hardball

The pitch

Under perfect circumstances, I would be given unlimited time to meditate and ruminate and let my mind wander. Ideas would flow naturally and I would create stories and theories. Through this, I would discover incredible things about myself and work through all of my toughest problems. I would purge all of this information into my writing and then bask in the afterglow of my creative energy. It would be magical.

Recently, I have put it upon myself to get one of those day job thingies. Every aspiring writer needs one and I feel no shame in doing what I must in order to fund my dreams.

These past few weeks – pretty well since I’ve started this job – I have been in a terrible disposition. I have felt tired and grumpy and irritable. Experiencing periods like this are not uncommon, seeing as I am a crazy person, but this feels different because I am even having trouble getting along with one of my coworkers.

What’s really bothered me though is that over the past few weeks I haven’t been able to write. I’ve felt completely blocked. I normally use writing to deal with difficult feelings but it’s as if my foul mood was holding me back. I didn’t want to force it, so I just took a break in the hopes that this would sort itself out. As the weeks went by and I began to feel backed up, I got to thinking –maybe I don’t always need to be in such a mystical or dreamy state of mind in order to write. Maybe the best way to discover things about myself and to work through problems is to look at the hard facts.

Fact one: I can be judgmental when I am not paying attention. I’ve always prided myself in being accepting of all people. That is, apparently, unless I’ve switched this ability off, then I am just as catty as the next girl.

Fact two: much of my anxiety spins out of pure vanity. Most people can say that they’ve been late for something because they were having trouble deciding what to wear. Well, what about cancelling plans entirely, missing school, or calling in sick to work because you couldn’t find anything that looked good and it made you feel disgusting and worthless. Guilty.

Fact three: I project my self-loathing onto others. Isn’t it interesting that all of the things that I find dislikable in others are the same things I hate about myself.

This is the kind of hard dose of reality that I am not used to taking and I have truly hated admitting these things to myself. (I realize this means that it was probably exactly what I needed.) It’s one thing to delve into self-discovery and identify all of your quirks and areas that you need to work on; but there’ll always be that next step where you actually have to do something about it. I always get stuck at that step.

So I am writing again, even with a change in circumstances. Maybe a few bad weeks was equivalent to a well-meant slap in the face and just the push that I needed to take that next step. Writing down my thoughts and feelings is exceptionally helpful, but my actions ought to move me forward as well. One thing is certain, just by writing this down, I am already feeling a little bit better. 🙂

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