I completely lost touch with the practice of writing. Arriving at this realization in mid-July completely devastated me. My last written blog post was from February. Between February and July, my pen had hit paper in my journal only three times. I haven't written a song since March.
I used to write every single day. How did I let this happen?
Writing has, for as long as I can remember, been an extremely valuable processing tool and creative practice for me. Why did I let it go? It crushed me to discover that I had entirely let go of the creative medium that calls me the most: writing.
I felt overwhelming shame and guilt. I wallowed in that for about an hour.
Then, I began again.
At dusk on July 21st, I opened a google doc, sat down at a wooden table looking out at the ocean, and I started to write. Even in my journaling, I have often spoken in euphemisms, preferring to refer only vaguely to my inner world, rather than suffer the pain of speaking it outright (even though no one would read it besides me). If I had to guess (and I do), I might say that the reason that I stopped writing is that I was ashamed of what was alive in my mind/heart, and I didn't want to write it down - but I also didn't want to lie in my writing. I was firmly resisting the work, so I just didn't write.
When I opened that document with the intention to recommit to the practice of writing daily, I committed to a new rule:
Hold nothing back.
The beginning was horrible. Mangled, warped, contorted excuses for sentences came pouring through my fingertips into that document. Things I should've written down a long time ago came screaming to the surface. I hated what I was writing, but it was a good pain. It hurt to get it out, but I felt better once I had. It reminded me of throwing up from food poisoning. I had let myself get full of nasty things and refused myself the outlet.
That was 22 days and 45 pages ago. I'm still writing every day. The burn has subsided. It even sometimes feels good again.
This summer has been a whirlwind of the searing fires of transformation. I am digging as deep as I ever have to better understand the how, what, and why of the ways that I am so that I can skillfully move forward with being more deliberately. I'm reducing myself to ashes for the sake of intentional regrowth. Honestly? It sucks. It hurts. I've been having a terrible go of it. I'm meeting demons that I thought I had vanquished. Dusting off boxes I thought I'd thrown away a long time ago. It's probably Type II fun. As much as I'm not enjoying the process, it is so undeniably worthwhile. I can already see this. I am learning so much. I can see and feel the evolution in progress.
This process of being is an endless cycle of beginnings. I like that.
As always, I am grateful to you for joining me on this path. May we both be better for it.
In particular, I am grateful for those closest to me who are supporting me through this process. I know that it has not been pleasant to witness. I am bleeding all over everyone around me from wounds that they did not inflict. I feel that my behavior is like that of a wounded animal, snapping at anyone who comes too close, my instinct for self-preservation on overdrive.
I am also grateful for the patience of those people with whom I have not been in contact for months. My focus has been exclusively inward and on those people and things in my immediate vicinity. I have been spending so much energy on this process, that I have had little to nothing left in the tank for anything else. I know this is unbecoming, and I hope you know that I love you - even from a silent distance.
As I dust off the soot, stay tuned for the written manifestations of this work that I've been doing. I've got some pretty good stuff in the pile for you.
Know that I am now able to share this with you because I feel that I am emerging from it - the worst is over, and I am stepping back into the light with tender fresh skin and new bright eyes.