So, I thought I knew what a dry-spell felt like. I thought I understood the drought I was in. With every intentional thought targeted towards filling the tub, drip by drip, I never was any closer to actually getting my feet wet.
I’ve talked about it, analyzing, sharing, discussing, processing. I’ve done all the things you’re supposed to do to unburden. And yet I still was chained. The weight of the irons might have lightened, but the bitter clang of the shackles still echoed.
Write something. Anything.
Scared it will be bad? Too consumed with the other “to-dos”? Not enough time? No inspiration?
Excuses. Diversions. Just freakin’ write something.
You’re weak. You’re fat. You’re void. You’re not as creative as you thought you were. Your thoughts are consuming the person you are. Is this what makes you happy? Who are you now? Do you even like what you’ve become? What happened to you?
It’s a terrible, junk-food binge cycle. I even made all the actual efforts of moving forward. I joined a gym. I changed my job. I bought new furniture (why does this seem more empowering than it actually is?) I bought books. I carry notebooks. I cut back on drinking. All the ingredients carefully gathered, recipes earmarked, kitchen prepped. But the plate is still empty.
[Have you figured out yet that this is not literally about food?]
I take vitamins now. I was unreasonably excited about a new bottle of B-12 this past weekend. I made an essential oil roller with actual dried lavender buds inside. I’m one box of nag-champa away from being a full fledged dirt-bathing hippie, based on what I’ve been eating lately. My bread has so many seeds and nuts in it that I can hear it sprouting.
Overnight Oats [2 – 4 servings]
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, craisins, etc.)
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk/milk-alternative
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed because now you put it in everything because it’s like freaking Mary Poppins carpet bag and there is no bottom in sight
- dash of cinnamon
- squirt of honey
- Mix it all together. Put in fridge overnight. Eat cold or warm up.
What I really want is a sausage, egg and cheese breakfast crunch wrap from Taco Bell. But instead I eat naturally-sweetened-with-honey-living-my-best-life cold oatmeal. When do I get to reap the reward of the glutton abstaining good life?
Well, I can tell you that it doesn’t come just because I’m sitting around waiting for it. Just because I may think that I’ve “earned” something, doesn’t make it so. Every day I have to continue to make steps forward, to chip away at whatever imaginary fortress I have cocooned myself in. I have (not easily) realized that there will never be an end goal. I won’t reach any finish line. I have to continue moving forward, or accept that I’ll simply rot out from the inside. I should be writing because I want to. There is no achievement badge to earn or work towards, no final result that will reveal itself as a cumulative trophy of hard work. The writing is the reward.
The thing is, there is much to be said for taking each day as it comes, and not having to dramatize the ups and downs in life’s path. I should spend less time guilt-trippin’ over calories, and more time counting my blessings. I should be reflecting on the obstacles life has thrown at me, instead of lying awake at night, reliving the shame of them. To be honest, if I’m writing, what failure is there? The only disappointment is if I don’t write, not if I don’t write something “good” or “worthy.” Somewhere on this timeline, I should accept that there is no contest I’m trying to win. Only that I’m going to do something that I enjoy. Who knew it was that easy?
A legacy of a life is measured by taking care of what matters, to engage in joys, to eat the sausage + cheese crunchwrap one day, and the kale + edamame salad the next. Just keep trying, and try things that don’t work, and then try some other things. If I were to be destroyed in a tragic accident, or to suddenly collapse from an organ failure, what will I want others to say about me? That I was generous, creative, sensitive, passionate, and most importantly, that I was kind. More may be remembered by our caring and our kindness, than that of a chiseling of a name on a stone building, or our names published on the cover of a book.
So, I think I’m just going to keep writing, whatever shape it takes, and make room on my plate for flax-chia seed overnight oats, to dunk my double-stuf Oreos into.