I can do it, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.
Fuck it. I can’t do it.
I love building up. Its my favourite thing.
Making plans, making goals, making arrangements for those plans and those goals. Getting a new journal or day planner and every colour of highlighter so I can colour code my minute to minute.
I love building up. It makes me feel strong. It makes me feel like I am actually in control of this life. If I follow this formula that I have created just for me, I’ll achieve my goals in no time! This time it will work because blablabla and totally because of all these other reasons. I’ve changed X to Y and added in Z to make sure that XZY can actually happen. It’s going to work. And it’s going to be amazing.
When I am building up, not only can I feel the positivity bubbling through my body like Dom, but my senses are acute. Things are clear and crisp. Smells are smellier, colours are vibrant, sounds are glorious and the wine tastes luxurious. Everything is better.
Everything is worth it.
I hate breaking down. I hate when I don’t follow through with something, or when I forget an idea that I didn’t write down. I hate when money trumps my plans or self doubt tells me it wont happen. Time often slips away because I took too long to do one thing, or took too long doing absolutely nothing and now any timeline I had has been stomped on and lit on fire.
I sit quietly and watch my plans burn and never really know why.
When I break down I feel like I am suffocating. This unsettling recklessness both pushes me in all directions and paralyzes me where I stand. It’s hard to breathe.
Why is it that we can feel on top of the world one day and on the bottom of someones shoe the next with almost no outside influences? Why can I be so sure, so motivated, and then one minuscule little baby wrench sneaks its way into the equation and suddenly my mind’s answers disappear with a POOF and I am left with a blank space and an aching heart?
There is something inside me. A little voice. A little pull. It keeps nagging at me. I think it’s trying to remind me that I am not where I am meant to be. I don’t mean physically, necessarily (although I wouldn’t complain if I was meant to be on a beach somewhere hot for the rest of my life) but spiritually, creatively, emotionally I am not doing what I am meant to do.
It’s not desire. It doesn’t feel like something I want. It’s not something in my head, its something in my heart. It’s beyond the ego, beyond the voice I create, beyond language and comprehension. It’s something else entirely.
But it pulls at me like a wave pulling your feet from the sand as it journeys back out to the ocean.
How do you follow, when you don’t know where to go? How do you listen when no matter how still you sit you can not make out the words? How do you move forward when each step you take either knocks you on your ass, or grumbles in your gut saying “wrong, wrong, wrong“?
It’s less like something is missing (although, sometimes I wonder if it is just that the most important thing is missing), and more like I am missing something. Like I don’t know the right cheat to get me to the secret level.
I am missing something.
But what is it?
When I am building up, I feel like it doesn’t matter exactly what it is, because I’ve got a plan to get there, even if I can only see half a mile in front of me, I know exactly where to go, for that half a mile.
But when I am breaking down, it, is the most important problem I could ever solve. It, or at least a small window into it, is my motivation and my destroyer. I want to work towards whatever it is, but I have no idea how to do that because I feel like I have completely lost my direction. Like I am now blind as I take steps forward, wondering if the next one will be off the side of a cliff.
What is it? What do I need most?
I want to be free. Free to feel, free to travel, free to love, free to heal. I want to be free to express, free to create, free to enjoy, free to choose on any given day.
I want to be free. As a woman in a misogynistic world, as a bereaved mother, as a writer, as a human being. And, here it goes, something I thought I would never admit, something as I am writing it down I am contradicting and justifying it all at the same time:
I want to be free from my past.
I don’t want to let go of Lilee, I never could, she is absorbed into my very being, but the past looms overhead like a canopy of darkness blocking the stars. I know they are there, playfully twinkling with possibility, but I can’t see them as long as I stay where I am. I need to release the past as the past. I need to let go of the guilt of not currently being an involved member of the world I identified myself with for so long. I need to let go of the pain and hate and anger and even the joy and love that existed then. I need to remove myself from who and where I was because I am not. I am not there and I am not her. The memories, the lessons, all of the things that happened, they created the me I am today, but I can not live in those moments. Those moments can not be me because they are not the now.
I need to be free from my past. But I will not be free to see what lies ahead if I do not finish telling the story of what has been. I have held onto it like a safety blanket; a way to not have to completely let go. I am the girl who “is writing a book” instead of the woman who has published one. Why am I finding comfort in a non resolution? Why does the open ended “writing a book” feel safer than “wrote a book” Fear of failure? Fear of Success? Fear of the unknown? Fear of letting go? Probably all of them. But this cycle of having it all planned out only to constantly feel like I am letting everyone down, like I am letting Lilee down and like I am letting myself down, is exhausting. And I am afraid the cliff that might lay before me if I continue to live like this.
It will not be easy, it hasn’t been easy. It will get harder, it will get over whelming and I will build up, and I will break down but I will persevere. And I will tell the story within me, and then, this sense of not belonging, will tell me where to go next.
Because now I know. It, is my freedom to move forward. It, is the weight of an untold story within me.
I asked all of you to support me when the opportunity came for me to publish. Both financially and emotionally, support poured in. I did not do my part. I did not put in what I needed to put in, but more importantly, I did not acknowledge that I was not ready. I didn’t acknowledge it within myself or to others. For that, I am truly sorry.
So to all of you who have supported me:
This is important for me to say, because I don’t, even for a minute, want anyone to think it does not weigh on me: All of the financial support, if the avenue in which I publish changes, will be acknowledged. It kept me writing at the beginning, it kept me focused on trying to find the resources to continue down that path. It was the stepping stone for this book and I am not sure I have expressed enough of a thank you. So thank you.
You have given me a reason to not give up on it and, more importantly, your continual support, years later, has given me the foundation to acknowledge my previous unsteadiness and to understand that it is not just my duty to tell our story, it is also what will set me free.
So this next part I say firmly but lovingly to myself:
Write the damn book. For you, For them, For her.
Then be free and take her with you.
With fear and hope and gratitude and love,
The Girl Who Is Writing A Book (for now)xo