21 July, 2015

What Hurts: Doubt, Questions and Silence

Here is my entry from the July 17th Creative Prompt

What hurts? At the moment seemingly a lot. I don’t know if it is a hurt really, but a subtle ache. It hits me when I am silent or still. What is to become of me?

It sounds drastic and I don’t mean it to. Since getting to Hawaii, I have been struggling with what to do next. I left my job in May full of expectation. I was ready for what came next. Now next is starting me in the face and I am petrified.

I have wanted to be a writer forever. Earlier in the year my husband challenged me to stop saying I want to be a writer (because I am one) and instead to say, “I want to make money with my writing.”

Turn it from a hobby into a career. Take it from something I can do passively, to something I take seriously.

But that adds more to it than just a new level of thinking. It kind of makes it real. Then doubt comes in. It creeps into the silence telling me I can’t. I’m not good enough. Who cares what I write! I forgo daily ritual and my creativity runs dry, which I take a further proof. Oh who am I kidding!!!

So I sit at home, idle and the guilt of money, bills, and productivity creep in. My husband is at work while I sit at our kitchen table and re-read something I wrote six years ago. And what have I done with that story from six years ago? Nothing!

Comparison. Doubt. Questions. Fear. These are companions I hate.

I don’t suggest that writing into your fear always come with a happy ending. Life does not work like that. This is not a fairy tale or a 90’s sitcom where it all gets wrapped up harmoniously in 30 minutes. But it is necessary to combat the lies. Not with pat answers but truth. If you can hear the truth, use it! Speak back to the companions who hang around like leaches. Look at the fear you are so boldly facing and call out the lie.

It’s like the sounds we hear at night that creak. We can play it up to being a serial killer in the hallway or we can get up and realize it’s the wind pushing a branch into the window.

We have to face our fear before we let it overwhelm us. There are seasons of being small and then there are moments of being BIG! Being BIG enables us to move forward and helps us define who we are.

This phrase is a life raft. It doesn’t carry any answers. It does bring forth creativity or squash the guilt. But it gives me something to hold onto. I might not know what this next stage will look like – but I know I want my life to mean something. So I sit at the table with doubt, fear, uncertainty and my desire to not give into the rat race and wait.

I wait knowing that in stillness fear and doubt lose their sting. Faced with light and hope, they have no place. I sit and restart the ritual and rhythms.

Nothing worth doing comes over night. I know this. But that does not make the waiting any less hurtful. It does not make the questions any easier to take. It does not make the guilt of “sitting at home” any lighter.

But it’s something to hold onto. I want something meaningful. So I come and I sit with my desire and my questions and the still small dream in my heart, and I wait.

Sometimes waiting can be hard and painful. Sometimes waiting can bring joy we never knew was there.

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© Amanda Lunday