I’ve always been a deep and sensitive person. Yeah, you know, you know.
This isn’t a feel-sorry-for-me post. It’s a reclamation of sorts. Whenever I read something, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I’m always looking for the metaphors, the message, the “what’s really between the lines” of something.
What did that guy, Frost REALLY mean about the road not taken? Maybe he just decided to take the other one, literally, that looked like no one had gone down in awhile just ‘cause. No deep reasoning, he just wanted to that day, for no particular reason. Nah, there’s a universal thing going on there “and that made all the difference.”
The Universal Thing
We all come from different places and it shapes who we are. How we view the world and how others view us. As much as we learn and grow and try to shed those things about us that keep us from doing the things that make us feel alive, that make our soul sing, it’s difficult to do so sometimes. I bet any of you can pull up a memory that still stings, hurts — even from childhood. So unconsciously, you still hear those voices that say: Who do you think you are?
Know what I mean?
One of those childhood memories for me was being very nearsighted and hearing mean remarks since I was about seven. Every trip to the optometrist was a traumatic event. My eyes would get worse. My glasses would get thicker and the insults, meaner. Then contacts came along when I was in high school and I blossomed a little, became less introverted. People noticed me and not because I was the goofy girl with glasses.
Obviously, I’ve moved on but that’s just one memory that I guess “stifles” me time to time. Don’t know why, it’s silly.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt was right about that. It just takes some of us a while to learn that.
Middle-age brings everything full circle. You learn to embrace the real you, lighten up and things that were once so important, no longer are — as much. You learn to drop some of those bags of bricks.
I’ve been doing some of that soul-searching lately. When we moved here three years ago, I was very busy doing all the stuff you do when you move to a new place. That takes up a lot of space in your head, your mind settles on the matters at hand.
I was fortunate and was able to get freelance work quickly. I still get work, not as much as last year, but it still comes. Much of my work is about making others sound good. My name isn’t always on that work but I get paid and I get many, “Great job!” It makes me feel good and I’m very grateful for it. After all, if I get paid to be a writer from time to time, then that must be who I am.
But sometimes I think you have to step away from your “working” brain and get more into your own groovy self. I did that this weekend. Nothing grandiose, just something I like to do.
I painted. My little office. It looks so nice.
It was good, physical movement–using your limbs to stretch and strain, the I-see-the-results-of-my-labor-and-I’m-proud-work. The kind of work that makes you good-tired at the end; not the walking on a treadmill like a hamster or climbing endless stairs or picking up weights and putting them down kind of “work” with an iPod plugged into your head.
When you do those things, you lose all track of time (at least I do). I get that when I write — for me. I get that when I paint, not just a room, but my “artwork” or refurbish a flea-market piece of furniture. I lose all sense of time — I just am. It’s almost child-like. There’s a wonder to it. A really feel-good space/place.
That’s those soul things. Your sacred space is where you find yourself time and time again. Joseph Campbell said that and I painted it on a strip of wood, probably fifteen years ago and I’ve lugged that piece of wood with me through all my nomadic wanderings.
What started with a small room and a bucket of paint has made me rethink some things. I’ve got kind of a big project this week, but I’m going to take some time to write a chapter of my book, finish a short story I’ve been working on.
Even if neither sees the light of day, I know they’re good and it feels good to finish something for myself. It feels good to stretch your creative limits. Good for the soul I think.
It’s important we carve out some time for those ‘soul things.’ An hour, a day. It’s important.
You must do the thing you think you cannot do. I hear you, Eleanor, I hear you, baby.
Happy Monday everyone.
What do you do that makes you lose all track of time? When’s the last time you did it?