There have been many words swirling around in my head these days, and I felt really unable to articulate them until while at my conference I saw a sign by one of the elevators that said this:
“You will have to experiment and try things out for yourself and you will not be sure of what you are doing. That’s all right, you are feeling your way into the thing.”
– Emily Carr
Every time I went back up to my room to pump, and at the end of every day I would stand there waiting for the elevator looking at that quote, and guys, I truly feel like I am just feeling my way into the thing. In so many aspects of my life. It makes me feel so much better when I see my own feelings spoken out loud by someone elegant, wise, and famous enough to be quoted. It somehow lends a sense of legitimacy to my neuroses and I think that’s what we’re all after, really. Someone to say that our crazy is justified, and official somehow.
Red stamp: approved. By Emily Carr, no less.
I’ve never been a birthday girl – you know, the one who turns 29 seven times in a row? Numbers don’t mean much to me and I’ve always looked forward to the day, the fuss, the people you don’t hear from that often calling to say hi and they are glad you were born.
I’ve always considered it an honour to grow older, given that so many in this world don’t have that luxury. So I don’t begrudge the occasional gray hair or wrinkle, I just sort of note it. Like notches, or ticks on a clock. Time made visible in a permanent way.
But something about this year, good grief. I have never been so glad to see a year come to a close. If anyone knows anything about astrology I’d really like a detailed report (or even a hint, I’d take a hint!) of why this year laid me so flat, why 2013 was so rough on this particular Capricorn lady. This year, more than any other, has found me unsure of my footing and filled with more questions than I can find answers to. In matters personal, professional and otherwise it seems that all I can do is doubt and worry and stress and think and then over think so more, just for good measure.
And you know Emily, I do feel like I have been experimenting and trying things out for myself and feeling unsure, very unsure, of what I am doing. And I’m not quite at the “but it’s okay” point, I am still waiting for that point. I don’t know when I expect that point to come but I think it involves someone very official and important (like a deity perhaps? I’m not picky, I don’t care which one) sitting me down and just telling me that I am a good mother and a good wife and a good employee, that my efforts in all of these areas have been noted and given gold stars.
Basically I am looking for a celestial head pat. Good girl.
Momastery wrote a post today about introversion and how she’s not a good friend because she doesn’t return phone calls or go to parties, and she hides when someone knocks on the door. I am, and do, all of those things. My friends are neglected and phone calls go to voicemail and invitations get postponed or cancelled altogether. The moment I make plans I start thinking of ways to get out of them and good lord what a way to live!
It often makes me sad that writers don’t get to live like that anymore, not really. If you can even make a living these days off of writing, which few can, you are expected to promote. To go and shake hands and smile and give quotes that can be massaged into sound bites and headlines. It’s a shame we don’t just leave writers alone to sulk and brood and shut themselves in houses. We’re better that way, I think.
I, for one, think I would make an excellent recluse. It’s in my blood.
Then, of course, there’s that world out there. That world I venture into every day where people have jobs and not just jobs, but jobs they love. There are people, many of whom I have met in the last three weeks, who are passionately, tirelessly and enthusiastically working to create a better community, better people, a better world. These people have ideas and energy, and they are competent – so competent that it’s sort of scary and intimidating. Every day that I venture out, I am scared and unsure, I miss Olive so dearly it hurts.
But I am feeling my way into it, this world, and I am hopeful that one day soon I will find myself in the thick of it and I will be there, in it, and it will be effortless.