Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about Beth’s recent post, In which I stop silencing myself and tell you the truth. And I want to write about those thoughts, though I keep finding myself wandering away from writing this e and on to other places (like Facebook and Ravelry).
I know that it’s fear that keeps me from responding, writing my own Truth Telling post. So, let’s take the roundabout way.
I have three days off from my part-time job and from my graduate assistantship, because today, I was slated for jury duty. I had my summons set out, had chosen the book I was going to take with me (Fool Moon by Jim Butcher), my clothes ready for the morning. And then, Sarah reminded me to call in and see if my selection number was needed. Confused, I didn’t understand that, though I got the summons, I might not be called. And when I checked, my number wasn’t one who had to report.
I’d spent all of Monday keeping in mind that the next day or two would be filled with being in the courts, doing my citizenry duty. Now, here I had two full days with nothing planned. (I may have hyperventilated, just a little bit.)
As you know, I’ve been on the go a lot recently. Finishing the semester, working my new job, working as a graduate assistant, having some side work for a professor, cooking, working on putting a publication out there (it was rejected for the second time, but with a really nice “No, thank you” letter). I’ve been struggling to find balance, to find a way to take care of myself and still get everything done, wearing all of the hats currently required of me. There hasn’t been much unplanned time.
Now, I had two days ahead of me with nothing planned. All of the things I had to do – or could then schedule – started vying for my attention. Yet, there was a small part of me whispering, “How about writing? Meditating? Journaling? Reading? Something fun?” Because, to be honest – I’ve been tired. No amount of sleeping has been helping. It’s been a bone deep tired where I’m feeling burnt out and unable to deal with much beyond the required. (Even some of that has fallen to the side.)
So, after a three and a half hour nap this morning, I decided to spend time with my journal – not just writing, but collaging (also known as dreamboarding, except I wasn’t as specific about it – I simply looked for images that spoke to me). I spent time asking questions like “What helps me celebrate yes?” and “What inspires you?”
I looked for what felt rejuvenating and I followed that path. Yesterday, I had wandered a craft store and picked up a few scrapbooking items and a roll of washi tape (I’ve never played with it). Again, I went with whatever seemed appropriate at the time.
It felt refreshing, just to play, not think about what the words were saying or how it all was put together. So it wasn’t perfect… that was okay.
And here’s where the truth hits the screen: There are times the balanced, grateful, all-put-together self just isn’t there. And I don’t like sharing when I’m like that. (Even though I know it’s as much a part of my story as the all-put-together parts. Perhaps, the not-so-put-together self is even more important to share, to remind myself and others that it’s not about perfection or put together. It’s about the life that’s really being lived, in the here and now.)
You all know that I don’t like sharing when I’m there – how much have I really posted the past few weeks? Yeah, part of it is schedule, but the other part of it? Fear, rearing its head. Fear, taking hold and telling me that whatever it is on my mind is not worth sharing. Fear, telling me that it wouldn’t be appropriate.
What would you think of me, if you saw this? What judgment would there be? When things don’t look so put together, when it’s curling edges of journal and ripped pieces of paper? When it’s misused washi tape, regardless of how I felt making it? It wasn’t perfect. What would you think?
I talk about balance, about self-care, about the importance of storytelling. And yet, I can’t/don’t always practice them with ease. So I worry that labels of hypocrite (and worse) will be slung toward me. So I choose to not write. Because I could find time, you know? Rather than letting fear hold tight, I could simply breathe and be real, tell my story as it is happening.
Because isn’t that what being visible and real is about? Giving “shape to the face / That twists inside both you and me”?
That face isn’t always perfectly put together. And that’s okay. This is life.
This is life, lived. Full of imperfection and uncertainty and doubt.