This isn’t what I want to say, but the time has come to just say something to get back in the habit.
When I talked about wanting to lengthen my stride rather than churn in 2014, I didn’t know that would turn into four weeks of not writing and four weeks of not working out. (The goal was to slow down, not stop dead.) The longer I didn’t do these things, the more afraid I was to start back up again.
Do you ever feel that way?
The insanity of it is there’s nothing to fear. I’ve sat down with no words in mind and watched them come. I’ve changed into a hand-me-down red Sacajawea Camp thrift store tee and running tights before and made it through a workout. But something kept stopping me and telling me it was too hard and too risky.
Yesterday, I sent a panicky IM to Brad about how I felt anxious without any real reason. It was making me freeze up, pinging the muscles in my neck, and plain freaking me out. “Go work out. Go for a run. You need to take long, deep breaths,” he wrote back.
So I did. I broke my running fast with a two mile run toward the person who always points me in the right direction. Two blocks from home, I wondered why I hadn’t been able to write lately. I dug and dug into my mind and landed in my gut: I couldn’t find the confidence there to write. I’m afraid it won’t be worth the time you spend reading. I’m don’t know if it’s good enough to give you the bits and pieces of my thoughts before they’re an understandable whole. Or maybe that’s what’s more real? But is it also more indulgent? Then I imagined what it would take to feel confident. It wouldn’t take your praise (you’re all so kind about that already), it would take a change in me. Something in me needs to be calibrated. I can tell because as I imagined how it would feel to lose my self-doubt, I started tearing up. Right there on Coleman Avenue I almost started crying because I want so much to silence the voice that says what I have isn’t good enough.
I’m not sure what to do with that. What I did yesterday was run the remaining blocks home, burst in on Brad working, hug him, kiss him, then word vomit all over him, then run back to work.
Even more strange, all these thoughts come at a time when I’m inexplicably happy. I’ve felt so light and full of joy since Christmas that it’s begun to feel like a burden. Is something WRONG with me? Why is nothing bringing me down? Have I lost my ability to feel? I mean, I just read a book about teenagers with cancer and it didn’t phase me. (Let’s remember I’m the girl who always cries in the first few scenes of Star Trek where
Thor Kirk’s dad sacrifices himself.)
Humans are weird. This human at least.
“then word vomit all over him” — bahaha… that was a good one!
I know, I know! I wonder–have you heard of Steven Pressfield and his theory of the metaphysics of “Resistance”? Here is an overview: http://www.stevenpressfield.com/2013/11/resistance-and-self-loathing/ . He was on Oprah’s Soul Series (an interview I found life-changing), and he also has a book called The War of Art. When you face this kind of “block,” he says it’s because there is a powerful, natural force in the way. The good thing is that the resistance has emerged because there is a dream in there working to get out. (!) Pretty cool stuff, right? So write on! Run on! Dream on! (Love your blog.)
Love you. Love Brad. Love your blog.
1. Since you don’t have facebook, no matter what you write makes me feel more connected with you and the miles not seem so long. You could write that you ate cereal and then looked through a magazine, and I would be all, ooh Joanna! I’m glad you write, no matter the reason, no matter the words.
2. I love the phrase humans are weird. Growing one has me more convinced than ever that is true, glad you feel the same. :)
3. Love you, miss you, let’s skype coffee date soon!
<3 your brown-eyed sister
You amaze me. I forgot about the sacagawea shirt! Glad it’s still in use, though worried that you don’t buy yourself enough clothes.
Jesus does great things through you writing. I brag about you all the time.