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March 17, 2014

when i can't write.

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”*

-Anna Quindlen

i go through phases where i can't write. 

physically can't. mentally can't. there's always enough in my head; that is such an understatement. 

i can be emotionally full and yet. 

yet nothing comes out. this blockage, the more i push, the thicker and heavier the wall starts to feel. 

i have to repeatedly remind myself to leave the heavy things to themselves. i often forget this.

and sometimes i find myself on a 5:10 train out of the city on a thursday with a brain that won't turn off. so i take out my neon pink and green college-ruled notebook and make a list: what happens when i can't write.

and i remember the words start where you are.

get pissy
think of random ideas i will then email to myself/begin to write about/get frustrated over/get sidetracked and forget about
feel jealous of the writing ben does/feel proud of him/feel bitter and jealous again
go back to anne. always anne. "you sit your butt in the chair and you force yourself. you just do it."
think about the night in november when i met her and lost any semblance of "cool" and cried my head off
remind myself that perfectionism is poisonous bullshit
get pissy again
drink coffee
wise-up and drink tea
write some
cut even more
hear the words, "comparison is the thief of joy" drift through my head. 
say a prayer of gratitude to the universe for moments like these: signs, gifts, nudges, prayers
make lists
organize my lists
organize eva's clothes
clean the pantry
go through notes from months ago
say "mm hmm" and "wtf" in equal measure
catch up on "the pioneer woman" and lifetime movies i've seen five times 
laundry-lots of laundry

and i stop and look out the window on that train and pray. i remind myself that everything is prayer. moments of desperation and moments of joy. the desperate prayers, the "help me, please. i don't know what to do. please help. please, please, please help me." are heavy and ugly. the prayers of gratitude are always lighter. joy is always lighter. and it feels good. so many times we forget what this feels like, especially when it's been awhile, after a really good workout, after a walk, after Church, after a hot bath, a lovely dinner, we have to hold on to it. 

we have to fight for happiness. because it's a choice.

i was put on this earth to write. this is my purpose. i know this. and yet. 

yet the days, weeks when it feels like i never learned how to do it/forgot everything i've learned/forgot why i do this with my life/don't feel good enough to do this, those days add up. especially when there is too much on my plate. 

those days add up when i'm cruel to myself. being kind to myself gets me a lot further than the opposite.

start where you are. but, and this is a big but: do not stay there. 

have faith that the blockage will pass and you'll find your way again. 

*i love this quote, absolutely love it. and then i forget about it for three months. and then i come back to it. like life.

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