Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Me, Honestly: Day One

The past three months have been spent in a total funk and it’s time to come out. 
Last night I spent a few hours with an incredible, inspiring friend, who saw something in me worth fighting for.  I hate to say I didn’t think I was worth the trouble, but at that point, I didn’t.
So as I tweeted yesterday, I am spending the next seven days examining my core as a means to move forward.   I’m doing it question by question.
I wrote some stuff I might be okay to answer, then started over.  Then I thought about what I absolutely don’t want to discuss, and that’s what you’ll see below.  I humbly give you Me, Honestly.
Day One: What’s Your Problem?
I shouldn’t have one.  But let’s add up the factors.  I barely sleep.  I’ve lost five pounds since Sunday.  I’m frustrated all the time.  I don’t get it.  I’ve seen people go through worse.  I’ve had the best luck ever the past couple weeks, doing Pure Romance events and getting this blog out.  But that means nothing. 
I’m not okay.  And apparently, I won’t be okay until I get where she wants me to be.
She’s this nagging, self-righteous bitch of a woman—my ‘Ideal Self’—and she picks at me for all the things I haven’t yet done, in every aspect of my life.  According to my Ideal Self, I’m way behind schedule and I suck for it.  She hates me for the dumbest things, like getting married at 29 instead of 24.  For still not having a Masters Degree, though right now I don’t need one.  For not managing to juggle more.
I don’t get why she won’t get off my back and let me work, but maybe it’s because she’s completely one-sided and I am not.  She’s all about deadlines and following a book someone else wrote.  I’m more laid back than that.  I’m made of a few main parts—a left brain, a heart and demons—and they’re always at war to be first in line.
Enter Left Brain.  Logically speaking, nothing happens quickly.  Arissa Writes and Pure Romance are like gardens, and will take as long to grow.   My Ideal says the results should be tangible.  Bigger.  Prettier.  Faster.  Left Brain says to Hell with that; just let it be.  Love the work, and the results will come.  I’m awesome for giving it a shot, where’s the pat on the back for that? 
Enter Heart.  It’s bittersweet.  For a long time, I thought I was incapable of feeling emotions.  I’ve been called everything from a statue to a shell.  Then I had my daughter.  Then my marriage fell apart.  Then I severed all ties with my father.  I didn’t expect my heart to open this wide, but it did, because I’m human.   Miss Ideal says this is exactly why I shouldn’t be bothered with anyone right now.  I was right to keep my gate closed and an idiot to go out on dates, make friends, etc.  But Heart insists that’s not the person I am.  I’d rather love and not have it returned than keep it to myself.  It took years to get up the courage to do it, and I’m not stopping now.  But as a result of this, my heart is often broken.  Even as I type this, I’m on the mend again, and Miss Ideal is saying “I told you so.”
Enter Demons.  Don’t get me started on my tendencies.  My quick temper has been a problem up until very recently.  But old insecurities have always plagued me.  I could blame my chubby childhood.  I could blame my mother for not being the hugging type.  But at 31, the reason I am not making progress is not because I was a chubby kid.  It’s because sometimes I don’t believe in myself.  Ideal gets frustrated when I fall back, but she’s no back-patter.  She’s an ass-kicker. 
Still there’s one more part to me, and it’s the only part I share with my Ideal: my right brain.  This is where we meet in the middle.  It’s the reason all my poems are usually about love but with a shot of pain.  It’s why every story I write is non-traditional, with an ending that doesn’t really “close the book.”   Ideal will get the words on the page, but the inspiration is all mine.  This is why I was born to write, I think.  It’s the one thing besides holding my daughter that gives me peace.
So, what’s my problem?  I’m ambitious and want more of myself.  But where I want “more”, Miss Ideal wants “it all--now.”  I'll be fighting this battle for many more years.
Bottom line: however I feel about the path I’ve chosen and whatever I get or don’t get from it, it’s all motivation to keep going forward.  I have to be okay with that at some point.  Not today, but hopefully tomorrow.