I finished writing a chapter in my book Saturday night and I can’t even begin to tell you how good that feels. I feel like my brain is romping across snow-covered mountains and fields of flowers. It’s swooshing through pine trees and plucking posies. It’s sailed right over the minefield of “are you sure that’s appropriate to share right now?”
Yes, darn it. I am.
That’s the reason writing has been a struggle. I don’t want to be insensitive. People are dying. People are scared. I’m scared. And I’m writing about a city whose past is filled with dark periods and a lot of social injustice and a whole landfill of greedy jerks who made life a living hell for normal people. People like you and me.
But, and this is a big huge counter to that sad argument, there were some exceedingly generous, kind, and creative people as well. Those are my people, and I want to tell their stories, too.
I had to remember that. I had to get out of my own way and choose to see the good, not just in my writing, but in my heart as well.
I’ve been muffled by my own fear. More than that, I’ve been afraid to voice my relief. NOT in what’s happening. God, no. I mean relief that for the first time in a very long time, maybe for the first time ever, I have the space to stop going going going, to reevaluate, and to think deeply about where I am and where I want to be.
That relief brings on the guilt. I feel guilty because I don’t have kids at home. My son’s an adult and acting like one. I can’t relate to parents who are trying to work and trying to take care of their child’s/children’s education and simultaneously trying to navigate a world where going outside is fraught with latex gloves and bathing in hand sanitizer.
I feel guilty because I can’t support those restaurants and bars and breweries and small businesses who so desperately need it. I can’t. I want to. I can’t. I’m one of those small businesses. I’m not ordering to go because. I. can’t. And that sucks.
I feel guilty because I want to ask people to preorder my book or hey, drop a dollar or two if you appreciate what I’ve been providing and want me to keep doing it, but how can I ask when everybody is in the same situation? (I know – I just did by dropping those links.)
Most of all, I feel guilty because I’m excited. I am excited because I have time to create. I’ve had some pretty good ideas in the past week, and I actually have the time to implement them. For some of those ideas, there’s never been a better time.
I’m excited because I’m writing my book. I’m writing! And it’s good!
IT’S OK TO BE EXCITED. I’ve told myself this before. That it’s OK to feel good and it’s OK to be OK. I’m going to have to keep telling myself this until I truly believe it.
What’s the alternative? The alternative is that I’m miserable and paralyzed, and that helps no one. IF I allow myself to be excited, I can be uplifting. If I focus on the dumpster fire, then not only do I get burned, but I can’t extinguish anybody else’s pain, either.
During a time when being proactive means isolation, I’m doing the best thing for me: creating, breathing, smiling, and counting every damn blessing I have.
Constant fear and guilt will not help anyone. Finding the blessings, whether it’s more time with your kids, for introspection, or for reading or drawing or sleeping or whatever, will create opportunities that we can’t foresee.
I’m finding out what is truly important to me. I think we all are.
So, don’t feel guilty about finding the good. In fact, go ahead and search for it. Share it. BE it. Be good and positive and hopeful. It’s probably the best thing you can do for yourself and for the world.