When I was a little girl, my parents would take us into the heart of Hollywood where we walked along Hollywood Blvd. and read the names on the stars on the sidewalk. We stopped for ice cream in freshly made waffle cones with a maraschino cherry or a ball of bubblegum in the bottom and checked out all of the stores selling souvenirs.
On one trip I remember putting a red plastic toy watch in my pocket. I also stole candy that night. They were little individually wrapped hard candies and I shoved them deep into my pocket, hiding them carefully for later. Later never came because as we continued along the street, I pulled out my new watch and got caught. I couldn’t wait for what I wanted and needed to have my immediate gratification. My parents did the responsible thing and made me go back and return it. Getting caught sucked.
I feel it’s normal to want something we don’t have. We go to extremes because we imagine how wonderful it would be to have that thing we want. My first example for you was stealing. We might take something if we feel like we can get away with it. I thought I was in the clear with my little red plastic watch and I was ready to wear it and enjoy it.
We’ll diet and exercise for a perfect body . . . Well, you might but I most certainly will not. If it doesn’t feel good, you aren’t selling it to me.
We save our money and forgo things we like and are comfortable with for something that matters more.
We’ll negotiate and plead and beg for what we want.
We’ll work hard toward what we want. Making plans and setting goals is my idea of fun. It lands me elbows deep in a spreadsheet.
We’ll even face repeated rejections if that means there’s a possibility we’ll get what we want. (It’s always going to be about a boy.)
We’ll even eat our vegetables so we can have cheesecake for dessert. Doesn’t it bite when you get through all of your brussels sprouts only to find out someone else ate your cherry pie?
I’ve been wanting to write a great big novel for years. Each November 1st I watch Twitter light up with writers participating in NaNoWriMo and I want to be them, but I haven’t been them. Something inside of me shattered under the pressure of what I thought I was supposed to be and do made it really difficult to write. I couldn’t see the end and if I did, it wasn’t fun anymore. I couldn’t get myself to set the time aside. Once upon a time, I had to force myself to stop writing so I could eat or sleep.
The other night I felt the spark of a story that was pulling me along. It felt amazing to be so involved in what I was writing and it was terrifying at the same time. I want to write but the weight of the story that was filtering through me was different. It was a compulsion that kept me from the drama of being Mom in the middle of kid fits and it calmed the rage that was building in making me want to disconnect. (The rebellious side in me ignores life in literature because I grew out of the scary things I used to do.) As much fun as I have blogging, the writing is not as serious or driven by deep need as writing out fiction (my dialog skills suck, so you may never see it). As much as my blog started from a very broken place, there has been healing and there are no longer itchy scabs begging to be peeled so the wound can flow freely again. I don’t know when that happened but it is a good feeling.
I often see my blog as more frivolous. I write short (to me) posts that map out something I think or feel or just the way I see the world. It’s silly and each post can stand alone. It’s really just just something to write to get back into the habit of writing. I want to get back to what writing used to be and blogging is my gateway drug. But I’ve been neglecting my blog for bigger, and it’s a kid free night and I’m not sure if I want to do anything other than go home and write, and that excites me.
My Dad has always had projects he was working on. I remember being a little girl and laying in bed wide awake. I purposely didn’t cover myself with my blankets because I wanted my Dad to come tuck me in. He was busy writing and didn’t know about this until we talked about it last week. I need to be intentional about being a Mom and make sure my words don’t replace my kids, because my kids aren’t imaginary.
Serious writing means I’ll have to remember to eat. I’ll have to set aside time to function as a human that does dishes and laundry, but I get to write. I will have to mother with intention. I will have to remember to not neglect my blog because it brings me serious joy and I’ll need it when I get to the revisions and editing phases that are tedious and frustrating.