Writing, Honestly

I am having such a hard time writing. It wants to come out. The juice, the stories, whatever is in there swirling around. I get nervous because I feel like everything I write has to be for an audience, that I should be writing blog posts and sharing my stories, spilling my beans and I just can’t.

I feel at a loss. I feel scared of the emptiness of this page. I feel like I can’t get started, that I am limp in the face of creative mastery. That the last 22 years of being paid for my writing was a fluke. That I have failed. That because I can’t find a stream of satisfactory writing jobs right now that I just totally suck.

The truth is I am at a breaking point. I have been for a while. I got caught up writing for other people. Hiding my voice behind others to help them get their message out into the world. They have grown bigger, more successful.

Me?

I feel smaller and diminished.

Proud of my help and service to them but sad because the voice inside me has been neglected.

Every day I think to myself, today maybe is the day I will start writing. That I will bypass my vulnerability and resistance and face up to what needs to come out and accept what will be the result of showing up for myself on the page. And every day as I scour the job boards and email people and try to do all the outreach things you need to do to find new work, I just get discouraged. I get disheartened and yet I have not used the very tool I know I have to climb my way out.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do have a writing job. But you know sometimes the tried and true ways are like barking up the wrong tree. Sorry, I came from a mother who talks in cliches. I am going for the jobs I think I can get, not necessarily the ones I want. Because the writing jobs I want, come from myself. It comes from being my own boss and writing regularly and figuring out what is stirring inside. The problem is, those jobs that I think I can get, aren’t happening for me anymore. I think they have run their course and the universe is pressing me to move on from this reactive way of making a living into something more fulfilling in line with my calling.

I also should say, almost a year into my move to Portland, I feel my entire life is coming untethered. Everything I know to be true is being questioned.

As a Taurus, I fucking hate this.

I absolutely hate change. I like steady and consistent. I like linear. I am very black and white. I realize I have come to Portland to heal. I have a lot of pain and unresolved trauma to work through. I have a lot of past shit that infuses my present situation. It’s been going on for a long time and it’s easy for me to chug along in my self-care until it gets really hard. Until it gets unbearable. Until the heat is too hot. Then I blame it all on my relationship and I want to run for the hills and start over so I can wear the story of my herohood on my chest and point the finger at everyone else as to why things don’t work. It’s an escape hatch. 

I’m here to tell you I am out here in the pacific northwest to rewrite my story. I’m here to be my own hero, yes, unlearning the learned helplessness I was socialized into all these years.

I work from home, which I don’t think is always the best thing. I like people. I just don’t like to have to be places. I think that’s my privilege speaking. My privilege of being able to just float for a while and live off some higher paying jobs I had earlier in the year and having a partner who is willing to support me unconditionally while I figure my shit out.

I regularly walk my dog up Mt. Tabor which is right near my house (lucky). At first, I was nervous about finding my way so I would just walk there with my partner and he showed me the big loop. Then I started taking the big loop by myself with Lou and would power walk up the mountain. It’s about three miles from start to finish, but it has a steep incline. Today we were walking and I decided it was time to take a new direction. So, we took a different path and it was way more pleasant and beautiful and sometimes I just have to stop myself and look up.

I literally have to look up.

Because I am constantly fixated on the little patch of path right in front of me. But what I am missing are the leaves that look like jewels lighting up the gray sky, the trees that seem to go on forever and the horizon. I miss the air. The big breaths. I miss the bigger picture.

Not to get all prolific here but you get what I’m saying. I have been doing the same thing over and over because it had worked in the past. Now I realize it’s not working. Life is demanding something new. I fight myself a lot. I don’t always know what is best for me. I run after money. I’m tired of the façade I’ve had on for decades. I don’t have it all figured out. Sometimes the pain of being alive is too much. Sometimes the uncomfortability of not knowing what is next feels unbearable.

I have been sitting on my voice waiting for the right time.

For me to feel better.

For me to come out of fear.

But the truth is this is the stuff I have to be writing about. This is the important work. And I need to share it. Because this is what I came here to do.

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