I said I was going to do this more often. I said I was going to make a commitment to myself to post about once a week. I said I needed to remember how to write. remember? remember when it was like breathing? remember being at parties, and not having anything to say to the beer-swilling guests? remember trying to find a pen in that house? remember wondering how people didn't even have pens or paper? remember tucking into a corner at the top of the stairs and making poems "on the paper bags we brought the alcohol home in"? remember D asking to hear that poem, staring blankly for a minute, then commenting "well, at least you can still use the bag." bitch. I wonder if She ever wrote anything worth reading...or anything at all. like that mama yesterday who said, "I never made any money when I used to write." like writing is something people pick up and put down, like it's a hobby, or a whim. well, it is to some, but to others...but to me... maybe that mama wasn't very good at it. maybe because she thought she'd get paid well. maybe she was romantic or something, I don't know. whatever she is (she's a pretty right on lady), she isn't a writer. not like me (unemployed and unpaid? my inner critic sneers).
|Inner Critic by Ana Bettencourt Tirolese|
|this is a stock image of the actual machine I own - isn't it gorgeous?|
I have spent around 15 years wrapped up inside this concept of being the kind of mom I needed to try and be for my offspring - from the first moment I knew I was pregnant, to hustling for money/places to live/food during my pregnancy, to working at home so I could stay near my baby, to putting him in daycare so I could work outside the home, to having him get off the school bus at my job so he could work that last hour with me. then the next job, which had me rushing back and forth to work and home between putting him on the bus in the morning, and getting him off the bus in the afternoon. then came the homeschool years, when I worked from home again; and when I didn't, bringing him to work with me. when he went back to public school, there came the day when I found myself unemployed (again), and I sat on my couch staring at the wall, wondering what to do with the freedom of hours stretching out before me - and remembered that I used to Be Someone, and that someone Did Things. what were they again? ah, yes...I used to write, and make jewelry, and paint, sew, crochet, knit, weave, sculpt, play music, sketch, make pottery, shoot and develop film...but more than anything, I used to write. All The Time.
|by Henriette Brown|
my teen barely needs me anymore - and soon, when he starts driving, he'll need me even less, if at all (other than a thing to rebel against in his quest towards autonomy). and who will I be then? still his mom, sure, but what else? one of the middle-aged ladies working at the grocery store, earning the same minimum wage for the same job I had when I was in high school? so what all have I managed to accomplish since then? what social standing have my achievements lent me? what form of wealth? is it for money that we artists sell our souls? is it for status? I guess the successful ones do... how many times have I heard "you could write a better story than that" about some multi-million dollar book series that got made into several multi-million dollar movies? more than once. more than twice, actually. I need to believe that I can still succeed at my dream, no matter how many times it's been put on hold, or set aside for the 'here and now' of having to survive in this world while raising a kid as a single mom who can't succeed in the mainstream work force. I truly suck at 'having a job' because I hate pretty much everything I've ever had to do to earn money, other than selling my own crafts at markets.
but where did my creative flow drain off to? it's supposedly a bottomless well, that one only needs to feed in order to be filled. so I tell myself I have to post to the blog once a week to get that flow going. I tell myself I need to send cards out to the friends I owe letters. I tell myself to get off my ass and Move My Body to jump-start the energy I need to tackle the task at hand, which should be easier now that it's almost Spring in the northeastern 'united states'. I need to nourish myself, physically, mentally, spiritually, and figuratively (artistically). I read every day. I watch movies frequently. I'm working on getting back in the habit of meditation and ritual. I need to remember to feed myself food, because single people often don't care to cook for 'just themselves', and I graze through the kitchen, trying not to get any dishes dirty to avoid having to wash them. I guess I need to set up a schedule for myself, the same way I did for the kid, to 'raise myself right', now that I've mostly done a good job with him - though he still needs to be reminded to brush his teeth twice a day, every day (guilty secret: so do I), along with other teenage imperatives.
|long before I read Julia Cameron's 'The Artist's Way', and learned her concept of 'filling the well', I referred to myself in my writing as a vessel created by the Universe to be filled with its desire to express itself through me.|
there are at least a million motivational tools available to everyone with an internet connection and a computer, but I don't to use them, because I'm way too cynical to have sunshine blown up my ass by anyone other than myself, and I'm more into the 'tough love' approach, anyway. the teen and I joke that my skill-set is more akin to what we call the 'Cotton Hill School of Parenting', in reference to a character from the animated sitcom 'King of the Hill'. if you're familiar with the show, let me remind you - I said JOKE. Cotton is a despicable character, though he is funny in the context of the story...but I digress. motivation is 'the reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way', or one's general willingness to do something. OR - like I stated earlier, when the ache of NOT getting it out hurts more than keeping it in. and motivating oneself will produce momentum. science shows that setting schedules and building rituals around tasks are one way to make getting started and keeping going easier, so my coming to the page 'once a week' (at least) is a very small step towards reminding myself to do what I love. isn't it weird that I need reminding? I chalk it up to life being about cycles - I've been so wrapped up in my day-to-day, I didn't realize I let my 'raison d'etre' got lost under the piles of monotony.
ah, well...it's no wonder with all I've got to do that something had to suffer, somewhere - too bad it was my creative outlet, and being able to take part in a romantic relationship! well, back to work, then...the creative outlet part, not the relationship. I still don't quite have the bandwidth for that. I've gone on a few dates recently, and I wasn't really all that impressed by any of them. but we are kind of living in the age of 'most men are trash' right now, so that part of my life can wait a bit - I need to be working on Me, and I don't have any extra energy to give to anyone that can't show up Whole when I have So much to offer (I'm really kind of fabulous, but I tend to keep it under wraps, because most people don't deserve to know, shallow gossips that they are). so Monday is what passes for a day off in my world, and I was all set to write this post then, but I got side-lined writing cover letters and sending out resumes instead. I did come to this page on Tuesday, but there were so many other things that needing doing (Not a day I 'take off') I wasn't able to finish it. now it's Wednesday, and I've spent most of my morning attempting to finish this up so I can take care of my other responsibilities (hello business taxes) that got neglected yesterday. where are my single moms at? I know you hear me...
hope to see you here next week ~