I am basically having to suffer in silence currently through this situation I’m going through, and it is absolute torture. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going half the time. I can write vague posts alluding to a hardship, but that’s the end of my ability to really get it off my chest. Last night I laid awake until 1am, woke up tired and my back bothering me to the point where I ended up having to leave work early. I came home, took muscle relaxers and Motrin, attempted to sleep, again finding myself sleepless. . . And that the medicine didn’t work. So now I’m sitting here wondering if it is in fact my back issues flaring up, or the stress I’m under.
I’ve leaned on my crutches to help get me through – writing, music, gardening, and my friends. All have helped immensely, but as I said in an earlier post, the only person there at the end of the day is myself. I can’t garden or call a friend at 1am when my mind is overtired and working overtime. I can only stare at the ceiling and pray for peace.
The good that’s come of my angst is that I’m writing every day again. I’ve come to realize that when I am my most bothered I write my best. That seems to be a theme amongst artists, and I am seeing that I am no different. Today’s quote kind of encompasses this thought.
“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.” – Edgar Degas
I write to clear my mind of words that are trapped inside me. It helps me think more clearly and approach things in a more logical way. I am, by nature, impulsive. I realize the value in thinking things out, but I naturally just do what feels right in the moment and fuck the consequences. That has a tendency to backfire. So when I’m bothered I’ve learned to lean on things that give me the feeling of taking action – writing, driving, growing things, visiting friends, etc – when really I’m distracting myself from whatever obstacle is in front of me that I want desperately to be solved but that I know needs a little more thought.
When I write just to get the words out that are haunting me, I do my best work. I’m not writing for anyone but me – I’m not trying to gain followers or accolades. I’m writing to keep from going absolutely bat shit crazy. Mr. Degas knows this, and that’s what he’s talking about.
I wrote in high school, but it was rather gory fictional teenage horror stories and angsty teenage poetry. I fell away from it when I became a mother, but I’ve always enjoyed writing, so naturly I started writing lengthy Facebook updates about the kids. Several people commented that they would like to see me write a blog about their antics. In June of 2016 I wrote a couple posts, but insecure me didn’t share it or let anyone know I had done it.
Fast forward to 2017, when I was a nervous wreck over a medical situation with Matthew. I sat in the waiting room with him for hours, and thought about all of the stuff I’ve been through with him. It occurred to me that our crazy life and all we’ve been through may be of interest. That night I went home and began a multi part blog post series on Matthew. This time though, I actually posted it to social media. I was so nervous about it – what if it sucked? What if I had shared too much? What if I had lost my gift? Weren’t there a million and one single mothers out there already, blogging about their lives with their children? Who did I think I was, how did I think I was anyone special or different?
To my absolute surprise, it was a hit. I had people begging for the next part to the post. I think it still holds the title for the most reads in one day of any of my posts.
After finding my confidence in my writing again, I began to regularly write again. And as I wrote I found the relief in putting my thoughts out there. I had people commending me for being brave enough to write what I did, people thanking me for letting them know that they’re not alone. I found that I was good at conveying feelings that many can’t put words to, and it gave me confidence. And it felt good to not only use my words to help myself, but to help others, too.
Now I just write whatever comes in my head. I rarely have to force it, the words pour out. It’s great if someone finds some value in my words. But if not, at least they’re out of my head, and I can better focus on other things in my life. I didn’t know when I started this blog that it would be a key in me healing from life’s bumps and bruises. But here I am.
For the record, when I write a rather telling blog post I still become nervous, asking myself all the questions about why I thought it was a good idea. But then a calm takes over, and I feel better having it off my chest.
I didn’t know what I was doing, as Edgar says in his quote. I just knew I needed to do something. And it ended up being good.
I didn’t know in starting this Quotes blog series that it was going to be a key in keeping me sane through a fucked up situation. But it’s doing just that.
My words of advice today are this – stop trying so hard to please others. Do what feels right, and then say fuck it. If you’re practicing any kind of art, just go with the flow. Not everyone will find value in it, but someone will. Even if it’s only yourself.