I am exhausted at being everyone’s sounding board.
It’s my turn to speak. Now listen.
Writing is not a childhood pastime. Nor is it a hobby that I have impulsively taken up to fill my days. It’s not on a forsaken to-do list either.
Are you listening? Or have I lost your attention to your superficiality of what to wear tonight to Skybar?
(Sometimes I can’t believe that these are the kind of people I choose to divulge my feelings to)
I’m frazzled by the forty five minute conversation we just had about you. You are conscious of what you’re saying, but oddly distant from your own self-absorption. You forgot to ask, “How are you?” Your selfishness is not surprising. The incredulity is provoked by the height of it.
I was lucky. I had the good fortune to have been given the opportunity (all credit to my husband) to resign last year from a life sucking J-O-B, leaving behind the envenomed Corporate America. It’s a slow withering death.
I had that kind of boss, the one who never appreciates you, but greet with a smile and when given a task, it was always, “With pleasure, ” or, “I’ll get right on it.” (I played this game like a pro) When what you really wanted to say was “Kiss my ass and then f@#! off.” Maybe even spitting inside his /her Starbucks coffee was a thought that crossed your mind. Once? Twice? Ok. So I never did stoop down to that level, but I wanted to. In fact, my very existence didn’t even leave a small mark on the work and institution to which I had so naively plead my loyalty for more than 8 hours a day. And yes, I suppose I have been fortunate to no longer have to listen to the constant mind-blowing girl banter and being everyone’s therapist. (I must have an invisible sign on my forehead that reads, “Free therapy sessions all around the clock, everyday.”) So on Monday mornings, when I begrudgingly walked into work and dragged my feet to my desk, turned on my computer, realized that I have 100 e-mails to read and you come, pull the chair next to me and ask, “Do you think it’s weird my boyfriend says he only wants to have sex on Saturdays?”, then you cannot question, not even for a moment, (as a matter of fact you are forbidden to do so) why I flirted with the edge of that cliff.
Have I lost you? Is the topic of me quite the bummer? Are you itching for me to finish so we can get to what’s important, you.
Ah. I see. You think somewhere, deep down inside, I miss it. The way one misses their childhood, with a subtle nostalgia?
Which part? Having to get up in the mornings? Being assigned a new role in hopes of a promotion you will never have? And all this is compounded by the clock that does not tick fast enough. Having only 2 day weekends to regain some sanity? -That’s if you have managed to do so before jumping off the cliff.
Do I rest my case?
Although the stupefaction was gratifying, in that it confirmed the felt gravity of my decision, the truth is, my decision did not come without apprehension. But who said making leaps was easy?
The fear factor: I have been working since I was 16 years old. Financially reliant on three people: Me…myself…and I.
However, if I didn’t take this chance, the chance to write full-time, then I did not learn anything in my 20’s. (The indolent years) And I do not understand what it takes to reach a dream much less do I understand what my dream means to me. So I took the chance! Bid a good riddance! And I have never looked back. It’s my turn to sing my song and not at the beat of your drum. Capiche?
Now let’s come to the present and let’s work on getting rid of misconceptions, assumptions, and your ego.
As a stay at home writer, I do not struggle with guilt, boredom, and feeling overwhelmed. I’m doing what I have always wanted to do. Write. And this happiness is coupled with moments of intense gratitude towards the fact that I will have the opportunity to be there for my child.
What you fail to realize is that when I say, “I have to write,” or, “I am writing,” it’s not a burden, or like saying something as banal as “I have to go to the supermarket.” No. It’s a lot more complex, stimulating, and colorful. Me expressing that, as many times I do, it’s me letting you know that I need to breathe, as writing for me foremost is an escape. Or, because I came up with an idea which deserves to be on paper, worked and dissected. Writing is Freedom, a Privilege, and a journey, an interminable trajectory. It’s my chance at stripping away all reservations and revealing to my reader the authentic me, and that is accompanied by Fear and Sacrifice. In this exhilarating quest, I have epiphanies, breakthroughs, and at the conclusion, some clarity. It’s undoubtedly therapeutic, as I hone each word, each sentence. There’s Pain too. After all, I have always believed that most artists are tormented one way or another, which is why we plunge our souls in these different forms of art (writing is that too). Whether you’re a singer, composer, photographer, painter, we are perceiving and living the world isolated by some definition from the rest. It’s mostly our pain that compels us to submerge ourselves in art form with the hopes of finding the connection to this world.
Writing is power. With that power I am able to create another realm, and allow the readers to disengage perhaps almost as much as I, the writer. With every passing word, different emotions are evoked, some strike chords, as the reader either smiles, recoils, or becomes enraged.
And in spite of being home, it does not mean that you can call me and disturb my time with your problems or issues. I don’t want to hear it. Do I call you while you’re at work? So why do you feel that only because I am home you have that right? Who gave you that right?
And yes, I’m home. But I’m involved. Engaged. My fingers will not stop typing to pick up your call. Leave a message.
Your e-mail can wait and will wait. My dream cannot.
I’m a hermit and a stubborn one at that.
And so I write in spite of the condescending comments and looks of naysayers, and the jeers of those who doubt my ability or think I’m wasting my time.
Although I did not think I would be dedicating anything in my blog to anyone, even if they did it deserve it, as I want to stay away from that, I think I need to do it.
Here’s to two people who fully understand the path that I’m on, the hardships I have faced while writing, who are always eager to read not only my first, second, and and third draft, but my final one too. Who tear apart and critique it word by word, sentence by sentence. Who aren’t afraid to tell me it’s “rubbish.” But at the same time, aren’t too proud to be amazed and happy if they came across a good sentence or point I made. They read it with no biases, eyes open, heart untainted, and learn something about me. They hear my voice, even if they don’t agree. They are doing what you are incapable of, and that is this, they listen. These two people set aside time for something that is not required of them and they don’t get paid for it either. I am not sure why they do it with such enthusiasm and arms wide open, but I’d like to think it’s because they deeply understand my ultimate destination and want to be a part of this journey I’m on. They not only share their lives with me, but in return, ask me to share with them mine, especially my writing.
So a profound thank you, I could not do this without you, and the journey would not be what it is if it weren’t for the both of you. My husband and my friend, Josie.