.
Now let’s turn this on its side. My family and friends inspire me to tell my stories. I’m guessing the smart thing to do would be to allow that to drive me. Somewhere. Like the Adirondack countryside.
I’m fighting the urge to go in the direction my gut instinct is telling me to travel, all because I’m over thinking the need to “organize my efforts.” In theory, I don’t think that’s a bad thing, technically speaking. So, where do I find balance in that?
Here is what I know about myself. Over thinking causes me to stress. Stress causes me to become overwhelmed and frustrated. Frustration makes me difficult to be around. My being difficult to be around seeps into my personal life, which is where my true joy exists. Now I know I can’t allow that to happen. My joy is too precious to me. Therefore, I think I am going to adopt my writing. It’s now a family member that I can’t control. It already has its own shape and personality, and I need to embrace her for who she is and what she can be in this life. I cannot over think her just as I can’t over think my daughter, son, or significant other. I need to cherish her in her present state and just be.
Screw niche, screw technicality, screw process. My writing can be joy too.
Daughter sleeping by my side, I think about how I want to show her and my son what a strong woman their mother is. I want to be successful, fulfilled, and independent. I want to show them the strength of love and the wisdom in self-awareness. Most of all, I want to exemplify joy to them.
In the end, I don’t want people to say that I was a good woman but dedicated to my career, somewhat stressed, often moody, maybe a little too isolated. I want them to say that I was the essence of happiness, laughter, creativity, family, loyalty, love…and joy.