Writer’s Block: two of my most dreaded two words in the English language, but usually two words I can at least somewhat understand. Not this time.
The last 18 months have been almost devoid of writing, unless it’s school or clinical note related. The last 18 months have also been some of the least content and most exhausting months of my life. Let me tell you why this doesn’t make sense.
- My kids are thriving. That doesn’t mean we don’t have our share of parenting challenges, we do, often. Somehow though, they’re all finding their way and they are delightful to be around most of the time, even if quality time often happens in the car when driving them somewhere.
- I FINALLY am doing the work I’ve been studying to do for years. First, in a place where I learned a ton of stuff from some incredible people that I needed to know to be better at work and as a human being. Now, I work at a place that is as eclectic and whole and funky and reinvention-ey as I am. I didn’t think this place existed but it does and I’m blessed to work there doing trauma therapy AND yoga-two things I always thought worked best together and now I get to use them both.
- After YEARS of digging out of debt and then living paycheck to paycheck, we’ve finally hit a bit of a stride financially. We are not rich and we for sure don’t have everything figured out (hello, somehow affording college and retirement) but we’re getting there little by little as we continue to gain power over our money. No more holding my breath in the grocery store check out line hoping my debit card is approved.
- I’m nearly officially middle-aged and20 years married and the two biggest gifts of these things are I care a whole lot less about what other people think and feel a lot more secure in my life knowing I get to share it with a partner I still love, respect and sometimes even admire (sometimes, when he’s not driving me nuts).
- I’m finally, finally pursuing my doctoral dream.
So, things are pretty good, right? I should have lots to say and write and share. Right?
Wanna know why I think that is?
Two reasons: one is time and two is my personal brand of crazy. And one is likely just a lame excuse.
The thing is, daily I find time for the two jobs, school, the two (cumbersome) volunteer gigs that I have. Somehow there is time for Netflix bingeing and eating ice cream and sometimes my own yoga practice and chatting with my kids. There always seems to be time to invite guests to stay over or sneak into town with my husband for a late Sunday afternoon drink.
But there is never time to write.
Here’s my theory (yes, psychoanalysts analyze themselves too): I’m afraid to write because in the past, especially on this blog, I wrote about what I know and now, what I know now feels scary.
I work with couples. I work with kids and families. I work in the field of trauma. I listen to people tell their stories and they range from the totally familiar and relatable to the completely unimaginable. I know stuff about how to avoid, get through, process to move forward. I know it and I love to share it. I’ve learned from a variety of teachers in a variety of ways about a variety of subjects. I’ve studied and studied and studied, and practiced and practiced and practiced.
I do think there are ways to do things that make life work differently. I do have opinions on parenting and relationships that I think are good because they’re based in a lot of research and practice. I do think I have an ability to hear what people are really trying to say even if they’re not actually saying it.
But my job doesn’t always include sharing what I know outright. Instead, my job is guiding folks to get there on their own terms. And we all get there in different ways and at different paces. So, really, my job is to love people and create a safe place for them while on the journey.
So, when it comes to writing about what I know and what I do, I get scared that in sharing so directly, I may jinx my own life. Like, somehow sharing what I know will turn me in to the cobbler whose kids have no shoes. It’s the little (or rather, very large) skeptic in me that thinks once I start speaking as someone who knows something, all that I know will turn to dust. The kids won’t be ok anymore. The marriage will falter. I’ll end up broke, alone and sad. Like, somehow karma will wag a finger at me saying, “How dare you pretend you know stuff when everything in your home isn’t perfect? We’ll just have to take away all that’s good”.
My inner skeptic is strong enough to sometimes even even make Karma the bad guy.
But then I see all these coaches online and in the bookstores offering their expertise and I get frustrated. I think, c’mon, no one’s an expert, we’re all just doing the best we can. Then I also feel indignant because I know stuff and why don’t I have a book or an online “expert” business? What’s wrong with me? (Please, you didn’t think I was ego-less, right?) Then, I feel compelled to share that sentiment of we’re all doing our best. I want to get back to my blog-roots of “we’re all in this together, let’s keep building each other up” and I want to write again.
Then I get scared.
Then I get frustrated. Then indignant, then… well, you get the picture.
So, here I am. Writing. I have no idea where this will lead. I’m hoping it leads to more writing. More sharing. Maybe even finishing the book that’s lived, half-completed- on my desktop for over two years. What I do know is this: contentment, is contained in my keyboard. No matter how full my life, if writing is missing, it will never be complete.
Got questions? Share them, maybe it will help spur the fingers on keyboard that I need!
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.