Friday, October 25, 2013

Expert Timing

I have this need for everything to be just right, sparkling clean, perfectly folded, fully stocked, expertly positioned - with the stars all in complete alignment - before I will allow myself to move forward with something. Cases in point: starting a new diet until all of the "right" foods are in my fridge and pantry ("last" pizza and chocolate binge included). Allowing company to come over only after every spec of dust is vacuumed, toilets are gleaming and ambient mood lighting is taken care of (truly, candle placement is very key). Restringing and tuning my dad's guitar and narrowing down the perfect combination of tutorials through books and You Tube before I will even think of letting myself learn how to play. Even setting up my voice mail on my cell phone until I got married - "It makes sense to wait because I'm changing my name." Well, I got my phone in August, got married in September and I'm still finding excuses as to why I can't do that task yet (surely something to do with time and the prospect of having to no doubt re-record several tries to make it seem as if the message came out cool and casual on the first attempt, thereby exhausting me just thinking about it). It is the way I live my life and it is the way I've tip-toed around my return to my blog. I've been wanting to write constantly. I think about it, I plan it, I plot ways for all of the elements to come together to create that magical chemistry I once had years ago when I used my blog to document my years in Denver, my ex-marriage, my friends and family, the death of my father. I wrote because I wanted to, not because I needed followers and cared about the perfect header or the expertly filtered Instagram that would show how creative and talented and mysterious I'm sure I must be, all through a smartly-angled smile. I use any manner of excuses, including laundry, dishes, getting to the gym, whatever I settle on in the moment. "I'll write when Isla calms down, when she's had a bath, when her teeth are brushed and she's had a bedtime story." By the time that magical sequence of events actually happens, I'm too tired to even flip open my laptop. This last non-blogging year (okay, longer than that), my reasoning has been that I'm trying to find the ultimate blog skin, to orchestrate the balance of colors and fonts and links and gadgets. To have the mind-boggling ability to edit HTML, or hell, to just understand what HTML even is. Not to mention upload those mysterious Instagrams of mine. When A becomes B becomes C, I'll do [insert project or To-Do List here],and then... Time slips away and I realize: once again, I've spent so much energy setting up the scenarios in my perfect world that I've denied myself the chance to truly live in my real world. To say the things that need saying. To try things that scare me. To open myself up to possibilities and grow from the experiences, good or bad. I may not have an inner computer geek waiting to come out or a latent ability to rock the guitar after a couple rounds of basic chords, but I'm honestly tired of being so terrified of failure that I can't even bear TRYING TO FIND OUT. Even more simply, I don't want to care about readying the perfect set-up on my blog before I allow myself to again take up the one creative outlet that's been solely for me, with no reason or intent other than to capture whatever words I've assembled at the time. I'm taking that pressure off of myself here and I'm hoping I'll learn how to do that in, oh, nearly every other area of my life. I can't figure out how to upload a picture, a gadget, a widget or a what-the-hell-is-it. I'm insanely sporadic with my content, and I'm way too liberal with my commas and my run-on sentences. Also, I DON'T have the "right" foods in my kitchen. But you know what? I don't have all the wrong ones, either. There's a little combo of crumbs and lint and other various debris at any given time on my carpet, and I certainly do not understand HTML. AT ALL. But I have a little time here and there, and I want to learn to fill it with things and people and experiences that make me happy and make me grow and ultimately, make me ME. Tonight, it was about finding my voice again, through words. Three weeks ago, I had Dad's guitar polished, re-strung and tuned. It's in the corner of my room, ready. Not mocking me, but instead silently imploring me to push the boundaries of my comfort zone of not trying and instead, to simply DO THAT. TO TRY. I'm nervous about it, but I will. A becomes B, and scenarios become action. Or at least, that's the plan.

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