Paths. We can blaze our own or follow someone else’s footsteps. We can refuse to advance. We can forge ahead and find hurdles or barriers in our way. There are barren stretches and confusing terrain. For some, the right people are met along the way. For others, it’s a lonely walk.
My online presence has been muted as of late while I’ve wrestled with numerous truths that have a baring on my future. I imagine there are those who believe my absence means I’ve been locked away in a depression deep enough to rival the Carlsbad Caverns, but actually, no. Well, okay, there have been days when I cried more rivers than exist in Missoula County, but that’s another topic and the majority of my time has been spent resetting my life.
Change is difficult. Harder yet, at least for me, is facing certain truths…
I’m at heart a happy person. I was born that way, supposedly. At least, I was that way when I was little, before life revealed truths a child shouldn’t have to face.
Before life dealt the incomprehensible and demanded that I manage.
Over the past 9 months I’ve dipped my toes into some self-help pools like walking, mindful thinking, and the meditation/yoga that I don’t do nearly often enough. Time to fix that. Time to fix my isolation. Time to fix me…as in a real fix. I’ve made headway, but there’s far to go and, of course, things change.
I’m not sure how I thought I could remain unchanged having moved between drastically different locations. But I did. We humans are simple that way. Well, I’m simple that way.
Funny how we celebrate our personal changes and then fail to account for them.
Over my life I’ve weathered much and my rebuilding process is still in its infancy. The reality is that I’ve never fully been ME before and finding ME, I’ve discovered, is more difficult once you’ve reached adulthood. So much stuff gets in the way. So much baggage weighing you down. So many people refusing to accept your efforts. So much—everything.
Adulthood. I’d attained that dubious achievement long before I realized I had no idea who I was or where I was. Does that sound confusing? Then you know where I am at this point in my life.
I’ve lost many people in my lifetime to date and most of them left because they turned their backs. I’ve learned. I’ve grown. I’ve forgiven. I’ve moved on. Yet, to a degree, I’m still broken and needing repairs. Over the years I’ve survived more reasons to dwell in depression than anyone has a right to survive, though fewer than some. My worst period began nearly ten years ago. That anniversary approaches…
Still, even if my legs are out from beneath me I refuse to stop trying.
On a somewhat superficial level, yet in keeping with fixing myself, I recently had my ears re-pierced. It was necessary owing to an unfortunate accident four years ago. That’s the reason why, despite my LOVING earrings, I’m often not wearing them in pictures. That will now change.
Likewise, in my rebuilding efforts, and because I shed so many possessions before moving, I’ve spent more money on clothing than someone has a right to spend, especially someone who doesn’t actually have an income. I often hear the little accountant in me, but not as much as before I tied her up and gagged her.
And then there are shoes…
I’m working hard to overcome that addiction. I park outside the shoe store and ask myself, “Why are you doing this? What’s the point?” The answer is always, “I’m looking for something I love even if I don’t need them.” I’m still working on the counter-argument.
Of course, there are more serious issues…
There’s long been the dream to write fantasy fiction. I once kept that dream in an old dusty box on the shelf and when I pulled it down and opened it I discovered I didn’t recognize what was inside. Then again, what was inside didn’t recognize me, either, and so we stared at each other for awhile. In the end, I tried to make the collaboration work despite our each having grown in different directions over the years.
Has it worked? Not so much.
There’ve been problems, problems that others recognized long before I saw the truth. Many people read my blog. About as many people read my poetry. Virtually no one reads the fiction. No anger here. It’s merely a truth, a truth that’s dwelt deep within me for a long while, but I ignored it.
That genre dream I’d had, I discovered, had grown cranky and demanding over the years. It actually had the nerve to tell me it was fantasy or nothing! Stick to one genre! I tried to reason with it, tried to make it understand that my drifting into a fantasy/mystery/horror/romance/adventure/thriller was worthwhile.
When I added sci-fi it spit at me.
Genres have attitude.
They’re also, quite often, more bright than I am.
What I needed was more honesty in my writing and less effort applied to pursuing old dreams that may no longer apply. I’m guilty of covering what’s deeply important to me and overlaying it with more acceptable issues. I’m guilty of sinking into a dark style that doesn’t accurately reflect who I am. All that creates distance between the writer and the reader and that isn’t fair to anyone. Does this mean I’m through with fantasy fiction? Not sure. That question can’t be answered until I sort out other truths that have far more impact on my life than even my writing.
This is another step in my evolution and one I didn’t see coming. Thus, the tears at times.
Montana has been good for me for more reasons than having the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. My heart is opening and allowing me to see more clearly the truth of who I am, to see that a course correction is desperately needed.
Yet again, I need all the strength I can muster.