I have officially finished The Artist’s Way for the second and a half time (I made a stab at it once, long ago, but wasn’t ready). It took four months instead of three and a lot has changed since October. Things have fallen away and other things have emerged. Good and wonderful things happened. Sad and frustrating things occurred. As you’d expect when you go on a journey to rectify your creative life and rediscover your true self.
I’ve already mentioned some of the things that went away, the disappointments, the hurt – all to be expected when you’re reestablishing who you are. That’s just how it is. The scary thing is not knowing what you’ll lose and fearing it’s the thing you least want to lose and then…when it does go away, you realize it’s as it should be. It was thing holding you back all along. So there are fewer naysayers around me these days.
Instead, I have a deck of cards that I’ve shuffled and here they are laid out on the table like a tarot spread:
1. Writing. I reached 103 pages of the new story and got to a point today where I could see a glimpse of the structure, the plot, the arc, the point of it all. I’m keeping going without thinking too hard about it because I don’t want to ruin the momentum. But I’m back doing what I need to do. And it’s a fabulous feeling.
2. Body. I’m losing weight though I miss the things I’m not allowing myself to have. Otherwise, I won’t reach my goal and I’ll be horribly disappointed in myself. Eyes on the prize. It’s too fucking cold to do as much walking as I’d like but I have a pedometer (thanks, work-based wellness program!) and I’m tracking my paltry steps and hoping to increase them when it warms up.
3. Writing, part two. I’m now firmly in the habit of writing every morning – my morning pages. I write stupid shit, what I need to do, who’s annoying the crap out of me, blabbing nonsense for three pages but I’m doing it. It’s huge for me to stick to something like that. I was never a journal writer. I even took a short piece of blabbing I wrote for a class and posted it on the teacher’s new awesome website which is all about people writing for 10 minutes, about vulnerability and being imperfect humans. It’s wonderful. I feel unworthy of it though I know that’s the opposite of the point. I still can’t help it.
4. Dating. Have a second date scheduled for tomorrow but I’ve officially suspended my account on the dating site. I have come to realize that I just don’t have enough time available for these short-attention span men who have way more time on their hands than I do. So, I’m giving that up until I decide to reactivate it. Funny how it got old really quick. But I’m not sorry I did it. It helped me figure out what I actually want and what I don’t. And I am just not ready to give up the time I have to chatting with men who stop chatting back. And blocking the creeps. That’s practically a full time job in itself.
5. Vacations, money, taxes. Despite a shocking not good change in my tax situation, I went ahead and rented a beach house. Because fuck it. We won’t be traveling anywhere else any time soon but we’re damn sure going to the beach. Flat broke but going to the beach. I’ll just have to ignore all the news and posts about other people going to exotic, fun places. We’ll be right here, going nowhere. Once I’m done paying for after-school care (JUNE), things should look brighter but I’m told that I not only need to upgrade my phone already but that someone who may or may not be 14 needs one too because apparently she’s the last person on the planet her age who doesn’t have an iphone. Like they grown on trees. I don’t know where people get the money for these things. If you will let me in on your secret, I’d appreciate it. I guess my kitchen floor will never get replaced. I wonder if there’s a dishwasher app on the iphone? I could wave it over my dishes and they’d miraculously clean themselves. That’d be worth paying money I don’t have for.
That was all supposed to be good stuff so just focus on BEACH and ignore the rest of my bitching.
6. Other things. I’m still purging closets and drawers of unneccesary things. I’m working on a silly quilt made from old Bowie t-shirts. I took a break from sewing but I think I’ll get back to it soon. I’m gathering stuff to sell at the school yard sale. I’m killing stink bugs and sleeping well (though still not long enough). I’m working on relaxing and not feeling the need to do everything all the time. I’m ignoring Valentine’s Day and my mother’s emails about Easter. I wish I could say I will be out of town that weekend and have it be true. I wish I had a cabin in the woods I could run off to when need be. As it is, I’m probably going to just say, point blank, I am not available for a holiday we don’t even really celebrate and deal with the consequences. Because it’s soul killing and I’m tired of doing a thing I hate just because it’s always been done. That needs to stop. That plug needs to be pulled out of the tub. That…is the joker. The card you only leave in for certain card games, the one you pull out and then lose under the sofa.
What I’ve learned since October is that when something’s gotta give, you gotta let it go. Shuffle those cards, minus the joker, and let’s see what new hands we’re dealt, shall we?