“We are an ancient sort of resilient. Made for the falling and the rising. Made for the burning down and rebuilding from ashes.” – Jeanette LeBlanc
In some ways, 2013 was better to me than I deserved. For one thing, I did, indeed, adjust.
Last time we spoke, I had just dived head first into a new job. Though, to call it a job seems almost sacrilegious. I train Dolphins. For real! It’s a ‘happy accident’ turned dream come true. Heck, not only do I train dolphins, but I have the absolute honor and privilege to train and work with a baby dolphin on a daily basis. Something not a lot of rookie trainers get to do.
You guys remember Sands? If not, that’s fine. I could talk about him for hours. My little munchkin will be two this month! Cue dreamy sigh.
Erm, but that’s not what we’re here for. (At least, not today…)
Although I am in a much better place financially now than I have ever been, and my body is feeling healthier not just from the daily (exquisite) grind of swimming and toting around equipment that comes with my amazing job, but also a new hobby I’m having way too much fun with (flag football, who’d’ve thought?).
…There’s just been something missing. A lack in my lustre.
2013 was a year of withdrawal from my creativity. Even now, on the dawn of a new year, I’m trying to look on it as a necessary step I had to take. This is my first attempt at practicing self-compassion, another one of my goals for this year. 2012 hit me square between the eyes, sucker punched me in the gut and left me with so many exist wounds I thought I’d bleed out. Still reeling from my losses (I still have a hard time not seeing them as failures, but my God do I have to try), I carried them over into ’13.
I was hurt. Deeply hurt. So naturally, writing hurt. Because you can’t cheat The Overflow. At least, I can’t. I was afraid to even feel, so the very last thing I wanted to do was write. Not when I would be forced to confront said feelings. Because you can’t write and not confront, it just doesn’t work that way, and I was terrified to spill everything out in black and white where it couldn’t be disputed.
So I did something I learned not to do a very long time ago, but apparently had to relearn. I bottled.
I’m trying not to look at it as a mistake. Because in spite of this self-abuse, I learned a lot about myself this year. Not all of it pretty. One very important lesson being that bottling everything up, isolating and throwing myself into work, while not lacking in a certain nobility (and nobility is cat nip to a woman like me, it feeds into my “good little soldier” complex, which I’m trying to rework if not abandon completely), will only burn me out and dry my well up.
We all need water, myself especially.
In forcing myself not to, in allowing myself to suffer the withdrawal symptoms, I learned that I really do need to write. To create. It’s not just something I can pay around with anymore. It’s a goddamn survival strategy. Something I do even when I don’t realize I’m doing it. But not committing to it, not engraving it on paper or digital media, that’s where the burn out occurs. That’s where I smoke to cinders. That’s when the Overflow turns into a desolate drought.
And who can blame her, my muse? It’s like I betrayed her.
But I know what it means to burn on the inside now, to be left parched and smoking and frayed at the edges and I can no longer be content with it.
So I’ll rise from the ashes, fill my well one step at a time, confront my void, until The Overflow returns, brimming with pride.
Farewell 2013, thank you for all the lessons. You were an excellent teacher and I’ve learned so much, but it’s time to let go. I’m done with you now.
Hello 2014, you’re going to help me create myself. To embrace the creator in me. It’s time for rebellion. I was made for this. Let me show you.