Muse – n. – a source of artistic inspiration.
I’m having trouble writing.
Since launching this blog in late June 2013, I have had little trouble coming up with post ideas.
This is my 271st post published since then.
My writing is fueled by negativity.
It’s sad. But it’s true.
Fear. Anger. Pain. Sadness.
Those emotions dictate the action. When I feel those things, I can’t not write.
But I’m a little less scared now.
A lot less angry.
I don’t hurt unless I stumble on a trigger.
And I can’t remember the last time I cried.
Maybe My Muse is Dead
Human beings will always feel afraid and mad and hurt and sad. I will always feel those things.
But I’m no brooding artist.
And the only way for me to feel lots of pain and sadness is for me to intentionally go there. To time travel to all those moments that destroyed my family and thrust upon me this new and foreign and unwanted and unexpected life.
But I’m not going to do that.
I’m not going to intentionally make myself feel bad just so I can punch these keys more effortlessly. I don’t want to feel bad.
The entire point of this writing exercise from the start was to exorcise some of my demons. To explore my life and my choices and to figure out how those decisions got me here.
I don’t intend to stop doing that.
But I have so much less time now.
Because I’m living again. As more than just dots on a screen. As a real person. Laughing. And hugging. And anticipating. And doing. And just… being.
Months ago, all the unusual silence in my home screamed. I was terrified. Abandoned. Alone.
It wasn’t home.
But now it is again.
There was no one specific event I can point to.
No “ah-ha! That’s it!”
Just a collection of good things trickling into my life, one laugh, one prayer, one post, one party, one date, one moment at a time.
Building up on top of one another and forming this entirely new thing.
We’re more than a year in now.
Since she left.
Since I dealt with the enormous shock of life without my son at home half the time.
Since my world changed into a frightening strange new place, stripping me of so much control that I foolishly thought I had.
And that’s maybe my key takeaway so far from my personal year in review.
The trick is simply to stay alive.
Just stay alive.
And then you wake up one day and things aren’t looking so ominous.
And then more time goes by and you’re laughing more and worrying less.
Is this going to last?
And then more time goes by and you’ve healed even more. And it fortifies your spirit. And inspires courage. Courage you didn’t even know you had.
I can do this.
And then even more time goes by and you rediscover yourself. You recognize pieces and parts of you, but now you have so much more strength and wisdom and resolve. Now you have the tools to live advantageously in ways you never could before.
You wish you could go back in time and tell yourself what to do and not to do. Because now you know. And you regret the brokenness. And you regret the time lost. And you wish things could be different.
But they’re not different.
They just are whatever they are.
And because it’s less scary and because you’re more courageous it all feels okay—all those differences. It doesn’t feel good, necessarily. But it doesn’t feel bad.
And in a world where relativism and expectations affect us, that’s a whole lot better than dead.
Both literally dead, like all the people who don’t get to have an amazing day today like you and I do.
And figuratively dead. Like I was just one year ago.
I was nobody. I wasn’t who I was before. And I didn’t know who I was going to be tomorrow.
Maybe I still don’t.
But that’s okay. Because I can just enjoy being alive today.
I even managed to write a post with writer’s block.
Maybe my muse isn’t dead.
Maybe my muse is life.