Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Waking Up

On October 22, 2017, I pinned a note to the top of my Google Keep:

I can't tell you what compelled me to write that, but clearly there's a part of me that knew I wasn't living my best life.  I could also reason (ahem, make the seemingly-reasonable excuse) that the inquiry was before Baby, before my mother-in-law, before we moved, before the shaky ground beneath me caved in.  These life changes can be the "what." But there are always new things that become old things, and then another new thing comes into play.  Circumstances always change, but one unchanging part of my identity is that I am a creative.  So these days I ask myself a different question: why won't I get out of bed?

The answer, which takes more bravery to say aloud than to reason with pitiful circumstances, is something I've always known: I can't accept the journey.  Not the journey ahead and the work it will take to fulfill my dreams, not the journey behind and the work I should've done to be thriving today.  It's a contradiction and a shame to admit.  I, like many others, want my best life NOW.  But the work--yes the work that helps define me as a creative--is just too much (so my laziness tells me).

In regards to writing: this blog itself has lived for 10 years.  And every year, every few posts, I say I should write more often.  But I don't.  I'm my own worst critic, so it takes me a couple days to finish a single post (is it too short, too long? Too pointless, too vulnerable?).  Soon the drafts are insurmountable and I don't finish what I start.

In regards to art: I actually did try to become self-sustaining, but the demand of commissions wore me out that I put the pens down for about two years.  And when I finished my last commission, I washed my hands with a solid "good riddance," and I both ignored and resented the creative urges.  Eventually, when I would consider returning to art, I couldn't think of a design worth a comeback.

I don't want to get out bed.


Right now, Liam is napping in his rocker.  So far, this nap has lasted shy of two hours, which hasn't happened in a month.  I can't remember ever being engorged at 3pm because he nurses every hour, sometimes every half hour.  He looks so precious.  Even when he is screaming his head off (like the past 48 hours.. maybe a growth spurt), he still looks precious.  And it makes me want to cry thinking that in six weeks I have to go back to work.  Want to know something uncanny?  Just now, writing this paragraph, my co-worker accidentally texted both my boss and me, instead of just my boss.  As if work is already calling.  Sometimes I miss work.  Sometimes.  I like being busy, and I like that my job is mentally mechanical that I never bring it home with me.  But looking at my son on my right, and looking at the breast pump that just came in from Amazon this morning on my left, I feel a little nauseous.  How can I leave him?

Wes and I are hopeful that one day (soon) he can make enough to sustain the bulk of our expenses enough for me to stay at home and care for our son.  And what a dream that would be! In fact it would be possible... if I can somehow oil my gears and become creative again.

And so now, with the love of my son being the greatest motivator, I am dusting off the tools I've recklessly boxed away.  I am picking up the pen to write more, to draw more.  The Sunday Journal has always been a means of clarity, and when my mind is clear, my heart is honest.  And when my heart is honest, my creativity and art thrive.  I become my healthiest self.  I live up to my identity.  My family doesn't have half of me, they have all of me.  It's all a beautiful cycle.

My son is now waking up.  He needs care.  And caring for him starts with nourishing myself, with a little bit of clarity, a lot more honesty, and courageous creativity.  So, like I do in the middle of the night when my son cries, I am not just waking up--I am getting out of bed.