“Just write,” I tell my clients. “Do it. Doesn’t matter if it’s bad. Doesn’t matter if it’s terrible. Just write and write and write and you’ll find your voice and you will make great stuff.
“Write when you’re tired,” I say. “Write when you don’t have time to write. Write about not wanting to write. Write about what you hate, what you’re embarrassed about. If you want to write, you have to practice. Write, and put yourself out there.”
And yet it’s Day 13, not even halfway through this 30-day challenge, and good god, I’m sick of this.
I’m sick of myself. Also, I wanted to be entertaining, every day. I wanted to be sharp and introspective and extrospective (word?) and colourful and engaging. I wanted have people go OH MY GOD I CAN’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW’S INSTALLMENT OF NATALIE’S LIFE. But that’s not real. And for me to pretend it were would be like just another social media feed of sunshine and roses and happiness and bullshit.
One of the things I teach is something I learned in meditation practice: start where you are.
In other words, when you’re resisting what you’re feeling, sit with the resistance. If you want to jump out of your skin, be with the feeling of wanting to jump out of your skin. If you feel down and miserable because you can’t stand yourself as a human being, be with feeling down and miserable. Drop the story and just be with the feeling.
And sooner or later, there is peace.
I’m not down or miserable today. I’m a little sleep-deprived and really sad be leaving my Swedish friends tomorrow and trying desperately not to beat up on myself about not having something brilliant or insightful to say. Ella and I went for a big walk today around a lake, today. The leaves are changing colour, like they do in Canada. It made me homesick. Then we went for sushi. I bought some new underwear (pretty notable, really.) Whenever we go out together, she drives the minivan and I have to sit in the second row of seats because there’s a car seat in the passenger seat and it’s a bitch to move. So I make jokes about being the kid and her being the mom, and shout ARE WE THERE YET?, which we find hysterical. Until we get to a drive-through and I insist on paying and she has to advance the car so that I can pay from my backseat and the chick hands me a burger and two milkshakes and looks at me like maybe I’m a bit special and then we are really hysterical.
I love having friends you can laugh so hard with you can’t stand up straight.
Last night, I read Dr. Seuss to my godson. He sat in my lap and put a blanket over us, and he’s probably already forgotten all about, but it was one of the highlights of my month.
It’s often the difficult days that make for the good writing days. Sometimes, the good days mean you have nothing to significant to say.
With love and good days,