Tonight I got a late start on writing. I waited for the right moment. It wouldn’t be naptime because there weren’t naps. I had hoped for an early bedtime to counteract that effect, but we started to watch Toy Story 3. The philosophy of which can be distilled to this; kids grow up and grow out of their constant need (the one I felt mildly oppressed by for the twelve hours prior to the movie). At almost 9pm I started to come up with an idea of what I wanted to write about. Then I worked at it. Then I accidentally deleted it.
I raced to get words back down, trying to recapture some of that magic that sat with me earlier. I willed it back to me. I was trying to offset my own disconnect to what had seem liked the perfect pairing of two stories rooted in love and my inability to accept what was the truth. I charged forward, trampling over what I have kept as sweet and funny memories. Then I grew frustrated with the remaining fragments as I begged it to change for me. Oh the irony.
Maybe a post a day was too ambitious for a beginner like me. I had powered through, intent on getting it done and using my own advice. I had triumphed, after all, delivering my daily post. But then I lay down with my own discontent and it felt too heavy. I started defending my ragged authenticity. This was the time to make mistakes, the typos should show up now, or the inconsistency or the rambling. There is a freedom in bushwhacking while you make your own path and a kinship in reading a polished piece while being able to say, I knew her when…
It is daunting to set a goal that is so far from anything you have ever tried before. Scarier still is to commit to it and have people you love support you in going after it. I think that many (myself included) suspect we can’t really have everything we really want. We think of how it won’t work out because we don’t have the title, or traditional means of access. I have spent so much time thinking of all the reasons it can’t go my way that I didn’t get around to ever doing it. I wasn’t actually sitting down and writing and liking it or hating it but still doing it.
In twenty days, with twenty posts, I have learned that sometimes what you think of as happy reads as nearly tragic. That your stream of conscious style of storytelling may be the secret language you use with your best friend, but it looks a lot like the ball of Christmas lights you swore you’d fix later (and never did) when you try to reread it ten minutes after it’s written. I have also found that thinking about writing about weighing 222 pounds is a lot more upsetting that doing it. I have learned that being broke and unfashionable while nervously prepping for a job interview and making a mess of things was far funnier when shared.
I thought that blogging was the completely new thing that I was trying, but it isn’t. The new thing is to keep going, to keep working at something when it goes easily and flows smoothly. Then to do it again when it’s not as funny or good. Then to do it again when it is a holiday or you are tired or question your legitimacy. It’s not about tearing your work up in an irritated show, pride getting the best of you. But instead what you do with the bits of what remains. If you find yourself with me, pieces in hand in that hard place, I say we throw it up in the air, suspended for just seconds before it rains down confetti style over our pity party.
Then we keep going. Going in the direction of what we really want; getting better. Although our goals may be different, it is happening the same way; one work out or one clean-up or one blog post at a time, followed by another and then another. I could have gone to bed and thought it over. Or I could have decided that I had nothing to say. Yet I found myself ready to come right back to work on today’s post before the clock rolled over on to today. Something has shifted in me and I want to do the work because I want to do the work. So I am showing up, right here and right now to do just that. Because if I can keep going then that means you can keep going too. And a lot has changed since I started writing this post. Today I didn’t wait for the right time to work it in. I didn’t even have a clear picture of what I wanted to write. I just started. Then I kept going. I hope that you do too.