Yesterday, I went for my first swim in three months. It was in a shi-shi heated small pool. I slid in and found my rhythm faster than I have in the past. On my second lap watching the blue line under me, I began to feel the ease of moving through water. When did it get this easy? When did I become a swimmer who could swim and think at the same time? I remember a swimmer friend’s words: “It’s meditative,” she said last year, when I was just starting out. I laughed and said, “I haven’t found that yet.” And then, suddenly it was. Without warning, I have become a swimmer. The next thought caught me off guard: In my thirties, I have found my way to so many hobbies that I used to dream about as a kid. I always wanted to be a swimmer; a real swimmer and here I was just that. All through my teen years, every Sunday I watched figure skating, pining over when I’d get to learn how to skate. Then, for my thirtieth year of life, I got to take figure skating lessons at the same rink as Nancy Kerrigan! High school, college, and even grad school, I lived in an inferior world of writing. I really wanted to be good, but never felt confidence as a writer. Today, my life is full, if I only opened my eyes I could see it.
If only I could carry back the confidence and experience that I have gained today, I could rule the world–a friend of mine reminded me today.
Fear ruled my life for so long that I let go of so many of my dreams. I danced in a company–something I thought I wasn’t capable of and then allowed other people’s opinion of me to doubt my abilities. As an actress, I used many excuses to quit, but the main one was that I convinced myself that I didn’t have the talent for it. No one told little Dream2write that rejection is part of being an artist that your confidence and security in yourself must come from you first, not others. I placed so much value in others’ opinion of me that it crippled me. I wrote so many poems, but never saw any value them. I can count on one hand the number of essays liked by my college professors.
What changed? How did this insecure little girl finally become the fearless adult she is now; well semi-fearless?
Step One: I moved out of my parent’s home.
Step Two: I sought emotional support from multiple counselors.
Step Three: I joined a support group to heal.
Step Four: I dove off the cliff into a field of dreams.
Step Five: I posted my first blog entry.
I often question whether, this blog is of value to me as a writer or not. I wonder if it gets in the way of me working on the novel or my poetry. Then, I receive a notice in my email that I have a comment waiting to be read and am reminded that my writing is read by other writers. The writing here gives me the confidence, the energy, the drive to keep going as a writer. The stats remind me that I am part of a community of writers. It’s comforting to not this alone.
Participating in NaBloPoMo is one way to maintain my place here in the writing world. My writing teacher this past summer told us to take our time with our writing and asked us: “don’t you want to write the best novel ever?” She would call this blog total shit and maybe it is, but this shit allows me to heal regularly. It allows me to grow. It allows me be a part of something. It allows practice.
Ten years ago, had I heard my writing teacher’s opinion of my writing I would have quit like dancing and acting and piano and voice lessons. Now, I finally see myself as good, not good enough, but good as I am. Imperfect, swimmer, dancer, reader, artist, cook. Last year, right before I started NaBloPoMo, I wrote a post titled I am a writer, Am I a writer? It turns out, without warning, I have become a writer. It’s easy and lovely and meditative at times.