I've woken up this morning with something clawing at me from the inside. Usually, this can be tamed by sitting down and writing a short story. I can't say why or how this soothing happens via storytelling, but it does. Time and time again it does. It's why, when I first discovered fiction writing, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.
Did you know, I wanted to tell everyone, that if you ever, ever feel unwell, all you have to do is write? There is a such thing as a miracle elixir after all.
Though I still stand by this 100%, today I'm facing the dilemma that most storytellers do. At least, most do at some point in their lives. That is this: I have half a day, if not more, of work to do. And I really must get it done. The trouble is that by the time I do, the juice for fiction writing will have run dry, and I'll be left with a stifled sting buzzing beneath my chest.
Some may call this anxiety, others a story untold. Maya Angelou has famously said, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
This has to be exactly what she means.
You know, I tend to write blog posts from the resolution POV. As in, I've discovered the solution to X for myself and so I am going to share it now. Maybe it'll be of service to you, too.
Recently though I've been writing from this side of things. The unresolved POV. Maybe that's the bigger picture lesson here. Maybe what I'm trying to share with you guys during this season of life is not so much the nitty gritty troubles—the lack of time to write from the heart, emotional pain, relationship navigation, etc. Maybe what I'm trying to master on a grander level is, in fact, comfort in a lack of control. Comfort in the unknown.
Many people that have met me in flesh-and-blood, offline life have the inaccurate perception that I'm a very go-with-the-flow type person. I am in some cases. Like in the case of deciding things that don't really matter to me—where to hang out with friends, what movie to see with my family, what food to cater to guests at events, etc. Not that these situations don't matter, but the particulars don't. At all. The point, for me, is the bigger picture: connection.
That said, in my daily life, I tend toward rigidity. I don't want to be disturbed at all while writing, or doing any other sort of work, for example. And if I'm asked to spend time with someone, if their idea of bonding doesn't align with what I view to be deep and effective bonding, I won't do it. Watching TV, for instance, is my idea of ineffective bonding, and, in general, a massive waste of time. Not to say I never watch it, but force me to sit in front of a TV set for more than 30 minutes a day and you will find me antsy, irritated, and unusually short. Because at that point I'm craving the outside or the creative process, and my feeling is I'm being deprived of it for something useless.
Now, that is all to showcase how I am wired naturally. Like I said earlier, I'm working on being less controlling, more fluid. Because I do see the flaws that come with my MO. The propensity toward burnout, to keeping my world too small, too regular.
But it's a process.
These have been the words I've been trying to not only swallow but fully absorb this Pandemic. I assume many of us have been. And I assume, collectively, we've already succeeded to a degree. We've been forced to, after all.
This season has made me think over and over of the words, "Sink or swim." Adapt or don't.
And so, with all this said, I'm going to get into work now, knowing that, in a perfect world, I'd have an entire day to outline a story and write it, release the itch beneath my ribs. But today I do not. And that's okay. I choose to swim.