I like to use my own photography in blog posts, but this was the perfect picture for the sentiment.
I am a perfectionist. I am my biggest critic. I am a taskmaster, who has a tendency to work until I can’t tell whether I’m coming or going…that is, until this summer.
After school ended, I slept. I stayed up late because my inner essence is happiest as a night owl, but I slept at least nine hours a night and took naps those first weeks after the end of school. I took a class in June so I had to get up by 10:30 am and get going, however, my bedtime continued to hover in the wee hours of the night and I continued to want (need) to relax and be still and quiet.
Once the class was over and I continued to sloth my days away, I started to beat myself up for not accomplishing more with my time. How can you just sit there? My inner critic, The Voice was getting louder and louder in my head. You have this whole summer to write and you’ve already wasted so much time. Get busy!
In fact, my last post was about being more productive. I was discussing this with a trusted confidant and she said, “Your writing and accolades are wonderful, but they are not the reason you are valuable…could you just be this summer and allow yourself to rest?”
Preposterous! Right? Crazy talk…or exactly what I need.
The next day as I sat in shame on the couch and watched a repeat of Grey’s Anatomy instead of writing, I recognized myself in the skeleton of the storyline. Christina Yang hadn’t been able to operate since the shooting at the hospital and she didn’t think she ever wanted to again. Her co-workers and friends chastised her. They thought her value came from being a surgeon too. What would she be without it?
Derek recognized that she needed to be left alone. She needed to do anything, but operate. She needed to be. Just be without the pressure of keeping the pace like she had before. Once she was allowed to be, she eventually found her way back to medicine.
Another friend reminded me that I once told her that I am compelled to write, I can’t stop it. It is a part of me. I am valuable as I am. Just because I am taking time to rest now doesn’t mean that I am wasting or losing my essence. I am a writer.
Even through the din of The Voice berating me, I have continued to be quiet and rest. I have been eating good healthy food and finding balance again. Interestingly enough, I am now starting to yearn to write again. Not because I feel obligated to, but because I want to.
In allowing myself to be, I may have unhinged the block I’ve been experiencing for this past year. Maybe allowing myself to be still and realize that I am valuable exactly as I am right now is opening the door to deeper self-acceptance and faith in myself. This trust and acceptance may open me up to being an even better writer.
Right now I can embrace the excitement of writing again without the pressure or expectation of the final outcome. I can make writing a part of my daily practice of self-care, but not beat myself up if I don’t get words on the page. I can listen to myself and make healthy decisions daily.
I can be.