Watching my 3 year old son wildly licking every inch of his face he can reach, to get every bit of smeared ice cream around his mouth.
All my life I’ve been a nerd. In elementary school I spent my recesses acting out my favorite books instead of playing or sporting.
I read all the time, staying up way past my bedtime to read books not on many other 4th graders reading lists. Tom Sawyer, Great Expectations, Gone with the Wind. By 8th grade I’d read most of my Complete Works of Shakespeare and had just discovered JRR Tolkien and Jane Austen. By my senior year I’d already read most of Dickens, Tolstoy, Hugo and Dumas. If it was a classic, I’d probably read it.
I loved school too. For all the reasons most other kids hated it. I loved to learn new things. I couldn’t wait to have to memorize Hamlets soliloquy like my older brother did for a high school assignment.
But I hated PE, and recess and talking to people.
Because it was hard and I was weird.
I was the pock marked girl with glasses too insecure to look anyone in the eye. The one who shook from fear and embarrassment when called on by the teacher. Who would not walk into class after the bell rang because people would look.
I wanted to be invisible.
I’m going to start collecting moments, things, tidbits etc. as I experience them, to add to my mental health self-care toolbelt. I’ll keep them here on my blog in this experimental new series I’m starting, right this very moment!
So here goes, number one…
Going to sleep with crisp, freshly laundered, lavender and linen scented sheets, blanket and pillow cases. Bed heaven.
Or The Story of How I Developed, Suffered From, Wondered About, Was Diagnosed and Learned to Cope With Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.
Listening to White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane.
It gives me fucking goosebumps. I love it.
And though it’s not what the song is about, it made me think more about what’s become my theme for the week.
Which is what I’m doing writing a blog and whether and where I will get inspiration to write.
I wrote a post about it the other day, the rush of creativity I get and the emptiness that comes when it’s spent.
When that emptiness occurs, I “feed my head”.
I listen to music, most recently music made before I was even born. Music of the 70s.
I watch television, most recently The Flash and Arrow. But also Bob Ross and The Great British Bake off when I need to lower my stress and anxiety. Just yesterday I finished watching A Series of Unfortunate Events with my daughter.
I read. I finished The Handmaid’s Tale last week. I read my Facebook page til I can’t stand it anymore. I read the Washington Post to catch up on all that is wrong in the world. And I read my fellow WordPress bloggers.
At some point when I’m filled with all the words I’ve heard and read and I turn them into the fuel for my own story.
Much of the time I’m doing these things, I have a voice in my head (very literally my patriarchy as it is my father’s scolding voice that I hear) telling me I should be writing because it is my lifeline and my only hope.
I have been questioning what it is I’m doing here on a blog for the last couple of days.
What started as an outlet for my (usually) ever changing moods due to my rapid cycling bipolar disorder has become a mishmash of me talking about my life, my pain and my writing.
Am I allowed to have a blog that doesn’t have a one track mind?
I just read a blog post by Alex Press (I’d reblog it but I’m not sure the proper etiquette and lack the know how at the moment) so I’ll just put the link here.
It was written by a woman who is sick, like me, with migraines and and brain damage and heart issues (oh my), like me. She also writes despite these things, like me.
She’s an inspiration and I love following her blog.
So thinking about what it is I’m here to do, what it is I’m hear to say, it came to me again.
I’m here to explain myself, to myself and to others who might be interested in understanding or learning about what it’s like to live in my shoes.
I’m here to give my life structure and form, instead of living everyday without some sort of record of the life I’m living.
To put myself, my life, my mind, and my atheist stand in for a soul into words. To sum up my life. So I can give it further value than it currently has.
Explaining is not complaining.
Sometimes when the pain is too much, when the act of writing about myself seems too presumptuous and narcissistic, I wonder to myself, am I just here to complain about this life that I have?
Today, I think not. I am still explaining to the world who I am. I can write about my pain without it being a whimper.
And if on occasion, a whimper is all I have, I accept that as a part of who I am.
I feel my creativity flow like a sponge caught in the ebb and flow of the ocean tide.
One day I am awash with ideas and visions bubbling inside me like ocean foam lapping on the beach. When I’ve reached my capacity, I overflow and can no longer contain the torrent of my imagination and I focus my efforts to create something new and beautiful. I am swept away by the tug of the words, and every creative drop is purged from me.
I am left stranded and empty on the dry sand of the beach, scorched to a husk by the beating sun, wordless and visionless. Unable to think or create, I am empty and in need of the flood of inspiration that moves me to write and the desperation to have my voice heard. I suck in every bit of stimulation, absorbing every spark of ingenuity I can find to fuel the creativity that will come once again with the tide.
And suddenly it’s there again, the wave of brilliance and exuberance that compels me to disgorge my thoughts, my voice, and my art into the world.