Moving as a metaphor for birth

Now that I’ve emoted about what I’m leaving behind, it’s time to think about what I am going towards and what I’m taking with me.

I have loved my home so much that I was super sad when I realized that leaving this house was my only option.  I couldn’t stay in Stone Mountain, it was too close to a few bad memories and I wanted a bit of a fresh start, but I wanted to stay near.  I tried to find places in Decatur and Tucker, but there were just too expensive.

I finally found a nice place that meets my needs (1 story, can have 5 cats, cute as god damn button and nice yard)  in Marietta, but I was feeling a little worried. Marietta is so far away from all my favorite places! I have friends up there, but some of them I’m not very connected to anymore.  What if there isn’t anything fun to do? What if it’s super boring? What if there aren’t any good restaurants? What if my neighbors are mean? As I was working myself into a tizzy of dread I remembered a parable I’m very fond of:  

“A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment.

“What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.

“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”

“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.

Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.

Sometime later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.

“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”

“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.””

I think the moral of this story is that you have whatever you take with you.  

This makes me think of someone I know who moved recently.  This woman moves a lot, every 5 years or so. She comes to a place with the hope that it will be better than the last place, but it never is.  At first, she is excited and tries to make friends and get involved in local culture. She does make friends, she has parties, she has fun. But pretty soon that changes.  She starts fighting with her new friends who are all “crazy”, “manipulative” “passive-aggressive” and “dramatic”. She begins to end friendships with the toxic people. She starts becoming worried that the toxic people are poisoning her other relationships and starts to feel paranoid that people are talking about her, plotting against her.   Soon, a few years into moving she starts being afraid to go to cultural events because she might see some of those ex-friends who are plotting against her. She stops going out, she stops having fun. After that, she begins to fantasize about moving. She thinks that will fix the problem, she needs a new place, new friends, new experiences and this time, this new place will be different from the last.  She will finally find a place with sane, kind, honest and reasonable folks. But she never does, because that place doesn’t exist for her.

I think about my time in the Stone Mountain/Decatur area and it’s been good.  I have friends I’ve made here that have been my friends for 10 to 12 years. The place I lived before this was Macon, from which I have friendships that have been going strong for over 20 years!  One of my old LARPing buddies just spent the night with me the week before my move. I talk to several of them weekly or more. Before that, I lived in Perry. I still have a few friends from there,  friendships lasting over 30 years. So, I know in Marietta I will make friends, and that these friendships will be satisfying and long-lasting.

Stone Mountain/Decatur has amazing food.  I just went to a new place, “The White Bull” for my birthday, which was fabulous.  Sadly “Cakes and Ale” just closed, which was amazing. And there is “Iberian Pig” and “Savage Pizza”, “Java Monkey” and “Butter and Cream”,  “Chris’s Pizza” and “Top Spice” over in Toco Hills. “Golden Buddha” and “Nicola’s” near Emory. I’m not even going to list off all the great places in East Atlanta and l5p.   In Macon, I had a favorite Chinese place, and “Mikato” for the best hibachi, there was an awesome Indian place near my college and some great places at the mall. In Perr,y I mostly ate my mother’s cooking, which was literally award winning.  So, I’m pretty sure Marietta will have amazing food.

Yeah, I’m going to a new place and entering a new phase of my life, and that is scary.  But I’m betting it’s probably going to be just as much fun as living in Stone Mountain was.  I’m closer to my massage guy who has been helping me get my injured leg working again. The new house has a mostly flat yard so I can start some limited gardening again.  The house is smaller and in much better condition than my old place. There are already so many things I love about it. The area is great too! I’m less than 2 miles from a Barnes and Noble, Ulta, Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot.   I’m less than 6 miles from whole foods and the mall. I’m a 5 minute or less drive from at least 20 restaurants. The sidewalk in front of my house is new and in great repair, which given that the sidewalk in DeKalb county literally broke my leg this is a big deal,  I can start safely going for walks again!

I’ve already started making this new place my home.  I’ve painted several rooms and since I officially finished my move two days ago I can really start unpacking, decorating and hosting events.   My new house and town are going to be as amazing as my last one, just different. My cats even like it! 

I didn’t want to move,  it was painful and scary,  I cried and screamed entering this new world.  But now I’m looking around my new life and feeling pretty good.

Writer’s Boot Camp day 23

I’m starting on this during my lunch break again. I had hoped to put in a half hour before work, but I didn’t manage to get up early enough or be efficient enough for that.   I should be able to get a good solid 15 or 20 minutes during lunch, and I don’t have any plans tonight.

Today’s theme in the books is how we have a tendency to come up with a bunch of super important tasks as soon as we sit down to write, and why that might be.  The author says that “you really do want to write, but it’s also hard and difficult and scary and opens up all kinds of scars and anxieties that your rational mind doesn’t want to have to deal with”

Yes, that.  Exactly that.   I have a whole bunch of things that I have walls, moats, alligators and armed guards around.  And I can say with some level of certainty that I am one of the more self-aware people I know because at least I’m not lying about what’s behind those defenses.  I know on the other side of that wall is child abuse, bullying, fear of poverty, body hate, sexual assault, betrayal, violence, fear, extremely low opinions about myself, horrible theories about my tendency towards being abused and abandoned, and so on.   I have some really scary shit going on in there. I have gone to therapy, I journal, I read self-help books, and honestly, I have dealt with all of this on a conscious level about as much as I’m able/willing to do. Most of these things happened in the long past, and the ones that are more recent I don’t want to explore or confront the people involved.  I have decided for my own emotional safety to do something, anything to distract myself when these thoughts come up.

Writing brings them up.  Almost without fail my characters will experience the same horrible things I have.  I don’t think I could write a wealthy, attractive, popular character who was loved and nurtured by her parents.  If I did it would come across as fake or hallow, hmmm much like those sorts of people do…

As a writer you have to write the truth, as you know it into each story, each plot, each character.  Not every main character is exactly me, but they all have parts of me. There is a reason so many fictional characters are writers because they are written by writers. You write what you know.

 

When I’m writing more, I tend to feel more.  I tend to think about my fears more. When I write my emotions get turned up.  This last month I have been crying more, angry at myself more, afraid more, scared more. I know that comes out in my blog posts.  They have become almost a self-therapy journal in some places. I think this is why drug and alcohol addiction is so common in writers,  you need something to turn down the feelings. The average person spends a lot of time everyday distracting themselves from feeling, a writer has to sort of jump into it and wallow.  It’s not healthy. Or maybe it is, I don’t know.

However, not all of the anxiety and associated stalling is avoidance of emotions. I have definitely let some things slide, especially this week.  Some of the important things I think about needed to do before I write are actually things I probably should do. 

The book wants me to make a master to-do list and a to-do list for today, but I have already done that!  I do that every day, so yay! I’m ahead on something!

She wants us to put a little effort today into getting some of the other things done off of our list.  

A few things I need to work on are:

-Get back to working on the KonMari tidies, Dresses are next on my list

– Clean the kitchen

-Watch a video of Jim Butcher talking about writing process

-Finish laundry

-Go to the gym

 

I’m going to work something on this list for 30 minutes directly after work before I get back to writing.  I will be giving myself an upper limit on writing time tonight and a reward if I do it. I want to write a total of 2 hours, and once I do I will spend the rest of the evening doing fun things, any fun things I want, like TV, reading or coloring.  

******

Kitchen Before

I cleaned the kitchen and did some laundry for a little over 30 minutes. It’s not perfect, but as you can see it’s a damn sight better than it was.  I also made a decent dinner, listened to a podcast while I ate and washed the dinner dishes. Having a less disgusting kitchen makes me feel way better than I did before.  I hate feeling like I live in filth. I’m ok with a little bit of a mess, but dirty dishes, unwashed laundry, unscooped litter boxes, and things like that really stress me out.  

Kitchen After

Now in a slightly lower stress space, I’m going to write.  Working on poetry with the hope of being able to submit something tomorrow.

*****

I finished the first draft of a poem about two of my favorite things, Death and cats.  I think this one has real promise. I look forward to reading and editing it tomorrow.

Total writing time 2 hours 8 minutes

 

Writer’s Boot Camp Day 5

I wrote this in a notebook at about 9:30 A.M,  but am just now at 10:30 P.M getting it into the computer,  which is appropriate given today’s topic.

20180429_154402Today the book talked about being able to write any place, any time and this is the perfect day for this subject.  I writing this in a car on I-285 heading from Stone Mountain to Marietta. I have a lot going on today and worried I would have trouble getting to my computer, so I have a notebook and my trusty pen shark.

The theme of the day is “semper fidelis”,  Latin for “always faithful”, and the author talks about the Marines motto of “always faithful, always ready”, and how we should always be ready to write and I guess always faithful to our goals.  This is something I very much need to work on. I tend to only write at the perfect time, and the perfect place, when I have a good idea to work on. I keep a list of story ideas on my phone in Google Keep, but other than that I’m very seldom “ready” to write when I am away from home.   I used to not be this set on only writing at home, I used to write at school, at coffee shops, when out doing things.

I don’t know when this shift happened, when I started thinking writing could only be done at my computer, but it is something I need to change.  I’m going to keep a small notebook and pen in my purse from now on so that I will be ready to write whenever I have an idea or whenever I have free time.  I can see how helpful it could be in the long run to write a scene, some dialogue, a character profile or jot down some story ideas or changes I need to make in what otherwise would have been wasted or “facebook” time.  This could be beneficial in a few ways,

  1. All these little things written in what would have been wasted time would add up pretty quickly, speeding up all my projects
  2. It could be good to capture those in-between times and utilize them, grabbing the ideas while they are fresh instead of leaving it to memory and Future Kitty to do the work.
  3. This could be uplifting emotionally because it will keep me focused on writing, on being a writer,  on my current WIP (work in progress). If I’m writing a little every time I’m a passenger in a car or at night before I go to bed,  or first thing in the morning while my dreams are still vaguely visible, or in a waiting room at yet another doctor’s appointment or while taking a break walking someplace.  I don’t have to be sitting at a desk all official like to be a writer. I need to be reminded that writing is something I do, but a writer is something I am, every place, all the time.  

marietta-imageWell, I’m in Marietta time to stop writing and start looking at a house.  I think I worked about 30 minutes, but if not then I will have for sure when I type and edit this.

I did work way more than 30 minutes, true facts, Past Kitty was correct.