The interesting thing about writing this blog a day for 30 days of me-time is that I can’t shut it off. While I was running today, I could hear my thoughts typed out with every pound of the pavement.
Is it the daily practice of writing, or the focused introspection or the Buddhist mindfulness I’ve been trying to teach myself?
As an advertising writer, it’s sometimes (but not always) the same. When I’m working on headlines. Billboard headlines. The kind where you have to be clever and on-brand and tell a story in five words or less–at least 50 times over so the client has options of clever, on-brand, storytelling in five words or less. It’s hard to find the “off” button. I jot down notes on my iPhone on the subway home. I’m writing on snippets of recycled paper I have clipped together on my kitchen table. I even scribble words here and there in bed while I wind down. You can’t just flip the switch. The words streaming like a news ticker in the lower third screen of my life. Until the deadline. Until the next project kick-off. Where it starts all over again. Continue reading
I am a day late in writing–if I were to adhere to my blog a day promise to myself.
My morning thoughts? Change takes time and is iterative. There is no single moment that marks the transition in a person’s life when suddenly things are different. Everything is always in process. We evolve, we meld, we vacillate. Nothing is ever as clean as a day marked on a calendar. Your emotions can’t be delineated inside of a set of dates. If only it were possible, I would schedule my moments of change in my iCal…
Yesterday, was the first day this week that I had nothing pressing to attend to. No work deadline, no subletter drama, no necessity to even leave the house. I dressed to do yoga, but instead, I vegged, napped, watched TV and chilled. I listened to myself–that I didn’t need to do anything productive. It’s like when your body has a food craving–and you know it’s probably because you need that nutrient. I feel like the same applies to emotional and mental well-being. And exercise, at that moment, was a should-do not a want-to-do.
My practical self says get up and get busy. Find a job, find a boyfriend, figure out where I want to be. (No small tasks.) There is always a list of to-dos. Always. But I know I will survive if I sit still and my world will forgive me for ignoring it for a little while. It will even thank me for getting my bearings before taking off. I’m learning that with most things that work for me, mulling over decisions is moot. You know when you know. Maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s when you get tired of the in-between. Or maybe it really is as random as your gut says so. Without rhyme or reason, le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point.
The nice thing about practicing daily writing is that I can hear myself better. I lose focus quite easily and conjuring up the words to wrap the day makes me dial in a little closer. Listening for the right language is hard. Crafting it so that it speaks to the moment or the day or the thoughts, still swirling but trying to gel, forces me to get closer to my inner self. And over time, I’ll come to know what keeps floating back to the surface. That through this ebb and flow of thoughts and feelings, the true things that matter to me will sustain in any current.
So let yourself be in flux. Eventually a tide takes you somewhere.