Me: I don’t really want to be a family that eats at Taco Bell on Saturday nights and uses plastic utensils at our St. Patrick’s Day feast.
Mike: Based on our past weekend, that’s exactly what kind of family we are.
I’ve been on edge this past week, like a tuning fork that’s been hit too hard and vibrates like mad and makes everything it touches start vibrating too.
I can say its because I’ve been waiting to hear back about some stories, because I’m waiting to hear back from some agents about my novel, because I DID hear back from one and he said, “I have reveiwed your manuscript and it is not ANYTHING I wish to work with at this time.” I can say because I’m tired of waiting on spring, I can say….whatever.
There’s a quote in Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: “I could resent the ocean if I tried” and isn’t that just the truth.
But, my edginess started affecting my behavior, and making me a person that I don’t want to be. I’ve always prided myself on being a good critique partner. For years I’ve encouraged, looked for what works, tried to be constructive with what doesn’t. And yesterday I actually wrote to someone that I ‘expected more from them as a writer.’ Who the hell am I to say that? How is that helpful?
And then, of course, when the writer explained a connection, I was like, “Oh, yeah, that’s really good.” I’ve apologized for my first comments. But, I can’t stop thinking about it.
We are made from the choices we make. I hurt myself too, I broke the contract that I’d made that said I would be empathetic and respectful of other people’s art. I wasn’t careful.
I understand why some people do vodka shots to take the edge off of life. I can’t keep vibrating like this, existing in a hyper-sensitive state, but dulling the edges with alcohol isn’t really feasible for me.
I brainstormed a list of alternatives
I can exercise more — our hedgehog on his wheel as my inspiration. Boy can run!
I can be more mindful of my behavior, erring on the side of caring
I can forgive freely, because I know I’m going to need it.
I can write more frequently in my gratitude journal.
I can admit to being human, to feeling things very intensely, to being disappointed that my art hasn’t found an audience.
I can acknowledge that its hard to feel like I have a purpose, that I’m making a difference in the world around me, when my words only sit inside my computer.
I can acknowledge that writing is a lonely pursuit. It’s not like a painting that can be easily and quickly shared, a song that can be performed almost anywhere.
And, after acknowledging, I can try to let it all go. To bring my awareness back to my work, back to my family, back to a sense of love.
WHAT? I said TRY. And, Happy Spring.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27