Thursday, March 13, 2014

Knowing Your Limits

I'm truly terrible at writing under expectation. I used to think it was pressure, but it turns out, I can write 10+ papers a semester and a thesis and only truly lament that if I had backed up my computer better, I wouldn't have had to re-write a 20+ page one my senior year (and... three my junior year so... I guess I sort of learned my lesson times a million, or am a total glutton for punishment).

Writing after college, I did fine until I quit being a reporter and my now-somewhere-else mentor told me I needed to hop back on the horse and stop wasting my talent. I told another mentor, a trusted friend, and he asked me what else was I going to do besides write?

Never had I felt so cornered. Like my worth was in my words.

So, I decided to keep working for our family business. I started writing for fun, and sometimes money. But those jobs and I were not a good fit, and when I do not engage in them, I am happier. I'm relieved. That's not usually the emotion one should feel, I think. It's also a bad attitude, but I'm going more for intellectual honesty here and less about pride.

The couple weeks before Grace was born, I took a creative writing e-class on narration and storytelling. But it comes down to that new trigger - you are your words, make them roar. Even when I feel like a big sigh? So I'm taking a break from freelance, and I'm going to write what I want, and start teaching in the fall - my new adventure.

Adventure. I like to say the word, tasting it. Everything is so different from what I imagined my life to be. I saw my twenties in a big city with a big writing job and, and, and... not a husband, or a baby, or worrying about where we're going to end up for residency, or wondering how close we'll be to family, or planning bedtime nap time and wake-up time around a little monster with long eyelashes and the happiest-to-see-you-mom! smile.

We all have our tough days. We all have our lonely days. Just because I have a husband and a baby doesn't mean I don't get lonely. It's the kind of void only I can fill; the void of my life, and living for me. I cannot be myself if I do not take care of me.

My limits are not set - I can push them, I can lower them, I can accept them. I've been trying to exercise more than my body is sooo not having it. That's really hard for me.

Fine, I'm a toaster oven more than a microwave. You can't wish a crockpot to be an oven - they have different purposes and methods. So, I persevere, and try again. That's what I do! And that's how I do. Now, back to those book reviews.

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