Some people, when stressed, tap pens, chew their fingernails, eat, or a number of other nervous habits that they don't even realize they were doing. I write. A lot. There is a peace to be found in the flow and the dance of the words. I am applying to a college for a degree in writing, I loved and absolutely adored art school however, I had reached a point where learning to draw and paint online was becoming problematical for me. I needed to be in the studio, hands on, for the more advanced techniques. There is only so much you can get out of a video and an emailed critique and I was becoming frustrated. My plan had been art degree first and writing degree second. I'm just moving it around a bit. I am hoping that by the time I finish with my writing degree I will be well enough to attend an actual on ground school for my art degree. Anyway, as usual I not only digress but veer off into totally different regions. I was looking for some things I had written recently to include in my packet for application. I have to submit 10 pages of double spaced literary competence before acceptance. Soooooo....there I was...Do they give awards for the most tangents reached in a single piece? Maybe I should just babble on about blades of grass and dappled sun effects on pecan pie while I'm at it?
Long story short...I found this. I liked it. A bit emo, but, I think in the long run the message is positive. I vaguely remember writing it and had planned on putting it with my self sketches but had forgotten all about it. Without further ado..
There Was A Time
There was a time when I believed that if I did all of the right things, said all of the right prayers, did exactly what everyone expected of me….
There was a time when I had complete faith in instructions and rules.
There was a time when I believed that if I did things perfectly…
That if I tried and failed that I was a failure…
There was a time when I was so sure that if I did everything, every absolute little thing that I was supposed to do, everything that I was asked to do, everything that I was told to do then everything would be alright.
There was a time when I did not know who I was or what I was and I looked for me in old songs and old books and other people’s words. There was a time when I let others define me because I was afraid of disappointing them.
There was a time when I declared myself perfect and cured because I thought I finally had it right.
It wasn’t right, though, it never was.
All I accomplished was more confusion and I had to search for more rules and instructions and approval.
And now there is this…
There is Crohn’s disease and there are Hurthle cells. There are surgeries and the possibility of death. There is a family broken. There are bills and repairs and other day to day things that just build up and won’t go away. There is an anger and a misery and fear and pain and abandonment and injustice. There is the inability to cry because I don’t know which to cry about first.
There was a sense of being lost for so many years and I was wandering around praying for someone, anyone, to show me what to do next. Finally, over the past year or so I just couldn’t wander any more. I just sat down and stayed there and let everything go. All of it. And when I stripped down to nothing, to completely bare and vulnerable, I discovered something that I never really knew I had. The one thing that would not go away no matter how much I wanted it to. I found strength and a stubbornness that just wouldn’t let go.
There is no way I can fully explain how scared I am right now or how hard it is to back away from the old habits of begging for approval. How difficult it is to find my own way, but I do know this for sure, I’m not the only one who has had to face this and that makes it a little better. I know I am going to open the wrong doors sometimes, go in the wrong direction or get hung up on the wrong things. I do know that there is more pain and many challenges ahead. I’m not saying I’m not scared because I am. I am saying that I am done sitting and waiting and that I know that nothing is going to happen if I don’t keep on moving forward.