Wednesday, February 20, 2013

when words fill this small space


There is only a small space between life and living. A short time between life and death.

And this time that I have in this small space is essential. It's simple and complex. Breathtaking. Overwhelming. Quick and frightening and absolutely perfect. Which makes the ability to put my life, my small existence, into words that much more necessary.

But I've been staring at a blank page for years.

The stained and frightening parts of my life have come as quickly as they have gone. They're usually closely accompanied with bouts of depression that I usually like to fight alone, quietly. But that was where words had been faithful. I may not be able to talk about my feelings or keep many friends close for long but I could always get everything into words.

But something happened when I was in college. While writing gave me some sense of pride and purpose, I was in a relationship with someone that was constantly demeaning it. I found an outlet that gave me worth but I was listening to the words of a man who said I was anything but worthwhile. I took a love I felt I deserved and that fed my self loathing. That was something words couldn't help me with.

And I was staring at a blank page

when something else happened. 

Through a series of sappy love story events, my life took a drastic turn towards something hopeful. I met a good man. A godly man. He showed me just by living that this small existence was being wasted. How I was smothering anything good that could come. That I was worth more than what I was settling with. So I didn't settle.

And I was happy. I was comfortable. I was in love.

I found I actually had a really hard time putting all the good in my life into words. I needed to write to make sense of things. I desired to write because I find beauty in words expressed. I loved to write because my voice was in it. 

I existed when I wrote. 

My words were what made me feel heard. No one would read them except for me - but that was all I needed.
But I was happy. And the love I held and the happiness I lived made me feel truly heard more than I ever had. I didn't need to make sense of anything.

I lived poetry. I didn't need to write it.   
((But that's all for another post.))

So I cut off my bittersweet relationship with words.
And then I had my first baby.
More than anything in my life I have always loved my kids. I have to reiterate - I have always loved my kids. I loved them more than I didn't love myself. No matter what I did with my life, I had always planned to put it on hold to raise my kids.

But I had my first baby and suddenly doubted I could do it at all. I doubted every fiber of my being and every substance that held me together. I doubted my place here and I doubted all the pieces that fit so snugly together to fill my life.

Suddenly, life wasn't comfortable anymore. 

Things were scary and sad and dangerous. And I just couldn't put anything into words. I desperately needed to make sense of anything I was experiencing.  Everything should have been right and it absolutely wasn't. With every attempt to find the right words, I was only disgusted by the clumsy ones I watched fall onto the page. I didn't recognize them.  
Between listening to damaging words (from outside and within) that convinced me I was less and giving up writing anything, I've been devastated and frustrated to feel that I've lost my voice. 

I've grown afraid to write for fear that all of the words I would find would be wrong, self-serving, immature, dramatic or angsty. 
(My computer tells me "angsty" isn't a word but I don't believe that for a second.)

But I've been staring at a blank page for years.
And here's what I decided to do with it .

It was time to stop grasping the veil between myself and this life so tight. It's been time to step out of the darkness so easy to hide in. It's time to release the white knuckled hold I have on words like "worthless", "stupid" and "weak". It's time overdue.

It's time to speak. 
Of the shameful and the prideful and the hurtful and the beautiful.

Because I've been staring at a blank page for years.

And there is only a small space between life and living. 
And this time that I have in this small space is worth more than I still know.

I've let a blank, wordless page intimidate me. 

I can dwell in the sadness of its emptiness or embrace it's vast potential to start again.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful. Embrace your voice and let it soar, sweet friend!