I walked in Thinking I knew Where I was going I thought I would lead you There That I was right Each step in I went further Past Where I should be Turns out, I never knew I was lost too
Sunlight tipped My fingers Slipping through, Open space I couldn't Hold onto The sunlight New darkness Still follows Every ray, Snuffing out Leaving me Cold, alone Without light
She always walked
Caution, kept her
She never thought
That her words mattered
Nothing, held her
She found herself
Her life, shifted
Once she knew
For someone else
Creative Journal 2/18
I stare. At my hands, at the desk, at my reflection. I stare out the window and I wonder, where will I go? I stare, trapped where I am by myself. Trapped by comfort just as much as fear. What if I can’t come back, what if I don’t like where I go, what will happen then? So many desires seem so far out of my reach, and yet feel as if they’re just around the corner. If only I could see, just a little further ahead. Maybe that would give my feet the strength to move forward, my heart the courage to take risks, and my mind the bandwidth to take me there. I toy with the idea, like a child pushing the boundaries to see how far they can go. How many daydreams can I allow myself before I’m put back in my place?
Nothing worth having was ever easy, that’s been beaten into me over and over throughout my life. You work hard, you earn what you have, you stay realistic with your dreams. But I’ve always been a little bit stubborn even if I never let myself slip into complete self-indulgence. I want the dream. The whole thing. Not just a slice, not half, I want every bit. Then I pause, I think, does that make me ungrateful? Does that make me selfish or greedy? Maybe. Do I care? Unfortunately, I think I do. Then again, it’s not that what I have isn’t enough per se. It’s more that I know, I can do more. I can do more than stare down the things I want, the snippets of dreams that dance through my days. I can step out of the window, I just have to be ready to try.
The power to shape
When your mind
Could focus on more
I have never done anything unpredictable, but that changed today when I woke up, packed a bag, went to the airport and randomly bought a ticket to Ireland. I needed something new, so new that I would feel that sense of being lost and out of place that I haven’t felt in years. Something that would calm that ennui inside that I haven’t been able to quiet. I know I should be happy, I have a good job and good boyfriend, I have a couple good friends. But, everything changed when Alice died. Three months ago, my younger sister was in a car crash, and she didn’t survive. The first month all I felt was pain. The second month I felt guilt, and a sense of needing to do more. This last month, pushed me over the edge. An overwhelming need to go out and do more with my life, life that Alice wouldn’t get to experience, consumed me. So here I was, at the airport, waiting for a plane to Ireland. I fiddled with the ticket in my hands, already nervous, but there was no going back now. After purchasing the ticket I had called my boss at the online news outlet I worked for to tell her I would need some time off, I had plenty of unused vacation and while suddenly demanding time off wasn’t really how things were done, I had earned a certain amount of leeway over the last 10 years. My boss, Simone, had talked me into using part of my vacation and working to provide travel content for the blog they had just launched. Ever the type to make the best of a situation, Simone even managed to spin my midlife crisis to her advantage.
Gnawing on my lip, I pulled my laptop from my bag- might as well start on content for that blog now before spending over six hours on a plane next to strangers looking over my shoulder, I hated writing under scrutiny. I opened up my laptop and started drafting out some minor details about what to pack, what to leave, how to make a spur of the moment trip happen. I spun it all out neatly, as if I had planned to wake up this morning, drive to JFK without telling anyone, and buy a ticket out of the country. As if I wasn’t silently slipping away from my personal life and everything I knew. Telling Simone had been out of necessity. I make a good living, but I am not independently wealthy by any means and I can’t afford to throw away what is not only my sole source of income, but a job I very much enjoy and built for myself over the last decade. Michael would be upset, maybe. We’ve been going out for almost a year, I supposed maybe I should’ve consulted him about my last minute whim. I can’t bring myself to feel that bad about it. He’s a good man, but there was never that spark, we both worked too much and didn’t make the time for each other that we should. It was debatable that we were even in a relationship since Alice died. I’ve been so strange and he’s been so distant. I called him after speaking with Simone, he didn’t pick up but I knew he wouldn’t. I left him a message, saying I was leaving, and then turned off my phone. I would handle what came, later.
The boarding call startles me out of my thoughts, I slide my laptop back into my bag and get myself back together. Getting in line with the other passengers, I look out the window at the drizzling rain- my last look at New York for now. The flight attendant checks everything and sends me through to the plane, taking a deep breath, I step through and into a life that is no longer the predictable one I know.
Every step, I take Serves to clear A path For the smaller, Footsteps That follow Behind
Hold your smile Don’t let them see You’re everything They want you to be Polished performer You know what to do One small slip, Is the end of you Point your feet Perfect every move Don’t dare trip- You know what you’ll lose Head up straight Pools in your eyes If they fall, They’ll see all the lies Harmless façade A veritable Athena Twirl and bend- Dance, Ballerina
SO. I’ve been doing okay with keeping up on here. That being said, I did have some content already prepared to go when I launched this site so that has definitely been helpful in maintaining a consistent stream of posts. As I’ve mentioned, I go through super productive phases where I’m writing all the time and full of inspiration, but there as just as many times where writing and focusing on that creative side can feel like a chore. I guess anything worth having will involve hard work and dedication in times when it would be easier to do nothing, or to give up. Sometimes when things feel too overwhelming, the urge to curl up and literally do nothing can become really hard to resist for me. This is how I end up eating out or ordering instead of cooking- something I genuinely enjoy doing. It’s easy to make yourself ignore the fact that you’re choosing not to do things you enjoy, because you’re tired or overwhelmed from the things you HAVE to do.
I enjoy my job. I’m good at it, I get to do different things, on good days I feel fulfilled by what I do. On bad days I feel consumed by work and can’t wait to get home. By the time I make it home or have a minute to breathe, I’m worn out. I’m mentally, emotionally, and physically over everything and the idea of doing ANYTHING (even things I enjoy) feels like too much. I can have workaholic tendencies, and I can push myself past the point I should stop at. Making excuses that support that pattern, is second nature. I work hard, I do everything I can to take care of my family, and when I get around to thinking about me and my needs all I can think about is the need to rest. The down side, is that leaves me feeling pretty unfulfilled or rewarded in my personal life.
The first step is always recognizing that you have a problem, right? I need to put just as much effort towards myself and activities I enjoy as I do towards other people’s needs and my job. This blog is a way for me to remember that a little more. Even though it would be easy to order dinner tonight, I’m going to cook a meal. It would be easy to stop writing and watch a show or listen to a podcast, but I’m going to write. I could be happy sleeping in late tomorrow, staying warm and cozy in my bed for much longer than necessary. But I think I’ll get up, make myself a coffee, and go outside with my daughters while there’s still some sun around. With little steps and little choices, maybe I can grow more personally and feel like a more well rounded person. Just some thoughts.
My dreams Were so big For many years Drowning screams That asked for more My dreams Were so big Sometimes at night Hot tears stream As they crush me My dreams Were so big That they blocked out Any small gleam Of other paths My dreams Were so big They trapped me here But now it seems I’m leaving them For me