The house is quiet around me. The dogs are already retiring for the night, but I can’t. Not yet. I’ve set the clocks back, happy that daylight saving time is ending, and wonder why we continue to re-establish it each spring. (hasn’t the idea run its course already?)
It’s been a tumultuous summer, and now that fall is easing quickly toward winter, some things have become apparent to me. Or at least clearer.
I try to find clarity in my thinking…in my life. It’s not always as easy as it might be. So many things clamor for my attention that there are times when I simply want to go home and crawl under the bed and stay there for a month.
But there’s no time for that.
Today, it struck me just exactly what the previous seven months have been about…me leaving my job and striking out on my own, seeking clarity in some of the fundamentals of who I am and what makes me “tick.” I’m not the young man I once was – those years when I could do as I pleased without regard to consequence or responsibility.
So…this extended hiatus from my life has helped me focus. Not having a set routine where I obsessively follow a schedule day in and day out, where no one demands my presence at such and such a time in an office somewhere, where I’m free to simply drift for awhile and rediscover me… What an amazing gift to be given!
Over the past several years, I’ve felt the smothering layers of otherness weighing down on me as I struggled to “conform” or try to please those around me. It’s a carryover from early home life, where I was forced to compete for the affection of uncaring and emotionally bankrupt parents. The more they ignored, the harder I tried. And while that way of life helped create the passionate achiever I view myself as, it also created that dark underbelly of trying to please anyone other than myself. I of course don’t mean that in a selfish or uncaring way.
Browsing the shelves in a bookstore this afternoon, it came to me that this “dry spell” where my motivation to write is concerned was instead a hunkering down, a placing of my self into a larval state so that I could do the work needed to emerge again with a clear mind and a strong sense of where I’m headed.
I had allowed the need of so many – too many – others to try and force me into their way of thinking/being/living, and I grew confused and lost myself in the process. The stripping away of external influences was a form of preparation for…now. This moment.
Running my fingertips along the spines of so many books by writers who have found their way to doing what they truly want to do was like the final element in securing my own rekindled passion. The clarity with which this realization came was uplifting and wonderful. I actually took a deep, shuddering breath and had to make my way out of the store and into the sunshine to be able to grasp it fully.
And since that epiphanic moment this afternoon, the ideas have been flooding my head almost faster than I can catch them on paper. It feels like I’ve been released from a prison of my own making after so many years.
It has created a sense of quiet exhiliration.
And blessed peace.
A long time coming.