I guess by now you’ve noticed my absence. It’s not for lack of material. I’m still raising silly children, initiating random conversations with strangers, and finding the funny in things others tend to overlook. However, I seem to have lost my ability to put it in a written form that anyone would care to read. My confidence in my writing has slipped away.
Lately, I find myself starting a entry then editing it to death and never posting. I’m spending two hours proofing and rewriting a three paragraph post and finally just deleting it. It’s insane and I’m trying to stop.
Tonight, I’m going to allow myself one read through of this post then I’m hitting publish. I’m sure I’ll read it several times after that and will cringe and criticize and find grammatical errors and such. I know my finger will hover over the delete key. I will try very hard to just let it be.
I don’t consider myself a perfectionist. I let people see my flaws, kind of. I’m comfortable leaving the house without makeup. I have a decidedly lumpier body than I did eleven years ago and that’s okay. My house is generally presentable and clean, but not organized in the least. I have more than one junk drawer and an unwary individual could lose a finger in them. I yell at my kids in the yard where neighbors might hear. I grab arms and do the mean mommy whisper in Target. There is grass in my flower beds, but no flowers. My dog is fat. My kids sometimes can’t remember the last time they bathed. I sometimes can’t remember the last time I bathed.
You get the idea. I’m normal and I don’t try to pretend I’m more or less than that.
However, I am a perfectionist when I write and it’s gotten worse.
Lately, when I’m writing something that other people might read, I get all tight inside and worried that it won’t be interesting. When I started blogging, nearly four years ago, I was much more casual in my approach. I typed up some funny event or scenario and sent it out to the internets without a care. Then people started reading and I got more careful. I proofread and did a bit of editing, but nothing too time consuming. For me, blogging is a way to let off steam, not a profession, so I wouldn’t let myself over-invest.
After Tony lost his job, something shifted in me. We had just set some long-term plans in motion that had to be put on hold indefinitely and it really shook me. I can honestly say it was the first time in my life I wasn’t getting what I wanted and could see no way to get it. Not that I’ve never suffered loss or disappointment, but this was different. This was a true step backwards in my life. Not a pause, not a bump in the road, backwards.
I’m not one to share my feelings. I’m a “laugh all the way to hell” kind of girl. I think that’s why my writing has suffered. My appearance, my house, my behavior in public, none of those things get a big emotional investment from me. I don’t care if I’m judged on those things because I rarely judge others on those things. But writing… that’s big for me. I show so much more of myself when I write. Even my texts and facebook updates contain more of the real me than most things I say out loud. My writing speaks much louder than my voice. So when I started having emotional turmoil and true unhappiness, I stopped writing. I didn’t want it to show.
Now I’m writing the words I’ve avoided for two years… I’ve been unhappy and I don’t like to show that side of myself to people. I hope that publishing these words will help me find my way back to writing. Writing makes me happy and I’d like to have it back.