It's been a strange three weeks. Or rather, *I* have been strange. Strange-er. I will blame it on pregnancy, because that is convenient. Although, really, I think pregnancy is only to blame for rattling my screen until all this latent weird junk materialized on my front porch. Literally (sort of).
I think it's because my body is so out of balance right now. Food, exercise, sleep, altered. As soon as my body goes lopsided, everything else does, too--the mind body soul braid, you know. In this case, raging teenage insecurity surfaced. Why this insecurity would be the thing to pop up, I don't know. Maybe it popped up graciously as a reminder, "Hey, you need to fix this before you have a kid. It screws around with you even when you don't see it."
Originally, I called it--this insecurity--a demon. We all have demons, don't we? But then I had a dream two weeks ago, in which I opened the front door of our house and found my teenage self sitting on the front steps. "What are you doing here?" I said to her, annoyed. I don't remember what she said, if she said anything. I woke up immediately.
It was important. I laid in bed a while thinking about that girl on my steps. I've talked before about the thing I say to myself "Get on off the porch, now," from one of my favorite books, Beloved, by Toni Morrison. The ghost of Sethe's daughter, Beloved, whom she had killed in order to save (in a complicated way), had come back to haunt her. Sethe is finally evicting Beloved when she tells her to get on off the porch. I thought of the girl on my steps--was she a ghost? A demon? I would exorcise her. I would slay her. Eject her. How dare she come back now.
But she was no ghost or demon. She wasn't Beloved. She was a good kid who didn't believe her worth. I recognized her then as a muddled soul needing compassion and clarification. Not exorcism.
I imagined a conversation with her. I explained to her the real reasons behind each of her perceived rejections--she was a lovely girl who didn't believe she was lovely, so she hid; she was a talented girl who didn't believe in her own talent, so she trembled until it was unrecognizable; she was a likable girl who feared she'd be abandoned if she wasn't, so she acquiesced and avoided. It was all brand new information to her, which was enlightening for me. Why had I never done this before--ticked through each of those little hurts and fixed my understanding of them? I hadn't, because I thought they were foolish and too petty to devote any time to. Get over it and move on, pansy. The girl on my porch convinced me that is not the case. Although such hurts are microscopic and meaningless from an adult perspective, they were huge and profound at the time they were experienced. Impressions follow even if the logic behind them loses weight. I'm sure there's not one among us who couldn't recount an adolescent rejection and still feel the cut of it.
I mention this sad sorry tale of woe here [sarcasm] only because it's been needling with my COFFEE goals to write songs and books. I don't remember specifically what my goals for the last 3 weeks were, because I deleted my last post hours after posting it. Why? Because I later learned that through some clumsy writing, it looked like I was saying I wanted to write songs for a living. (That is not what I meant, for the record. I meant I wanted to continue to write songs as a creative outlet. Period. A hobbyist who plays at local coffee shops.) At the point of this realization, the girl on my porch hollered through the door, "You're not good and everybody knows it. They're rolling their eyes at you and think you're a naive little prissy pants! You big fake phony baloney! Go back to your room and sing into your hairbrush!" Delete.
That was a Monday. Thursday it was time for another open mic. I dragged myself there and performed sheepishly. If I could have played my guitar with my hands in my pockets, I would have. But I did it, so at least I'm aware of my own irrationality enough to counteract it. Success.
At any rate, I don't mean to sound like a big poor-me-apalooza. I really don't mean that at all. When I reveal and over-explain crap like this, I honestly just do it because I assume it's universal, I enjoy examining strange phenomena, and I enjoy providing the connection. It's all erroneous thinking. I don't need anyone to tell me I'm amazing and magical. Competent, yes. Jesus Christ incarnate, no. I recognize my insecurities as my own skewed thinking and not reality. I'm fixing it. I actually feel quite a lot better after my talk with the girl on the front steps.
Progress has been made:
1. I signed up for a songwriting workshop for May 7. Next Saturday. It doesn't matter if the girl on the porch calls me a fake phony baloney. If I go as myself, then it will be impossible to be fake about it. Can't fake yourself, Puddin'. So my goal for the next month is… well, to go to that, even if a confused voice in my head calls me a fake phony baloney.
2. I bought a portable digital piano, because it will double my "play-out" set. I'm better on the piano. Now I can haul my own piano around. So my goal for the next month is to write at least 1 more original and 1 more cover on the piano.
3. I have a full set put together for Happy Fest on May 13. Excited and nervous. Optimistic. My goal for the next month is to tell myself at least 5 things that were great about it afterward, and forgive myself immediately for imperfections.
4. I've settled on the novel I'm going to finish and revise. It was the first one I started 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the most recent version is on my old, crashed laptop. The only back-up discs I have are incomplete. My goal for the next month is to take that laptop to the repair shop to get uncrashed and all documents recovered.
5. I do remember that I was going to create a vision board over the last 3 weeks. I didn't do that. So my goal for the next month is to create a vision board.