Archive for October 10th, 2011

Armchair Philosophy

Final Word Count: October 9, 2011- A few paragraphs; no journal entry

I feel bad for slacking off so much this month. When I began I had such grand ambitions and wild ideas. Perhaps I made promises to myself that I shouldn’t have or pinned expectations on my little shoulders that I may not be able to fulfill to my satisfaction. Regardless, the gauntlet’s been thrown down and I’m in for the long haul.

October is showing me that I really knew very little of myself as a writer when I began. I’ve been surprised (pleasantly and otherwise) much too often and it’s unsettling. When it’s a good surprise, that’s pretty santastic but when it’s a disappointment, that stings a little. I kind of feel like I’ve thrown myself to the sharks- my writer-self is struggling to keep afloat and not get shredded while my pragmatic-self is standing safely planted on the ground yelling “swim or be eaten!” Considering that’s the title of my autobiography, it seems appropriate for my life, especially now.

Just like the swimming, I used to consider myself a strong writer. I know part of the creative process is struggling through a period of growth- each artist undergoes at least one metamorphosis. It’s a fragile time for us all; we need to re-discover who we are and re-learn our strengths and weaknesses all while continuing to hone our craft. It’s a difficult balance to maintain but critical if we’re to truly become who we’re meant to be.

I got an e-mail from a friend the other day and she passed along her mother’s congratulations regarding my endeavours since moving down East and it doesn’t seem praiseworthy. All the same, I appreciated the e-mail and it made my day super fantastic. Perhaps the aspects of yourself that seem natural and integral to your identity shouldn’t seem unusual or extraordinary to you but to others you’ve undergone a radical transformation. Its wild that I’m coming up to my one-year anniversary of my move and the biggest changes have happened in approximately the past 6 months- I started to learn Irish Gaelic, I joined the Writer’s Federation, I’ve become a surprisingly good Swing Dancer, I wrote two books and I’m officially an entrepreneur now. Plus, Yesterday and I are now therapy volunteers. Listed like that, I can see how it might be impressive but for me it’s a boiled down version of the best parts of my life.

I had an idea that the move was essential to my health and well-being but I never suspected that it would allow me to grow and become the person that I could feel struggling against the confines of the shell that was still fibrous enough to maintain the life I led in Toronto. When the first crack appeared, nothing could stop the process from occurring. Thus, here I am, open to new paths and feeling a freedom that I’ve never found before. I can finally stretch and grow, the limits of this shell are still far off in the horizon.

My writing has been suffering lately and I really regret this but at the same time I can only do my best and sometimes that means doing less writing and more of something else to keep my life balanced. I want all these aspects of my life to be strengths and that can’t happen unless they take precedence over the others sometimes.

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