The “Perfect” Week and Writer’s Block

Last week I challenged myself to accomplish two goal this week. The first being closing all my activity rings on my Apple Watch, and the second being blogging every day this week. They were relatively small goal, but I’m still proud to have accomplished both of them. But it got me thinking about writing and my relationship with writing.

I started writing when I was in third grade. I wrote and illustrated a series of books about a kingdom of mice, and while the books have been lost to time, I feel confident in saying they were epic. When I hit puberty I started using writing as an outlet for working through all of my normal adolescent frustrations. By the time I was in college my two main ways of coping were writing and killing off facsimiles of people on The Sims. Hey, it’s better than drugs.

The thing is, I’m not subtle. So to use writing as a coping mechanism meant that I had to give zero fucks about what people thought. I once wrote a play about things ending badly with a guy and named the villain after the guy. I had an acting teacher I didn’t get along with so one of my characters cut out the tongue of her acting teacher. A stranger once called me a bitch in a supermarket so I murdered him with a shopping cart…. in a play that I wrote.

I was really good at not giving a shit. It was fun, liberating, and made me feel like a badass. But all of that changed when I became a mom. Kids are usually a package deal. When I became a mom I also became a partner to my (now) husband, a daughter in law to my in laws, so many different things to different people. And quite suddenly I went from giving zero fucks to giving allllll the fucks.

I bit my tongue, I tried not to curse (which I really enjoy doing and believe I’m pretty good at), I tried to be so many things to so many people, that a part of me got lost in the shuffle. I worried about what people would think of me and how they would judge me. And I couldn’t write anymore.

I kept getting into my head and shutting myself down. I was worried. Worried that the people around me, who cared about me, would judge me. I mean, the idea of telling my Christian in laws that I was writing a feminist, vampire erotica sounds awful.

Even worse somehow, is that all those fucks I suddenly gave were for people I love, but who also annoy the shit out of me occasionally. My husband and I are incredibly lucky to have built an amazing support system for our family. But what do I do when that support system pisses me off? I can’t write about mowing them down with shopping carts, they are an amazing support system, they read everything I write.

The whole thing has made writing incredibly hard for the last eight years.

Which is why, tonight, I’m patting myself on the back for reaching my goal of a perfect week. I wanted to end the week with a post that’s a little more personal, a little more raw. Try to get back some of that catharsis writing used to provide. Honestly, it just feels good to write. About anything.

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A Love Story

Since it was Father’s Day yesterday, and my five year wedding anniversary on Friday, I wanted to write a love story about my husband. The problem is, which love story should I write? With five years of marriage, two kids, ten years together, and over twenty years of friendship, there are a lot of stories to choose from.

I could write about the first time we kissed. In college, at a party. There was alcohol involved and he cut our makeout session short. He had to get up early the next morning to sing in the choir at church.

Or I could talk about the time early in our relationship when I went to Disney World with my family. I missed him so much I called him while I was riding Maelstrom (RIP Maelstrom) and provided him with colorful commentary for the entire ride. There might have been alcohol involved with that one as well.

Or the time on New Year’s Eve, where he pulled me off the couch to dance to “I Only Have Eyes For You”. He whispered the lyrics into my ear while we slow danced. No small feat given the thirteen inch height difference between us.

Then there are the obvious stories I could tell, our wedding day, driving through McDonald’s after the ceremony because we had both been too busy and nervous to eat anything beforehand. The births of our children, when our daughter came out covered in meconium (her own poop, pregnancy is so gross) my husband exclaimed, “She’s beautiful!” and I thought he was crazy because she was literally covered in s**t.

And then there are countless other stories I could tell. Stories of him patiently cleaning our daughter’s toe after she’s picked the nail down to nothing. Of him spending hours reading the same five books to our son, because those are his favorites. So many stories of his selflessness, as a husband, son, and father. Stories of his passion as an artist and a friend.

There are thousands of love stories this man has given me. A new one every day.