Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"If you don't mind, babe, I'm going to put my phone away awhile."

I once ran into some bullshit on Pinterest. It goes like this "People cry not because they are weak.  They cry because they've been strong for too long."  And then there's a picture of something completely irrelevant, like a lake or a pair of shoes.  I've never cried enough for a lake, even when I was a teenager and crying was cool*.

I have decided tonight is a night for a good cry.  I've been feeling a lot of pressure lately in my life, most of it internal.   12 days ago, a Thursday, I was bombarded with compliments and comments about my writing ("She should write a blog" etc.**).  When I say 'bombarded,' I mean, 5 in one day.  Writing it down now, it doesn't seem like much, but this occurred on a workday when I generally kept my head down and work.  I would call it a sign, if I believed in that sort of thing. 

By the morning of the following Sunday, I decided I was going to believe in that sort of thing.  I called my friend, Liz, and invited her over for coffee.  I hadn't really said anything in particular about why I wanted to see her, something along the lines of "I have a proposition for you***." 

My friend Liz is a visual artist.  She's recently gotten back into her work, finding time here and there for sketching and painting.  It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that her and I were on the same page, that we were starting our...fuck, I hate the word journey, so if I come up with something better, I'll come back and edit this post.  When she showed up, I was going to ask her if we could bolster each other in our artistic goals.  Eventually, I was going to ask her if she would explore a twelve week self-guided art course.  I was going to ask her to do The Artist's Way alongside me.

Pictured: going sane?

About 15 minutes before she arrived, I got incredibly nervous.  What if she thought I was crazy?  Worse, what if she thought I was being flaky****?  She arrived and we looked at the work she'd brought.  I thought it would be nice to see what she was working on.  On some level, I also thought that, if I saw her work, I could confirm for myself that we were at the same point of development of our art (if I could call my writing art).   I served her a coffee, and we looked at the art, and then I told her my plan.  I say plan here, because that's what you call something that worked out okay.  She liked the idea, agreed we should do this together, and ordered a copy of the book herself.  Success.

After this, work exploded for me. Sadly, I don't mean writing work, I mean actual work, the work that pays my bills. 

Who needs electricity?

The difficult thing here is, if I choose to believe in the signs that I should write and work towards this goal, then the signs of the next week was telling me to give it up and quit.  I'm really feeling like I'm being tested lately.  I think my best bet is to trust the process and continue, but for tonight?  A good cry, I think.

*my soul is black. 
**I told them about the blog, and I had thirty hits that day, so that's good.
***which is always awkward to hear from your bi friend.
****I think my worst nightmare is being called flaky. Okay, maybe third, after cancer and being left alone the rest of my life.  Sorry, this asterisk got dark.

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