What is it that drives me? What is it that slows me down?
This is a question I ask myself. Knowing the answer to it doesn’t make the struggle between these parts of me any easier, though.
It’s a complex thing, all colorful and textured, with layers and layers of things like history and pain. The things that drive me stem from exactly what slows me, so to pick it apart, analyze and make sense of it all, seems daunting and stupid.
I have spent almost my whole life severely creatively blocked. I look back on journal entries from the last few years and see pages and pages that look like dead trees, all bare and thirsty. I think about the years before that, the years I was a teenage mother, and then a wife. I was so far away from what I wanted for myself. I made my home my only creative outlet because it was acceptable and didn’t require honesty.
It has only been months. It’s even scary to say it here because it feels so fragile.
It is easy to blame it on the fact that I’m a mother. I wake up in the morning and the house rumbles until the kids are in bed. There is always someone to attend to, something to be done. But my kids are not what slows me down.
If writing happens in the hours between eight a.m. and nine p.m. it rushes to me in this sort of wild, focused race to get it all out on the paper. This happens when I am not blocked. When this happens, everything looks bright.
On the days that I can see things clearly, it’s all beautiful. Even the struggle. I spent my childhood always in books, writing and directing plays in my best friend’s front yard, filling up journals with stories and poems. It has been with me all this time, hiding out, taking the back seat so that I, a sensitive human, could survive some particularly painful years.
The clarity isn’t always present, though. I have to tell myself almost every day that it’s here, in my mind, and that it’s not going to just leave me forever, frozen--hand holding a pencil over a blank sheet of paper.