Category Archives: Musing
Christmas has come and gone, and so have both my decorations and my health. Now before you all start attacking me for my un-Christmassy spirit, let me lay it all out for you: new baby, new house after 10 months of bumming off family, hard-core Holiday season. (We were “smart” and moved the WEEK of Thanksgiving. Brilliance, I know.) Add on to all of that a cleanliness complex and the intense desire to see my living room without looking through a billion nutcrackers I had no other place for, and you might begin to get an understanding of why everything came down FAST. I mean, I literally finished college, came home, became a stay-at-home mom because that sounded fun, and spent the next week trying to cook a myriad of cookies with the four-year old for Christmas presents, because “that’s cheaper.” Lies. Alllll lies. Next year, people will get a craft from the boys and be happy with it. So there!
All that said, the stress and insanity have led to that age-old bane of winter: the Drippy Nose Cold. I’m not quite sure how to survive. My bathroom trash cans are over-flowing with wadded up tissues, my nose runs like Niagara Falls every time I slightly test gravity, and I think I pulled a muscle in my neck from sniffing. How’s that for a trip to the doctor’s? “Doc, I need some of the good stuff. I’ve pull a muscle in my neck and can’t see straight.” “Alright, how’d you do it? Car accident? Slept wrong? Wrestled polar bears?” “Ah…no… I sniffed too much.” I can just hear my mother telling me to go blow my nose. Doesn’t she understand, though, that you can only blow your nose so many times before a.) you are living in the bathroom blowing your nose every 5 seconds or b.) your nose turns into a massive bloody appendage worthy of a Kleenex commercial.
Alas, life must go on. My head may feel like a gigantic melon, my cheeks might feel full of rocks. My nose may be an endlessly dripping facet of nasty, and I might use up all the tissues and toilet paper in the house, but life must go on. So, I valiantly head forward, back into the melee, armed with a roll of Charmin and my trusty Lysol. If I fail to re-emerge, send in the foot patrol. I might need some Dayquil or something. Maybe, JUUUUUST maybe, if I survive, I’ll share a little of the chapters I’ve edited. Maybe. IF I survive.
We writers (and artists in general) know that true art is an expression of ourselves. Whether it be a commission or a free-flowing piece, there must be that little grain of something that says, “This is who I am.”
I’d lost that with “Calypso.” I’d become so focused on the fame and the finish line that I lost sight of why I was writing in the first place: to tell a story. I’d lost my connection to Kira in my multiple attempts to make her more intriguing. I’d lost my connection to the romance and mystique in my failed efforts to create more drama. I’d worn myself out trying to match the political intrigue and mind-games that some of the Greats achieve. I’d lost myself.
I would love to tell you that it’s all better now, but that wouldn’t be true. Perhaps this is any writer’s struggle, the tug between how you want the characters to sound and how you keep your connection to them. I don’t know. I know very few writers who have openly said that they struggle to connect. I can tell you that it is getting better. As I stop demeaning myself, I’m beginning to see the qualities of Kira that are also in me. Rather than seeing myself in the weak, whining, scared child who was my first incarnation of Kira, I can see myself in the overly-righteous, stubborn, logical Kira that is beginning to form. I am finding my connection again.
This may seem trivial to many of you who read this blog. I know it’s not the usual topic I blog about (not that I’ve been blogging much lately), but it’s a major part of my journey. On top of that, if I’m struggling with this I’m sure some other writer somewhere out in the void is having the same problem.
If you are, take heart. Step back and examine what is wrong. Why can’t you connect? What part of your character is blocking you? I’ve been amazed by the complexity of the human spirit. I can at once be the self-effacing girl-child that I first wrote freely, but I can also be the strong leader that is now beginning to flow. Hopefully, the revelation or the struggle helps someone. Otherwise, I’ll be content with discovering more about myself.
Is there such thing as a calling? What is my purpose here on Earth? Is there even such a thing as purpose, or are we mindless drones, set upon a path of anonymity to keep the world turning? I need to know. I need to have something tangible, something I can grab hold of and focus on. I’m tired of simplistic answers. “If your heart is still beating, you have a purpose.” But what is that purpose? And I’m infinitely tired of Sunday school answers. “Your purpose is to glorify God in whatever you do.” That’s all well and good, if God doesn’t mind me spinning aimlessly along on my hamster wheel.
Glory and meaning are in all things, but I am in no way convinced that just anything will do as a purpose. After all, I’ve been taught that each person has a place in the body of Christ. Why then not in the scheme of the world? After all, a nose knows it is a nose. It doesn’t wonder whether it should be an eye or an ear. I wish I had a clue as to what I was meant to be, just like the nose. Instead I am amorphous. I am an anything, able to mold myself to fit whatever is needed of me. I am a jack of all trade and a master of none. I hate it.
Oh, how I envy the few who have the stroke of destiny to weave their tales for profit. I envy their comfort in grasping their purpose, their security in knowing they need only follow that path, their joy in following those dreams. I envy them while I sit anxiously spinning in my wheel, endlessly living check by check in a job I am “suited” for.
With a family and with responsibilities, I am bound by reality. Callings must needs be pushed back, if not forgotten, in the wake of necessity. Food and shelter take priority over that peace of purpose. And the wheel continues to spin. Effort and strength and will drain away. I am going nowhere despite my best efforts.
Perhaps the truth is that I feel helpless. I know my purpose. I see it each time heart strings are plucked by words I have written. I feel it each time the pen touches paper. And yet… I am helpless to follow it. Nothing died that first year of college, and everything was born, but my dreams shifted to the farthest corner of my reach.
Then again, how else is a calling defined but through hardship? Maybe my hamster wheel is not as static as I thought. Maybe the sea around me is not quite so uncertain.