Saturday, October 4, 2014
anxiety and doubt
I did not write yesterday. I did not write today. And now I have a zit.
I think the universe is telling me to write. Even if I don't think it matters. Even if I am not ready.
And to buy face wash.
I am a writer who wrestles, on a second-by-second basis, with anxiety and doubt. I have anxiety about the weird chicken smell coming from the kitchen right now, even though I made fajitas hours ago. With the fan on. I have anxiety about being 31 and never having had my career yet. I'm not in the middle of a booming career. Not at the start of one. Not at the end of one and starting another. Not married and devout, so as to be supporting my husband's career. Not a mother, so as to be home all day entertaining little hellions (which I'm actually looking forward to. Very much. One day.)all day. Nope. I am just a 31 year old who moved home last April and as of this past April, is renting a room from her family. Who have been so kind as to take me in. I have anxiety about the fact that I could fall into a major vertigo attack at any given moment, and even more anxiety about not having one, thinking the last one was truly the last. My anxieties have anxieties. And not taking any kind of sedatives, I have chosen to face the anxieties head-on and to treat my dis-ease (Louise Hay, thanks) with essential oils.
But sometimes 2 drops of oregano oil under the tongue just doesn't cut it.
And sometimes, no matter how scattered we've become, we are forced to take a step back and stop rushing and take a good hard look.
And then doubt comes creeping in. I have more anxieties than doubts, but the doubts are starting to rear their ugly heads again. Doubt about being the best writer I can be and the best human I can be at the same time. Or even just about making sure to write daily. And yet hold a day job. Here my doubt becomes being a good person but is a writer a good person, truly? Don't writers uncover things, dust off and expose? Don't essayists, my chosen genre, especially have to dig deep and be more self-absorbed than most writers? Doesn't being very self-focused actually aid the essayist? Exposing the real issues of society? Giving light to dark matters? Speaking up when everyone else chooses silence?
I tweet and I Facebook. But do I actually write?
When it comes down to it, am I actually writing?
Or am I just looking to see how many people responded to something I quickly churned out on Facebook. Is that writing? The kind I want to do? I need to be gentle with myself which I touched on last time but I also need to step back and take a good hard look at where I am and where I'm headed and what I did today to get me closer to being the writer I dream of becoming. There are books in me. That aren't being written. When will they get written if they're not started now? I have been so focused on others' plans that I haven't been going for my own.
Waking up at noon today was relaxing. I chilled in pajamas and then memorized lines for a local play opening in 2 weeks. Which doesn't do anything for what I want to be doing. But I did set the intention to participate in community theater once again. And then literally the next night I was asked to audition. I didn't think it would lead to what it's lead to. Having rehearsal almost every night of the week instead of being well-meaning but aimless. Meeting new people. Realizing I can, in fact, memorize a script if I work hard enough at it. Stumbling through blocking. Be(com)ing comfortable in my own skin. This experience which at the beginning filled me with doubt is now filling me with confidence. Not in myself. But in the universe knowing and life perfectly unfolding, imperfectly. The job I'm overqualified for but now thankful for, the relationship I was certain would blossom over the course of this year which never, in fact, did. My sister's strength and love and insistence in revealing to me the truth of that "relationship" situation, as painful as it was. And the truth which was then revealed to me (by me): that I have much work to do on myself before ever getting romantically involved with someone else. I was in doubt and denial for so long, but now feel peace and even grace. I am just not able to love somebody else as deeply as I want to until I can love myself as deeply as I need to.
I know this year is almost over. And when I mull it over, it is hard to find lessons. I had anticipations and expectations, several of which did not come to light. I can dwell on them or I can face them. I can see the lessons for what they were. They taught me things. To be strong. To be bold. To be less absorbed in others. To be more focused on my own actions and less focused on the actions of others. To react less.
I know it's October. And the beginning of the month, at that. There are opportunities afoot, and opportunities as-yet unheard of. But they're there. Weirdly, despite Mercury retrograding, I feel this shift coming on. The trick is to face anxiety and doubt head-on in the next few months and live in each moment. I'm feeling very uncreative tonight but I wanted to at least write something.
Now maybe the zit will go away.
Posted by Shannon McClure at 9:09 PM