Wednesday, August 17, 2016

reclaiming this space.

I'm sitting in our studio apartment next to a sleepy dog, box fan shoved into an open window, 6 o'clock and no sign that the sun will go down anytime soon. It's a peaceful scene. I've been working on my intentional breathing, which sounds absolutely bizarre and over-the-top pretentious, but is actually incredibly helpful. My physical therapist described my intentional breathing practice like this: first, check in with all corners of your body (especially the achy ones); try and send your breath to those achy places; inhale deeeeeeply through the nose, and then produce an audible, strong exhale through the mouth. Repeat that as many times as you can muster. For me, that's about 10 times and then I'm bored.

I've tried to write this very blog post so many times. What do you write in a little white box that hasn't been touched in months? How do you unpack what that silence has meant while still keeping the personal parts of that silence to yourself? Well, for one thing, you just start writing and see what comes of it.

In many ways, I haven't known what to do with this space. There was a time when I wanted nothing more than for this little blog to take off and become a career. I posted the beautiful pictures, wrote very few words, and talked about pleasant, unremarkable things. This is what I saw other successful bloggers doing. They all said you couldn't have a "career blog" without pictures. Every post needed pictures. Readers would stop reading if the content wasn't saturated with pictures. Dutifully, I took my camera everywhere -- took close up pictures of random things, blurring out the background. It was fun, until it wasn't.

Truth is, I'm a writer. It's the written word that's always interested me. That's where I feel compelled creatively. That's the part I want to push into and explore. I recently listened to Amy Poehler's book and there were about one million pieces that stuck with me (Side Note: I think every woman should read/hear her chapter about your inner demon. That was completely illuminating to me. Not illuminating because I haven't dealt with an inner demon, but illuminating because I've never had anyone quite so accurately put words to that particular struggle.), but one thing I really latched onto was a part where she spoke about how fortunate she is that her career and passion overlap seamlessly and how that isn't the case for everyone. That potential overlap is a great joy and a stroke of luck, but it isn't always a given. You can love and enjoy and even be passionate about your career, and still your deep, deep creative passion can lay elsewhere. And for me that passion is writing. It's the one thing I've always come back to over and over again. It's the way I can best express myself and share the innermost workings of my brain.

So I'm gonna write. And if no one else reads it, then it will be for me.

I put a lot of pressure on myself for things to be just so. I've got a lot of thoughts and feelings about how my life should look, and if it doesn't look just like that just when I think it should, then I am immediately going into a tailspin. An exhausting way to live, I think. And it's not like I can just will myself to walk away from that way of thinking on a random Tuesday evening, but I can be intentional about trying to really just be happy (and sometimes unhappy [that's okay, too!]) in the way my life looks right now.

What does that mean currently? Well, it means my husband is on the floor trying to clean out our portable air conditioning. It means I'm worrying about our dog and his separation anxiety, which has recently manifested itself as a loud, excessive bark-howl hybrid that disrupts our neighbors. It means I'm thinking about the giant share of CSA veggies we just got and how we'll manage to put ANOTHER summer squash to good use. It also means that I don't have to share every! single! thing! about my life in this space. Ha! What a revelation.

It means that I'm reclaiming this space, and it might look a lot like a rambling essay (such as this one) without much of a common thread because at the end of the day, if I use this space to flex my creative passion then I am using this space for good. And it will be a bright, warm, happy space simply because it's housing thoughts that I felt were worth sharing at some moment in my life. Love, love, love. Be back soon. (Thanks for reading. Mean it. Xoxoxoxo.)
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