“I am free to write the worst junk in the world.” Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones
I’m going to write this post with nothing on my mind that I have an intention to say. I’m also not going to edit it, so consider whatever is present here as what was originally written. No edits. Oooh, how Daring! I’m reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg – the writer’s– starting writers/challenged writers/procrastinating writers– classic! I’m working on self-discipline. You see, I used to be very disciplined. In fact, a fun fact about me: until the age of 22, I ran (since the age of 8 probably) everyday. I’m talking a real run. And fast speed. In 5th grade (I was around 11 I guess), I remember running a regional track meet. They didn’t have track for 5th graders where I grew up, but we had like 2 meets at the end of the school year against other schools. And I won- by like a whole lap! Both years! I remember getting 6:18 both times. Nearly every time I ran those 4 laps around the track, in fact, I would get 6:18. It was like my number as a kid. I remember after that the track team was hot on my trail.
It seemed as a child that, because I was naturally very good at stuff, people wanted me (not a bad problem to have, you may be thinking). But what I realized later in life that, because I was so pulled into stuff by other people, I never really stopped to question if I liked it or not. This actually was the case throughout highschool- people wanting to be my friends, sports teams wanting me, all these things wanting me… yet, what did I want? I admit, as a child I didn’t really know and it sure was easy to go with the flow. So into college athletics I go & into Christian groups on campus following my Christian upbringing. It all started to feel really uncomfortable after a time. It didn’t feel “like me.” I remember one lady in middle school, an office assistant who was kinda scary in her intensity, stopped me one time as I was leaving the office, “Don’t waste your gifts,” she said to me. That impressed upon me. No, I don’t want to waste my gifts from God, I thought! Obviously I was school-smart & incredibly athletic, but is that all there was to me?
27 years of age now and after really soul-searching for the past 5 years, intense soul searching after a torn acl-plus many other injuries accrued in college soccer- the death of my grandma, and an insistent inner impulse in my spirit, I can say, No, there is way more to me than what everyone was initially wanting from me in my life! I still wonder… what if I started running regularly again, where could my talent take me and how could it be a platform for me to speak about the things I care about big-time in my life? And yet, alongside this wonder, there are so many arising talents in me that are still-forming from within and taking their stand in my life… that I know I am chalked-full of talent & love, which breeds the best kind of talent in my feeling. Because, what it got down to in college athletics, dating people I didn’t really feel, studying for tests, being apart of campus youth groups, is that something felt OFF inside of me. I kept having the thought/feeling, “I don’t really care so much about soccer anymore, yet it’s paying for my schooling… But I have to wake up so early for it.. And I kept getting injured…”- I was really at-odds about the outer sphere wanting me to keep doing this thing I was good at, and my own feelings of, “I don’t really like soccer so much anymore– not enough to risk/commit so much of my body & life energy to it..”
That was the first of many major steps for me in the unfolding of saying to myself, This feels OFF, Why and do I want to do something about it? How can I be more true to myself and create a life that really feels ON with who I am. Lots of gaining confidence, as a Georgia O’Keeffe magnet I love says, “My life changed the day I began to regard my own thinking as true”- gaining this confidence in my inner being as opposed to following the sway of what my outer sphere encourages me to do that I’m not really feeling. Now I can truly say, I have a life that Fits me. I no longer feel ruled by outer pressures, which can be tricky because I have to take a lot of responsibility to structure/organize my time and essentially my life. With the Shoulds gone, this is the new task! HAH!
Well, this ends the prompt for today. I am going to follow through and post this free-write/no-edits without going through and changing languaging or taking out parts that make me feel vulnerable. How nice to write so free! Thanks for sharing in this. Adios, Wren