Nothing more that I want than to go back to sleep. I don't want to make a peep. I want to make dreams. My head screams--well it's more like a whine. It's heavy and I can't ever seem to find the time to get my full 8 hours in. I think it takes me much longer to do anything. My mind tends to linger and ponder and grow fonder to just being blank. I can thank meditation for that. I am now typing with my head on the desk. Multi-tasking. I ask a lot of myself as most women do. I put all my goals on the shelf right above my desk as if gazing at them day after day they will grow wings and take flight. I guess any forward movement is good trajectory but if I were to erect a line graph of my progress it would look like long leisurely wedge of swiss cheese. Slow and steady, don't mind the dips--although my head does flips when it's not staying still and I wish that I could just chill or focus or be like those founders that don't need Z's. They work on their projects as if curing disease. I respect that but also know that it could take its toll on you in other ways. Maybe not now, but eventually, when your life is off kilter, you bleed. Or atrophy. You use some parts and get that reputation strong, but your spiritual health is long gone. Or you're super fit and your love life has gone to shit. The question I'm constantly asking myself is am I willing to sacrifice living well in all domains to realign my career to be free to work independently. I'll cradle this thought--it will be my premonition, as I return to my bed in the fetal position.
I once asked man who has been blogging for over a decade which of his posts do best with his audience. He said it doesn't make any sense--some get crazy-shared and others rarely make a peep through a like or a retweet. He used to put predictions on which ones he was sure to knock out of the park, but after 12 years of writing, he is still in the dark.
Few things feel better than when you put your work out there and people care. They "heart" it, say it's smart; they have never seen anything like it and they "like" it. They really like it. Our ego will never tire of this flattery because to the ego it matters, but to the powers that be that live beneath, we know that it is unnecessary. Of course we are wary. Putting work out there is scary. But it will not affect whether I not I continue to create. That is innate. And the work is more for me. I aim to help a lot of people (eventually), but we have to start somewhere and that somewhere is here and it is process and play and trudging through muck, and wiping away the gelatinous sleep from the corners of my eyes that get stuck.
I think we know generally what get the crowd fired up. Sex and hot-button issues, underdog-takes-the-gold tales that may require some tissues, controversial political themes, Ryan Gosling memes, and when all else fails, vids of pugs and kittens attempting to bite their own tails. All the above are sure to get some attention if situated in the right place at the right time. But my intention is to move within and improve my improvisation on themes that mean something to me. This is the only way that I will continue to pray and offer work to the altar of my creative muse. Sacrificing lines and time that may not be my idea of good enough--not seasoned just the way I like, but will suffice. I will practice not for perfection and not to prove myself, but to improve the craft. Oh, and to enjoy it too. Who says you can't "heart" your own art? Start now.
You are not the work you make.
You are not the words you write and say; the lines you draw. You are not the connections you make.
The sculptor knows the hand she shapes wet is not hers. She makes nail beds; carving the winks and kinks of the knuckle, She knows once it is formed that she must let it go.
We make things, we say a thing, we build a thing we throw some symbols together in an open space and justlikethat it works.
You heave and sweat and make love all night and feel sick mornings later and stop bleeding and nearly a year later you heave again and you birth a child. He’s beautiful even if he’s not. He looks like you in the slightest nuance even when he doesn’t yet, and you celebrate and you pop champagne and although he was made from you in heat and love in strings of stories told in chromosomes, he is no longer yours. And he will break your heart a million times before you realize it.
We are not what we bear. We are not what we give or receive.
We are the thought that counts. We are the decisions and the motivation behind it. We are the people we sit with and share with. We are behind the smile, we are the kindness. We are what we walk away from, what we fear.We are what we do every single day, but after we do it, it is not ours. We can’t own it. We can be grateful for the effect that what we made has had on others. We can thank our God for allowing us to be the portal for which something we are proud of has entered this world.
And although we love it, we must let it go. We must know that even if it never brings us a cent, or loves us back, to love it anyway. Make it anyway, give it all away. Enjoy it for the journey. We are better for it.
Originally published on 1/14/17 by Thrive Global.
I am in love and it is consuming.
I tried to find another example, but the only other one I can think of is addiction, and I have not been down the road far enough to tell you what I have seen there. But I imagine it is similar in that you are high and coasting and you lose yourself. You lose yourself by loving too much. You lose other things too. Earrings, for one. Entire conversations. My love spoke this weekend and the second sentence melted into ether as I noticed the dark velvet of his voice. And then the source of the sounds--his lips. And "I" as I knew it was gone. It feels like it is the first time--it is not. And this time, I would like to have some reverence for this love, some distance from this feeling. Staying present to it and observing it. What does it feel like? Using it in my everyday--my kindness towards others, my work, my love for myself. Remembering it by understanding it. Because this intensity only lasts up to 18 months, on average.
In just the same way we lose our minds when something is painful--when we are hungry, or physically drained, we try like caged monkeys to escape the feeling...what would happen if we slowed down to observe it--to not squirm so much when it is uncomfortable. We are still here. And we can use that too. Oftentimes they are more useful than love, although it is not a prerequisite to be miserable to make interesting work.
Whatever the feeling, look at it, observe it, feel it. Now act.
No seriously--go get dressed.