Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Went to Memoir-Writing Workshop

I went to a memoir-writing workshop recently. I don't want to be the girl who cries at the slightest thing but, in this case, I was. They asked the question: who told you, you can't write? We had to state our writing demons, and then write out the dialog between this inner critique and our retaliation to their remarks. Ultimately, it is only ourselves that can hold us back from our own dreams. But sometimes we've internalized the voices of others tell us that we can't.  I'd done this exercise before privately, in my own bed, in my own room, and in my own journal but never out loud. When we were done, we had to go around the table and read the dialog. I was picked the first to go. Before I could even let out a word, my throat choked up, my face turn red, and my eyes began to water. I read and cried. We all cried. I thought I had left all that hurt hidden away on paper somewhere, and there it was strangling me. I can't begin to describe that whole situation with my demons without writing a book. I'll leave that for my memoirs.  I went home that night and did some visualization techniques to let go of the residual pain and send it away.  I felt better immediately.  The workshop helped to remind me that it's up to me to write and keep going.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Feeling My Pulse

I have found that blogging is a good way for me to feel my own pulse. I read through my past posts, and it puts me at a time and place in my life. There are so many moments I find blog-worthy. Ironically, I find it hardest to write about things I enjoyed the most. I wanted to write a great review to a play that I saw, or a trip that I took, but I was paralyzed on how to begin. I remember the advice from writing books I’ve read tell me to begin, and I do. I’m currently sitting on a collection of drafts that I’m waiting for a wave of inspiration to roll through me so I can finish them off one evening with a glass of red wine.

Actually, it’s more like I’m waiting for this fatigue to finish wearing off so that when I do write, it can be pretty and clever, instead of tired and spent like I’ve been feeling. I was having one of those weeks were if I was a smoker in remission, I would have picked up a cigarette and had a long drawn out puff that would have shattered my months or even years of being smoke free. And, I wouldn’t even have cared. That’s why I haven’t ever tried to smoke. I know I would be addicted.

I didn't want to blog until I resolved what I was feeling at work. "At least I got a job… in this economy." became my mantra. I was hoping it would make me appreciate my job more. It didn’t. Even my usual Sunday morning run with the kids became stressed when my oldest teased my youngest about being competitive since he took the lead. At the end of the run, I knew I was out of patience so I put myself on time out on the parking lot curb between two cars without saying a word. I knew I had to change my outlook in order for things to really get better. I’m a master at the self-help concepts. I just have to find a hole of space and time to crawl into to do some meditation and visualization techniques without getting interrupted. The thing is people and obligations kept finding me. Even in the parking lot that day, one of the other runners in our group gave me a curious look and came to see what I was doing. I had family visiting, a birthday party to host, beautiful things that are part of life that we take for granted when we get anxious about the wrong things. At most I was able relax for a few moments but the anxiety was always right there underneath the surface. 

Then one evening, after my visiting family had left and things had gone back to normal, I went out to my balcony and stared out at the sky from my patio recliner in between reading Eat, Love, Pray. I saw planes pass by overhead that looked liked they were swimming across the sky. Slowly and finally, I began to feel more relaxed. Just like Molly Bang’s Sophie in the children’s book, When Sophie Gets Angry- Really, Really Angry, after seeing the stars and feeling the night’s cool breeze, the "wide world" comforted me. I climbed back down from my balcony to my house that was still a little loud and a little messy, but this time this Sofie wasn’t angry any more.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Soccer Season

My husband and I signed up for a local, 30 and over, co-ed soccer league that plays on Sunday evenings. We started our own team of soccer misfits, which consisted of soccer newbies, coach potatoes, and former recreational soccer stars. Most of the team had never met until literally minutes before our first game, and some of our key players weren’t able to make it. On the way to the game, my husband warned me that this new league would be harder than the scrimmages I’d played. I couldn’t see how. I was pretty confident in my ability to defend, and I thought, maybe he's just never really seen me play. The Kung Fu Panda in me wants to win the Championships this season, so I was very hopeful.

We ended up losing 0 to 12+. We played against one of the better teams that have been playing for 2 years. Individually, they weren't that fast, but they knew how to play as a team. They kicked the ball long and high, and took shots from afar, which made it feel more like a volleyball game. I played defense and managed to block a player or two, but there were too many. Five of them would push forward every time to try to set up for a goal. My team was scattered, we hadn’t held on to our positions. It often felt like there was more than one ball on the field. Fortunately, they over-kicked most of the time, missing most of their intended goals. I was having a relapse of the game in my dream that night and when I woke-up, I was relieved I’d be going to work. Sounds like fun? It was! I wouldn't change my team. We have a lot of heart and potential. We played our hearts out, well for a little while; then we had to take a breather. Our victory was just getting out there to play.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been schooled in what I don’t know. The last time, was over a decade ago, when I was first getting into the web world. I'd entered a new job and a new coworker made it a point of showing me what I didn't know. A few years later when she was leaving for another job, she said, "Good job in hanging in there, I wouldn't have." I needed a job and I wanted to learn so I held on.

Playing soccer on a warm Sunday evening was very nice. There were families out watching, and it was a great way to wrap up the weekend. I’m looking forward to a season of soccer schooling, and of learning to play with my team. My boys are playing soccer in their age divisions as well, so it's going to get busy, but I'm looking forward to it.