No painting or artwork
No new music
No money to travel or buy books or go out to eat
and guess what? No internet...or well, nearly none.
I spent 3 years at home being pregnant, learning Swedish, realizing the beginnings of my limits as a parent, becoming assimilated. I thought I would have plenty of time later to get back to the person I knew myself to be inside.
Some of those things I've found my way back to, at least in part: the singing, the artwork, the creative expression, a job I love. I've found my way back to writing too, but not quite in the way I had envisioned. To be perfectly honest, and I mean, perfectly honest, I've never had the kind of personal pressure to write that I've felt lately. Not even as an English major finishing up a Liberal Arts degree, with an emphasis on writing. Creative writing. Poetry. Short stories. It's nothing compared to the pressure I place on myself to write in this journal. I love this journal, like I love the community and the support it's brought me, but some days I worry that I will end up feeling the same way about this journal that I too often feel about the American Women's Club I've worked so hard for, for the last 7 years.
I write because I love it. And I write because I feel an obligation. Both to myself and to my audience. Even the first few months of writing this journal, when I had maybe a handful of readers, I wanted that audience. I wanted the feedback and the encouragement and the pats on the back. I want people to read what I have to say, and I want to feel that I'm saying it in the best way that I can. I need the deadline and the pressure because it pushes me to put words together. To put words together WELL. I'm not a storyteller, like so many wonderful writers out there. I wish I was. I'm envious of that gift, again, being honest. But I know that I'm a good writer, that I can make people think, that I can make them laugh, that I can, sometimes at least, make them feel.
I write notes in ink on my palm ("snowman diet...like water") so I'll remember phrases I want to say, things I want to tell you. I send myself email messages sometimes, because my memory isn't all it used to be. This journal, my writing,...it's a chronicle, my forum, an electronic podium for someone that has never been comfortable speaking in public, someone who doesn't get into big debates about hot-button issues. It's just a place for me to put words together. And hopefully do it well.
I sat on the sofa tonight, and wondered if I was going to write in my journal or if I was going to blow it off and just go on to bed. But I have a problem with disappointing someone both by not showing up and by not doing what I promised. And the person I would be disappointing the most is me. I'm glad you're listening. I thank you for it.