The last few months have been hard for me. I’ve had drama both personally and professionally, a two-month bout of unemployment, and a really nasty case of strep throat (which I am just barely recovered from *cough*). I have writing that needs to be done and editing projects I’ve been ignoring and a few opportunities I’m certain I’ve lost at this point. I have moments where I think it’s all coming together and then some other exciting* thing happens and I’m back at “now what?”
This weekend was supposed to be good. I had a couple of road trips planned – for a total of 20 hrs on the road and a little over 1000 miles driven – which I love because I get to sit in my car and listen to music and not have a lot of other responsibilities beyond arriving safely at my destination. I was supposed to meet up with some very good friends, talk writing, drink, laugh, and forget about life for a while. It didn’t happen, because of things which were beyond my control. Again. Again! Too much has been happening in my life which isn’t my fault and I can’t stop and which spirals out of control around me. Which, I realized, was precisely the problem. Not the fact that life happens, often in nasty ways, because I still prefer living over the alternative. No, my problem is that I’ve been trying desperately to hold on to the facets of my life which matter to me, and to try to make decisions without having all of the facts in. I can’t have any control over the big things in my life right now.
Me, give up control and let life happen? Oh, I’m not good at that. Waiting for other people to decide if I’m worth something to them, or trusting that someone else will keep my best interests at heart? That’s scary, and I’d rather not, thanks. But trying things my way hasn’t exactly gotten me what I wanted either. Saturday night, plans cancelled, I got in my car, and drove away.
About 45 minutes later I ended up in Asbury Park, home to the Stone Pony and the Wonderbar and the ocean and a which was a place I’ve never actually been before. It was something new. I walked around the strip, looked out at the sea, and let go of – everything, really. Stress. Worry. Control. I just breathed in and breathed out.
Afterwards I stopped off and got a donut.
Driving home I knew I had to start over. I considered my options and realized that there are some very real, very solid things in my life, which often get overlooked when everything else comes crashing down:
1) I have a child. He’s my responsibility, he’s not going anywhere, and I quite like him. Whatever else I do next, he’s coming with me. (I discovered his usefulness Saturday afternoon when, in a fit of ennui, I was lying on the livingroom floor, like you do, and he decided we were going to play “airplane” whether I liked it or not. Five minutes of him trying to push my legs into the right position to support his weight was absolutely hilarious, and I cheered right up.)
2) I like writing. I like editing. I like taking an idea and turning it into a finished product, and having that change people’s life in some way. Dagan Books started out as a way to print one book, and I’ve been unsure if I truly have what it takes to turn that into a publishing company with a consistent print schedule and a staff and, frankly, responsibilities. A lot of my lost momentum the last few months, where DB is concerned anyway, has been because of that uncertainty. I’m not unsure anymore.
And the biggest one …
3) I know what I want. I can see in my head what I want my life to look like, the kind of person/people I want to share it with, what makes me happy. I may not definitely positively for-sure have those things, but I know now what it looks like, and that makes finding it so much easier.
Some times you have to stop thinking, breathe deep, and start with what you know. Drop the things you’re unsure of, let go of holding onto the past or the possibilities of something that isn’t working for you, and find the things that you’re so certain of you don’t even think about whether you’ll have them – you know you do.
Yesterday, I started editing IN SITU again. This week will see new blog posts about writing, and my #cook365 project. I may not know where I’m going to be living in 6 months, but I know what I want right now.
Thanks for being patient while I sorted it out.
* In the worst sense of the word.