the sacrificial carrot

This weekend came with an awakening, an awakening of spirit but also of sacrifice.

The gods have offered a semblance of spring for the Northeast, which feels incredible. It should anyway, but instead, it is a carrot that I can’t quite reach. So, I’m sitting at my desk with the windows wide open. I am typing story outlines and notes while texts ping in the next room. And I know what they say.

“Hey, what are you doing today?” “How about a walk in the park?” “It’s a gorgeous day for a stroll by the water, don’t you think?” “Early dinner at my place?”

But I can’t go. I have deadlines—commitments to my clients, commitments to myself. I’m committed to getting myself published, to have a byline of my own this year, and not one that I’ve posted on this blog but at a reputable publication online or off.

And I can’t do that without a bit of sacrifice to my free time, the idle time previously allotted for daydreaming, binge-watching, online dating, and reading. And, yes, even walking.

I moved my computer out to the terrace. The sun feels good on my face—the comings and goings of the neighborhood white noise. The wind and the cat are my only companions. I try not to think about the carrot and concentrate on the words.


who’s on first

Today is Tuesday. The last day I consciously remember is two days past when I was almost well. In the past 36 hours, I’ve battled headaches, shades of dysentery, earworms, nightmares, the ghastly voices of self-doubt in my head, the internal cries of my body craving sleep in daylight, twilight and every time in between. The modern-day torture is not listening to your body when it tells you to sit still.

Sitting still, it was a challenge in the beginning but something I’ve grown accustomed to now. This new idea of being at peace with being alone with myself. This act alone is a fear of others, something noticeable once you take a step back and witness how they fill their time with distractions and folly.

It’s one of the reasons I committed myself to say yes more often. Yes to helping someone with their project, yes to spending time with new friends, yes to travel and trips for any reason rational or not, yes to more work with a colleague.

This art of saying yes can be tricky if you do not stay true to yourself. And this person who is so used to saying yes to others, finds herself in a battle of wits, in the act of self-preservation of emotion and heart, to prioritize her dreams and herself.

She is still learning; I am still learning this daily practice of deciding who’s on first.

time is a catch-22

Promises promises … that’s not just a line from a Naked Eyes, or more recently a Take That, song. There are the promises you make for others and the ones you make for yourself. I try hard not to make promises I can’t keep, but when it comes to myself they are sadly easier to break.

My one month blog writing challenge was a success in May, an epic fail in June, and July…well, we’ll have to see how it goes.

In my mind I know that time waits for no woman to decide what do with their life, it is a constant beast, a continuously moving organism propelling in a forward direction. And dang if it’s not moving ridiculously fast, faster than I care (or anyone else, really) to acknowledge.

It’s a bittersweet passing of time because the more traveling I do (the something that I love), the quicker it goes (the catch-22).

all over the place like mud

I am my own worst enemy.

There was no reason for me to linger at work past 5 last night and yet I didn’t close down my computer until way after 6. Sharon chatting over IM stressed my need for more balance. There’s something to be said when the same message is heard from colleagues and friends:  ease up on the work and live a little.

What strides must one take to find balance? In my minds eye that would take commitment to oneself above all others, interest in oneself above all external stimuli. Commitment.

Commitment now thats a word one can reflect on for hours years days.

I used to be committed to my writing. I would devote innumerable hours to stream of consciousness musings, without question, without doubt that I would be missing something ‘out there in the real world’. I would live inside the zone, with or without head phones ignorant to anything but the voice of my characters, the stories of the landscape, the dreams of the unwritten. And I have reams of handwritten pages filled with one-liners, odes, poetry, lyrics and even haiku to show for it. Character studies, plot maps, in-depth descriptions and occasionally dialogue written colorfully in felt tip on college-ruled paper, smudged pencil in journals, notes in the margins, thoughts on the back pages. Hours in early morning late night, stolen minutes from school projects, borrows minutes at work. All for the joy and sake of writing.

And then it changed, I changed. Just typing those words my eyes squint, my brows furrow, my mind searches for the exact moment, to no avail.

Change is not always black and white,  there are not always distinct monumental moments why you choose one path over another, the reasons you search for may not exist. It may or may not go unnoticed, all dependent on the value determined by the person making the decision. Change can be part of an agenda; in the every day of life  it’s instinctual, impulsive. On occasion it’s ground-breaking; most often it just is.