Saturday, May 4, 2013

That old chestnut.

So they're here again. The ole 'what am I doing with my life?' blues.

I must admit, I get hit with these at least monthly. And they creep up on me, usually when I'm feeling my happiest.

Case in point:

This week I officially passed my probation period at my new job. I successfully rode my beautiful  bike over 40kms. I bought not one, but two new dresses. I make a delicious breakfast. I enjoyed every minute of this week, every minute of the life I have made for myself.

But while making dinner tonight, I started to feel flat. I knew I had to go work on my novel and I wasn't feeling it at all.

It's really hard, chasing the dream of being a writer. Because life is consumed by things that aren't writing, things you love to do, people you love to spend time with. In the moment, your life can be wonderful. But when you remember you're not yet where you want to be, then everything else feels pointless.

I assume this is the same for all creative types, trying to make it as an actor, but spending all day making coffees in a great cafe with an excellent bunch of people who genuinely make you laugh. Or making music on the weekends, while working in a Centerlink office during the week, and finding yourself surprisingly happy when you get promoted to team leader. Even though you aren't supposed to be doing these things. You're supposed to be an artist. You're supposed to be heard.

And your day job isn't supposed to make you happy. You're colleagues aren't supposed to make you laugh. You're supposed to be a tortured soul, only truly happy when creating.

But I'm really happy at work. And I'm really happy being lazy and watching House of Cards. And I'm happy to not write everyday.

Can I still be a "writer" if I decide not to finish my novel this year? Can I still be a "writer" if I don't post a blog a week? Can I instead, live my life in the moment, enjoying the moment? And if that moment calls me to write, like it did just now, then write in that moment, not forcing myself to speak anything else than the truth in that moment?

Not without monthly visits from the blues, you can't. Not without questioning what it's all for. Not without feeling guilty for wasting precious writing time. Not without doubting who you even are.

Sometimes, when I'm happy, I wonder if the titles "girlfriend" and "mother" (of Shaun) are the only ones I really need. But I still like to introduce myself as "writer". Whatever that looks like.