August begins a new journey of sorts. When I moved to Florida from California, I had the first draft of my book finished but I needed to hustle in order to build a new life and as a result I put creative projects on the back burner. I say this without an ounce of regret or any sense of guilt over it. Too often in this world we’re shown people’s success and how they prioritized some great life’s work over everything else. That it was hard to find the balance but that if you’re really a ______ (important creative title goes here) you’ll find the time. I prioritized what was important at the time and I feel like I have much more insight to edit with now.
I feel like perhaps I am being too vague and indirect. Much of how I write and how I live is in the space of abstraction. There’s never a singular form that encompasses what I am trying to express and that’s why I write. There’s never an end to what I want to express because it is vaster than me and my lifetime and the place of my living.
Back when I started my first draft (4+ years ago) I was in mourning and rather than retreat from writing I ran toward it. I didn’t want to write my literal experience because I did not desire to place myself at the center of the story and so my pain became abstracted into a world that I was creating but was also being created by. It flowed because I made myself open to it and I delighted in being the first reader of a story that didn’t feel as though I was forcing into being. It changed shapes as I discovered it and right around the time I felt I was finally ready to begin the terrifying task of editing I came to a cross roads in my life.
I met and fell deeply in love with the man who became my husband in January of this year. It was exactly the most inconvenient time. It was exactly that plot twist I have struggled to write and I responded in the only way I could but in the way that took me away from all the creative progress I had been struggling with for my whole life. I upended my old life, moved across the country and devoted all my time to finding any work that would support our life together. But it was exhilarating and fueled by love. More than that, I uncovered so much about myself and the world that I had read about or understood intellectually that suddenly became visceral.
But even as I worked hard in a job that I enjoyed for it’s challenges I was rebuilding my creative life between the little moments. My husband was moving along his own challenging road alongside me and in July we finally came to the top of that particular path. We’ll both be changing jobs and now I’ll be focusing more of my energy back into that creative life.
I am less afraid of failing than I once was. It isn’t that I don’t see the many opportunities to fall and fail but rather that I appreciate how success isn’t a singular point but rather the accumulation of efforts and failings which become a final destination for those efforts and failings to collect. It is as always rather daunting. But in two years I have pulled together all the necessary parts to start over. It was messy and ugly with so many points where I think it might have all fallen apart but every day, no matter what I pulled it all together and continued on. And so it is with this new direction…
How about you? I know I don’t have many readers yet but anyone that does I’d love to hear about the struggles you’re overcoming (the big ones but really, the little ones are even more fascinating).