Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm So Emotional

It's been an interesting week. Nothing really different has happened, at least not around me, but it feels like I have hit every possible corner of this emotional maze.

It started Tuesday, when I sat with my teacher to review my intro paragraph for an essay assignment. It was meant to be a time for discussion, for her to help me craft my thesis and tighten it up. I waited for my name to be called, and cautiously stepped up to her. "I apologize," I said, "I had all my notes prepared but I didn't have time to write the paragraph at home.  To be honest, I kind of scribbled this down in the first few minutes of class." I was so embarrassed. I don't do that! I always have my homework done. It's one of my goals in this class.

She picked it up and read it. About half way through she started saying "Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Good." She placed a big check mark on the side and a smiley face below that. That was all. Really? I started to swell with pride right there. Not because I'd pulled that out of my ass in the first few minutes of class, but because I really knew what I wanted to say with this essay and my understanding of my thesis made it come together almost effortlessly. And also because the hours of research I'd put in before determining my thesis had paid off. At least this far.

Wednesday, I realized that I have an opportunity to be part of a webinar for work. Thursday at 6 pm. Damn. My class starts at 6:30. I can't have both. I spiraled through a range of emotions. Frustration because I know I'm not doing what I really want to do, even though the job I have provides me plenty of opportunity to grow as well as flexibility to pursue these things I want to do outside of work. Then anger, because I made myself a promise that nothing would come between me and this class. It is my commitment to myself. A sick child is one thing, but an after-hours business meeting? I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I'm a little disappointed, but at the same time excited, that I've chosen the webinar over school. But I have many reasons to do it this way and also have arranged things for school so I am not going to miss anything. I've got great interest in the topic of the webinar, so I'm eager to be a part of it. It's still a bittersweet feeling, I let myself down. Sure, everyone else understands my situation, but I don't want to. 

The mellow feeling led me to escape. I jumped in and finished the book I was reading. As usual with a really good story, I had an hour or so of harsh adjustment back to reality. One of the reasons I want to write is to escape to that world. Writing it means I can live in it longer, really get to know the story and the characters, and in the end I won't have those lingering questions about what might have happened. I can decide. It's MY story.

Ahhhh... my story. My dream is just right there, waiting for me to start. Well, I have started some of it. Then I got hit with a really big dose of fear. Yes, fear really does play a strong role in our lives. I have this completely irrational fear that too much of myself will fall into my writing. That too much will mirror my own life. And if I write something, some conflict or disaster, in my own words... somehow, it will affect my real life.  I know it's irrational. It's not like I can write the future.  Just, sometimes, accepting a fear and burying it might open you up to it. Or blur your consciousness, just enough that you don't notice signs that you might normally.

So, if I write about a child that is sick, am I opening the door to my own getting sick? What if a husband leaves? What if someone dies? What if? What if?

I know that it is completely unreasonable to feel this way. The reality of it is simple and I can't predict the future. You might argue that fictional characters that I've completely made up can not alter the lives of those around me. But I think every writer has some hint of someone they know in all the people they create. Even if it's just someone you see in passing, walking down the street, who makes an impact or creates an inspiration... It's still connected to your real life.

I will get past this. And if I wrote about something that did happen later in my own life, I would know it was coincidence. I don't stop writing because of it. I just don't show anyone what I've written. And then it haunts me. Knowing it won't ever help me get anywhere if no one sees it, but also fearing what might happen if I set those words free.

Sooner or late, I won't have this choice. I will have to let those words go, or they will sit inside me and drive me insane. 

Today, as I sit watching my poor little Angel Baby sniffling while she's playing quietly, I am filled with a sense of calm and control. She's not feeling well again today and I have nothing I can do to make it better.

But there is something positive in all of this.

~The choices I've made for school and work and home have led me to this point where I can be here with her when she's sick and needs me.

~The choice to go back to school at 33 will send a message to my kids (and everyone around me) that I BELIEVE IN DREAMS. I refuse to give up on my own and I am actively going to make things happen.  If you want something bad enough, you have to work hard to get it. And if you work hard for something you want so desperately, things will fall into place to help you succeed.

~Spending time in class that would normally be given to my family has several benefits.
1. Our time together holds a stronger value, because we have less.
2. My relationships with my family are stronger because we use our time better.
3. I have Wendy time. Yep, just for me, all by myself. Which makes me feel fantastic! No depression holding me down, I feel rested and recharged no matter how draining or hard my class might be.

So, sadness, anger, loneliness, pride, embarrassment, all of it, means nothing. They are moments that pass by, like the shadows cast by the clouds as they float past us. I will feel each feeling and let it go in the wind. I will never stop moving. 

And I will not let fear stop me.

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