At Forty-Five

This morning, I realized I write “in my head” more than on paper or my laptop. How is this possible???

Well, imagine walking into the yard to pick up a desecrated dog toy when ideas start running through your head. Words flow seamlessly, as if you were an award-winning novelist giving the key-note speech. The words are eloquent. Profound. Your brain relays what you want to express PERFECTLY. Then, you wait. You don’t jot down notes…. well, because you don’t have that pen and paper handy while plucking pieces of your dog’s favorite stuffed monkey from the dry winter grass. Before you know it, your words have floated off into the wind.

Well, today I decided to video myself so that I could replay it and remember. I pulled out my phone and hit record, bare faced and in my pj’s, before my words evaporated.

I have tried to complete The Artist’s Way journey two times in my past. Once in 2015 and another time around 2018. I never made it past the first chapter. Not the greatest success story.

  • If you aren’t familiar with “The Artist Way,” it’s a course/workbook in discovering and recovering your creative self, written by Julia Cameron. By no means, is this post meant to promote the book, but if you’re interested, please check it out.

Anyway, I proudly announce that I’m giving it another go! This time with a group of like-minded women ready and willing to offer support and motivation. My decision to reexamine myself has been daunting. Exciting. Scary. Sobering. All the emotions.

Allowing myself grace during the process is important. My ramblings today are to help myself understand the importance of my “why” – of why I write, why I love photography, why I embrace reading, and why I fill  3-4 journals a year. This post is me giving myself permission to dive deeper into who I am as a creative person.

One exercise in “The Artist’s Way” is to write morning pages. Basically, journaling three pages longhand to untangle all the negative thoughts, inviting a sense of calm and clarity to my day. For example, I write how I felt about myself. How I love myself. How I am disappointed in myself at times. Or I just write what comes to mind at that moment, like how I felt waking up that day or why the neighbor’s dogs won't stop barking.

But, most importantly I realized I BELIEVE in myself.

This is a rare acknowledgement for me. I am an introvert. I don’t love the spotlight. I do not like to highlight all the things I create. And I overcompensate with humor to cover my awkwardness.

My last eighty or so posts in this blog covered topics which I thought regarded my “Why.” For example, why I hated the struggles of moving to BFE. Why I felt so exhausted with the parenting gig. Why I felt doubtful about writing - my main go-to topic.

In reality, those older posts are only surface deep.

Recently a professor I had for a Memoir Class told me that I needed to ruminate more in my storytelling. For the first two seconds, I was confused…. I mean, what I wrote was HARD. Yet… the more I sat with her advice, I agreed. Briefly touching on a subject, storyline or scene is a habit I have solidified out of self-preservation. Placing pretty words upon page and quickly brushing it with sparse strokes does not strengthen the story but weakens it.

This post is a promise to me and no one else. A promise to keep going. I will continue believing in my strengths and not hide behind weaknesses. This post is to remind myself; I still have more to give, even at forty-five years old.