It's 14 degrees outside. A far cry from the -12 we had last night. I am sitting in my new house overlooking a small patch of trees, hills, and a frozen pond wondering why I came back to Michigan at all. And then I remember: Lake, friends, and family. The three things I prioritize most in my life. But the one thing I need more than anything I have put aside lately. And it has been driving me nuts!
Many years ago, (I won't say how many as to age myself. But of course just saying that ages me, doesn't it? ;) I read Finding Your North Star by Martha Beck and it helped me gain clarity on what I wanted, needed, and prioritized in life. Number one is writing, always writing. If I can write, I can live through anything. Writing is not only my passion, it is my everything. I have been taking a break from it this holiday season as we finished the move, getting set up, and the holiday busy-ness. (Oh, and hours of shoveling snow several times a week for the past month.)
It has been driving me crazy. (The not writing, although the snow has too.)
Everything I do I think "I could be working on the book right now." or "When am I going to start the blog?" Every dish washed, errand ran, and otherwise mundane event has been predicated by the thought. "Why aren't I writing?" And it's not a gentle, loving thought like that warm breeze on that beach day in the picture I posted above to remind me why I'm back in Michigan. No, it is a driving, throbbing, aching, painful, irritating, obnoxious thought! It causes me to snap at my husband at dinner when he asks a simple question and scream at the counter top when I bumped into it this morning. I causes me to shake, to cry, and even go into panic whilst I am lying in bed at night, my heart racing with the amount of things to do before I can write running through my head.
One time when I first met my husband I freaked out really bad. I had been journaling every day at that point along with writing poems at night. I was free from all those thoughts because they all went away onto that clean, white, lined paper. But when I fell in love? Well, who wants to be spending their time alone writing when they can be spending time talking to this new and fascinating person, right? So, I had stopped writing. But I had not stopped dreaming. That day was the third day I had had a recurring nightmare.
Three large shadow figures were chasing me through my dreams and they haunted me all day. I could not figure out what they meant or what they wanted, and it was driving me nuts. I could not talk it out, I could not think it out. They loomed large and dark over me no matter where I went or what I did.
It finally came to a head one day as we were driving along the lakeshore. I could not stand it any longer. The itch, the need, that insatiable urge showed up again. I had to write.
I had to write it out! I had to process it on paper. I had to make sense of it all or I would go crazy! (I was going crazy.) So in the middle of a conversation about something else entirely, I screamed at my new boyfriend (now husband) "Stop!"
"Stop right now!" I said. "Here. Stop here. I need to go buy pen and paper."
"What?" He said. (Now obviously thinking this girl is insane.) But he did. (I really must have scared him.) And I ran into Meijers and bought a notebook and a pen. (The cashiers must have thought I was nuts too. That whole big store, and that's what I bought? But to those creatives reading this now, you understand.)
I came back to the car, said "Wait just a minute." and scribbled for about ten minutes. I wrote all about the shadow figures and how they were chasing me and how I was afraid they would devour me and everything that had been going on. (Turns out it was my fear of my depression coming back, which I now know happens when I stop writing. Ironic? Or logical now that I think about it.)
When I was done, I sighed a HUGE sigh of relief, looked up, and said "We can go now. Thanks!" He just looked at me and smiled.
I am sure lucky he thinks of me as "his kind of crazy," because many others would never understand.
The urge to write, to just get all the ideas, thoughts, sentences, words, and energy that builds up inside of me is not some airey- fairy (no offense to my fairies) pie in the sky dreamy adventure. It is a nitty, gritty, in your face, takes tons of time, and I don't have a choice lifestyle.
It is not a choice. It is as critical to me as water and air. As one amazing writer in my old writing group used to say (Hi Kiely!) "Why do I write? Why do I breathe." It is everything. It is life.
This blog may amuse you, it may entertain, or even give a glimpse into my private world that I don't share much on social media. But what I hope it will do is help someone else like me understand that their own creativity, their own emotions, and their own inner world is as important as the physical things we need to survive. It is as critical as shelter, food, and water.
And for all those who have told and shown me it isn't as important as all that? There will be another blog addressing you, another day. :)
Here's to the creatives and the ones who can see us and smile. We are a treasured few.
#writing #awriterslife #apossibilitylifestyle
Highly Sensitive, Author, Creative, clever, deep thinker, and full of possibility - Jeannine finds her joy in helping women and children live more hopeful, healthy, and happy lives.
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