Full Circle Mess

18 Feb

My friend Story tells me I should just start writing. And when I warned her that it will be one big, rambling mess, she rebutted with, “I love your mess.” Words thrown back at me from an earlier conversation when I insisted she doesn’t have to be perfect (or even close to perfect) in order to be loved – to be happy.

Why is it I am immune to my own wisdom? Well, not all the time, but it seems that often the hardest advice to take is my own.

And another thing. I auditioned for Listen To Your Mother a few weeks ago and had a blast. Met some great people – bloggers from my actual neighborhood instead of my virtual neighborhood. It’s always nice to have faces (and hugs) to put with the websites. But as soon as I got home, I realized the piece I auditioned with? Wasn’t done. It was a work-in-progress and I fear didn’t really dig deep enough. I wrote about my conflicted feelings about my 5 year old – how much I mourn for the loss of the baby and toddler she used to be. And before the audition, I was really happy with it, but looking at it now, it misses the mark. It doesn’t really show the depth of my sense of loss or how much it keeps me from enjoying her now. I expect not to make the cast and that’s okay. I will audition again next year. I will keep writing. I’m just disappointed that I missed the chance to really polish something.

Adam tells this story about when he was at a dinner (or meeting, I can’t remember) with his PhD program advisor. The professor recounted a visit he had with an academic, crypto celebrity. He explained that as he admitted to the well-respected expert-in-his-field-PhD that he felt like a fraud, expecting to be discovered for his lacking at any moment, the crypto-god said “I feel the same.” I wonder if other experts ever feel this way. Does Yo-Yo Ma ever shrink back from his cello?

There are so many things in my life right now that are sucking the confidence right out of my spirit. I rely on that confidence to tell me that I am okay, so its disappearance is always a warning sign to me that I need to stop and take stock of my mental health. I’m so very worried about my girls, for different reasons. We are really struggling with some difficult behaviors with Doodlebug and Bean is falling behind on her growth charts. And because I love them both so fiercely, the fear that something may be seriously wrong leaves me trembling. And though I try not to borrow trouble, it’s been hard this week to stop the worry cycle.

And it’s snowing. Again. It IS pretty, falling gently from the clouds, unlike the windblown, rainy mess from Sunday. Today’s snow is a magical one, but it would be better if I had a fireplace. And some palm trees. On a beach. With no snow.

This piece? Is not polished. I don’t think I’ve ever published one of these hot messes. Maybe that’s the exercise today – to let go. To find some peace in the unpolished, the unfinished.

Well, shit. We’ve come full circle, back to my friend Story and her love for my mess. Funny how that happens. You write and write and write and then all of a sudden, you feel like you can breathe again.

Thanks, honey. I needed the push.

11 Responses to “Full Circle Mess”

  1. Jaime February 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Stream-of-conscious, unpolished pieces are the ones that help me really get to know a person. They are the pieces that I find myself nodding my head to while reading. I’m w/Story. xo

    • learnedhappiness February 19, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      I love them, too. I wonder why I’ve never thought to write one until now.

  2. Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered) February 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    I, too, love your mess. I’m a huge fan of this kind of writing. I’m with Story and Jaime. Both. And you. ❤

  3. Alexandra Rosas (@GDRPempress) February 18, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Nothing like an SOC post, Love them. It’s what blogging is about. xo

    • learnedhappiness February 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

      It’s scary just spouting out whatever you’re thinking when you’re used to a comprehensive revision and edit process. It’s the writing teacher in me. I have to admit, it felt REALLY good just to write and publish. Think I’ll do more of these. I’m thrilled you came over to read!

  4. story3girl February 19, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    There’s nothing like putting it out into the world and letting it go.

    • learnedhappiness February 19, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      If I can say it to everyone, I can say it to myself, right?

  5. Charity February 19, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

    That breathing again? Is priceless. Breathe through each thing. One moment at a time.

  6. tranquilamama February 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    I struggle with feeling like a fraud all.the.time. You’ve inspired me to write it all out.

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