Friday, June 17, 2011

Almost the same, just in a less generic form.

"Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason." -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

So, here’s what happened.

A very good friend of mine started a blog, a pretty damn good one. I read it and was immediately inspired. She was smart, she was funny, she was real and she was taking time for herself.

She was taking time to write.

I wanted to write one, too. So I did.

Well, I started to…

It happens. Especially to me.

I get excited about things. I make lists and notes and plans and set unrealistic expectations. I go full force and a little compulsive. Then, of course, I find excuses and reasons to resent the damn thing, to hate its guts, and that usually leads to…nothing.  

The reason I resented this one was simple. I didn’t think I could compete.

My old pals, fear and doubt, came waltzing in and were all “you can’t do that as well as she can and you’re boring and you have nothing original to say and everyone hates you.”

I lived with them for awhile. I let them move in, hang ugly pictures on my walls, change the scent of candle I was burning and take the bigger bathroom. I had to stop walking around the living room in my underwear. I was miserable. They were having late night parties and inviting anxiety, jealousy, guilt, and frustration to come and get thay freak on. I hated these new roommates, they made me uncomfortable, and I wanted them out.

Like, right now.

Apparently, booting out a couple of annoying roommates is harder than it looks. There are rules and laws and kicking and cat fights. Doors to get through. Red Tape to cut. I didn’t realize it was going to be so difficult and I’m pretttttty sure they’re still sneaking in and spending the night here. Nevertheless, I’m working on it, and that counts.

Not wanting to be alone, I invited a few, more encouraging, pals to come over and have coffee: creativity, confidence, curiosity and just plain old silliness. It was awkward getting reacquainted at first, but we seem to be enjoying each other’s company on a regular basis now. We’re developing a rather healthy relationship.

My girlfriend’s blog is great, duh. So is she. There is no surprise there. The surprise came in thinking I had to compete. I’m ashamed. This is the woman I tell my secrets to, who encourages me on a daily basis. This is the woman who inspired me in the first place. There is no competition. We both get to write. We both get to be.   

At first, the fear and doubt came from thinking if I didn’t write about my kids, I was a horrible mother. If I wasn’t worried how I was doing as a wife and mom, then I must not be doing very well. Time revealed, as time does, that her blog isn’t about that anyway. It’s more about how she is doing as herself. It doesn’t matter so much what I write about, it matters that I’m writing at all. Sometimes that’ll get messy and I’ll know, for sure, that I am in fact a horrible wife and mother. I guess I’ll just have to deal with that when it comes.

I’ve decided to take whatshisname up there’s advice and stop repressing myself out of fear. It occurred to me that while fear deserves to be validated, I do not have to let it control the whole damn house!

I like to write for no good reason at all. No strict rules or regulations. No expected topic. Some people do golf, some people do yoga, I do writing. It’s good for the flow. I haven’t done writing in a while and I’ve missed it like crazy. My friend teased me, at first, because I told her I thought blogging was a little self-indulgent. Her response? Duh. I guess she's right. Duh.  

So here we are. Blog, take #2. Not so much learning to be happy. More just learning to be. It’s almost the same, just in a less generic form.

And that’s where I’ve been since January…