I remember a conversation I participated in (maybe it was on Consumating?) where someone asked
what do you do when you can't stand yourself?
When I chimed in with some suggestions, someone responded:
I have a hard time seeing you that way. It makes me think that everything you write is a lie.
I remember being shocked, because I the one thing I strive for when I blog or interact with someone online is a sense of honesty. I know there are times I could be funnier, I could be more dramatic, I could make myself look better, but for me, the one thing I adore about this medium more than anything else is that I want it in some way to be relatable. I'm always pleased when someone tells me you are exactly like your blog. It means that while I'm letting you look through the Viewfinder lens, that brief snapshot helps shows the bigger picture.
I've been thinking about it a lot today, as I sit here in front of the computer knowing that I should be somewhere else right now, and if not there, I should be doing forty-three different things that do not include updating this blog. I was at the gym today, running on the treadmill, trying to rewire my brain to get over this crushing sense of STUFF that looms over me. As I wrote to my husband today
Every single moment of every single day I feel like I should be working on something, because there is always something I have to do. If I'm not at work, I should be doing my Flixster stuff for extra money. If I'm not working on Flixster stuff, I should be blogging at one of my two blogs. If I'm not blogging, I should be at the gym. If I'm not at the gym, I should be picketing. If I'm not picketing, I should be washing the floors, cleaning the bathroom, doing the laundry, paying bills, finishing thank you cards, working on the other two writing projects that have been completely ignored since the PAW came up, etc. I'm adding another job to the list (which I have to, because the fact is I can't cover my bills on what I make and I don't want to start piling on debt again.) At the end of the day, I am always left feeling like a failure because I didn't even nearly get enough done.
I know that people do this - they're called parents - and that's precisely why I can't have kids. I can deal with stress when it's localized - a script due in two days? No problem. Gotta find a place to live by next week? Sure. Need to run a sick dog to the vet at 3am? I'm out the door.
While I'm eating better and working out more, my nails are ragged and my skin is dull and I need a proper haircut and color. Thankfully, these are the sort of problems that will benefit by a band-aid in the form of a bottle of Vamp, a box of Feria and a pair of scissors.
I could drop something, let something go, but my thought is that the one thing that slips through my fingers, the one opportunity I let do by is the one thing that could make everything a little bit easier. That's not a chance I'm willing to take.
I'm being interviewed by a fabulous woman for the Adopt-a-Writer project, and one of the questions she asked was what would people be surprised by most as your life as a writer? Currently the answer would be panic, exhaustion, and the frequency of nervous breakdowns. (Don't worry K., this won't be my actual answer. Well, it will, just a bit more eloquent.)
Of course, at the end of the day, this is all a choice. My choice.
I have to remind myself of that on days like today.
That's no lie.