I never know what to say around people who think they know what’s best for me. On one hand, I want to say “fuck off, I’m living my life best way I know how”, on the other hand, I don’t want to risk being shunned. Well, I don’t really care, but one must keep the image intact. God forbid anyone sees you at anything less than your 100%.
Usually when I disappear from people’s lives, social media and basically no one hears much from me, it’s because I am either overwhelmed and need to recover, or I have fallen into depression -again – and need to wallow. That’s how it’s always been. The people that know me well know this about me. They let me be for a while, until my disappearance lasts too long and they intervene. Bless!
I want to say that this is the old me, but I am a bit too scared to jinx it. So let’s just say that I used to do that for those reasons. Not anymore though. I haven’t posted to my blog in a while, not because I haven’t been writing, but because I’ve been too focused on all the projects I’ve got. All my energy and writing mojo goes into my book.
Nanowrimo is nearly over and most of you – those that read my blog and follow it are from the writers online scene thanks for following me btw – know how it could take its toll on you. My emotions are up and down every single day. On top of that, I am running my small business and working on three major projects. I don’t even have time to think about what to write for this blog.
Looking at my last post, I see that it was posted almost two months ago. My instinct is to beat myself up about it and feel shameful that I’ve let this go. But what would be the point. Other than make myself feel bad. Instead, I sat down to write this post.
I feel like I am slightly freaking out because I’ve been on an amazing writing streak. I am writing everyday and it’s been a breeze mostly. The idea just come to me and I show up everyday to let them come through me. I fear losing that. That fear is paralyzing me. But it’s part of it. Part of this journey. And that’s ok. Usually that would send me into a spiral, and maybe I am growing up, or I don’t want to waste my time falling into anymore spirals, but I don’t want to let fear control me.
I know a lot of people experience those feelings and I spent many years trying to find the answer, the cure. I don’t know if I found it, but I know that I choose to move forward. To get right back up every time I fall. I’ve fallen a lot this past year, but you wouldn’t know it because I almost always got right back up. Is this the right way? God only knows. All I know is that I’ve come so far with so many things, especially writing. I can always count on that.
I am thankful for November. I am thankful for Nanowrimo. I am thankful for writing. And I am thankful I get to do what I love every day.
PS: yes the title of this post is from Gilmore Girls comeback show. Which I am currently watching in the background. I just feel like I’ve been in the making, for over a year now, and things are coming together. It’s a little incredible how much has changed in just one year.
I turned on my computer and put on my noise cancelling headphones. I pulled out a notepad from the drawer that needs to be reorganized because I can’t find anything in there anymore. I grab for a pen. Realizing that it’s a green pen, I put it back and mindlessly search for my favorite pen. Meanwhile, I try to find the perfect playlist to write to. I spend the next 15 minutes listening to different playlist, unable to find what I am looking for, I decide that silence is probably going to work. I can’t focus on the writing if the music is not right. Especially when I am writing something new. A new blog. A new chapter. A brand new story.
Where’s my blue pen? I stare at the blank page, watching the curser blink aggressively. I can’t work like this. I need to find my blue pen. After I look everywhere for it, I remember that the last time I saw it was two nights ago. It was in my purse. I think. Maybe it fell somewhere? The car. I grabbed my keys and headed to the car. Sweat trickled down my forehead and the pen was no where to be found. Just as I was about to give up, I looked under the passenger seat and there it was. Right! Mom had to use it the other day.
I get back to my desk and I write the date and time on the top right corner of the page. Title. I don’t know. Let’s leave the title for later. I want to write about procrastination. I haven’t written a blog in a while. I’ve been getting distracted with all the other projects I’ve got going on. Maybe I can put down my first experience with procrastination and why I believe it’s the worst affliction ever. Growl! I am hungry. I better get something to eat before I start writing. I’d hate to interrupt the muse when she’s here.
The fridge is absolutely sickening. I can’t eat anything in there. I guess I’ll just make some ramen noodles. It’s quick and easy and I can’t be bothered to cook anything right now. I need to get back to writing. I’ve already wasted 2 hours and the page is still empty. Ok, ok. I’ll quickly eat and then I’ll start writing.
Twenty minutes later, I am back at my desk and the page on my computer is still empty. I swear, this cursor is mocking me. I jot some things down on the notepad but I make a mistake. I search for a white-out pen but I get distracted by how messy my drawer actually is. I pull it out and throw its contents on the floor next to me. OMG I remember that day at the park. I had so much fun with the sisters. Why don’t we go on picnics anymore. We look so happy in this photograph. I wish for more days like these in my life. I grab my notepad and start a to-do list. The first task is, spend more time with my sisters. Task number 2, write the damn post Reem! I slide all the junk on the floor back into the drawer. I’ll organize it after I write this post.
I know what I want to write about. I wrote down all my thoughts and main points. I put the headphones back on, get comfortable in my chair and move the keyboard closer to me. I am comfortable. Ok. Curser blinks. My mind is blank. I grab the pen and write “write a blog post about how much I hate blank pages”. I put the pen down. I stare at the screen. What makes you think that you can even do this Reem!
My fingers finally move. Hit backspace. Delete that word. God, this doesn’t make any sense. What am I even trying to write here. Ok, just keep writing. Remember what you learned from Nanowrimo. Brain dump only. Don’t edit. You can do this. You quit your job to focus on this. No pressure or anything, but, don’t forget it. Isn’t Nanowrimo coming up? I need to outline my next book so I don’t get distracted next month. This time around, I have to make this book happen. Which reminds me, I still haven’t edited my first book.
Hours later, after taking every chance I could to step away from my desk and do anything but write, I finally have a page filled with words. Some of them are readable. Most of them make absolutely no sense. I hate everything I wrote and I ought to stop this ridiculousness. Who leaves their job to pursue a career as an artist and writer. Only a madWOman, that’s who. I wish I was better at this. I wish I didn’t get so easily distracted. I think I need to get tested. Maybe I have ADHD. My phone rings and I answer. I almost never answer phone calls. That’s how much I needed a break from the conversation I was having with my self.
After the phone call, I come back to my desk and I google, procrastination. I read a few blogs and articles and then I read what I wrote. I delete half of it, and rewrite the rest. I add some new sentences and then rearrange the whole thing. I give it a final read. Wow, this is actually good. Not bad Reem.
I wrote a blog post. I fought procrastination. It wasn’t easy. In fact, the mental battle I had was pretty brutal. For the whole day, I was fighting against myself to create something from nothing. For the rest of my life, this is what I have to do, every single day. I look back at everything I’ve done to date, my old job, the old blogs I ran, the previous micro-businesses I’d started and gave up on, and I can pinpoint the exact moment I knew that – that life wasn’t for me. That mean voice was loud then. That mean voice is always here and loud. But now, the mean voice goes away when I am in the zone. When I write, draw or create something, I reach a state of peace. I lose myself. I lose track of time and feel elated. It’s a magical feeling that I only get when I am creating. That feeling, is worth the battle I have to fight every single day.
Some days, the voice wins. Other days, I get too distracted and procrastination wins. But then there are days, glorious joyous days, where I win. It’s worth it.
Here’s a funnier version of this from the Tv Show Mike & Molly.
I keep going back to this memory anytime I am about to do something new. I am siting in class, chatting with my friends, and everyone is talking about a dream they have. Someone says they want to run their own company one day, and another one talks about how incredible and rewarding it would be if they could simply travel the world and experience the nomadic life. I nodded, oohed and aahed along with the rest of the amazed looks. When it was time for me to chime in, I said something about wanting to have a comic strip published in the newspaper. And then I said that I wanted to write a cute fun comic book, and it’s going to be based on our daily lives. Everyone looked at me with eyes wide open, filled with excitement. Someone said, OH MY GOD, LET’S DO THAT!! It would be so much fun. Continue reading →
I just came home like 10 minutes ago. I went to watch Me Before You at the Cinema and for the entire drive back home I was feeling rather subdued. I didn’t cry when the movie ended. I did enough of that after I read the book late last year. I worried the tears will come on the drive back. Some did eventually, but I was thankfully filling up my car with petrol when that happened. I couldn’t stop thinking about Will Traynor and Lou. Would anyone in his position choose to live?
**Do stop reading now if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie. I don’t know how to write this without revealing the plot or the ending. You’ve been warned. SPOILERS AHEAD.** Continue reading →
For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be something. When I was around 3 or 4, I remember having an oven with plastic plates, cups and food, and I would play pretend with my dad and he would pretend eat everything I made. I want to be a chef, I’ll cook for people because it makes them happy, yes, I want to be a chef, I thought. When I was 8 or 9, I remember writing a story that had come up when I was coming up with a lie to tell my parents about why I didn’t want to do something. I can’t remember the details, but I remember coming up with the story, I had the wildest imagination. I know, I can be a writer and a story teller. It’s fun, and it makes people feel something. Fast forward to a myriad of “I know what I want to be” moments throughout my adolescence and eventually throughout my adulthood.
The words are nothing but a jumble
The heart feels solid
The soul wanders, either searching or escaping
It’s pretty hard to push forward
Several months ago, I was sitting in my cubicle (a big fancy cubicle on the highest floor in the building where I worked). I felt trapped. I stared at my screen for hours, my mind wandered and I thought the same thing I’d been thinking for nearly a year. What on God’s earth am I doing here!?
I didn’t know how to answer that question. I genuinely didn’t know what kept me going, other than the money of course. I kept hearing “I’m not lost, not lost, just undiscovered” over and over. It was annoying at first, but I finally realized it was from the song Undiscovered by James Morrison. And it was exactly what I felt. I didn’t feel lost, I didn’t feel sad, I just wasn’t utilized. Potential oozed out of me. I worked as a web content and project manager for 4 years, and I was ready to give more but the ridiculous work politics made it impossible. I soon realized that I wasn’t willing to fight any longer, because I wasn’t passionate about my work any more. Continue reading →
Looking back at the amount of journals I kept over the years – not necessarily keeping them filled and fed – and the number of blogs I started – again, not truly committing to them – and how many notes I have on my iPhone and even the old blackberry, notes about my feelings, emotions or experiences, all written down for posterity and a little bit of therapy, and finally, the folder I have on my computer that is called [My Writing], which is filled with word documents of things I wrote. I honestly don’t know how I can look at all of that, and still question my vocation as a writer, and natural attraction to write it all down – do I need someone to stamp it across my forehead in order for me to believe it? Continue reading →
In an effort to expand my horizons, get myself out of the house and force myself to get inspired and notice my surroundings, I took a trip to the beach.
I actively saw what I saw, I wiggled my ears so as to test it’s hearing abilities. That’s silly, don’t do it, you’ll look stupid. Or maybe do it, who cares if you look stupid. I tried to identify what I inhaled. I gripped the steering wheel tightly, focusing on the heat coming through and the smooth texture.
I thought about all the missed opportunities, all the things I saw, smelled, heard, touched and felt. Things that are now forgotten.
I arrived at my destination. I paid attention to how I parked the car. How people look when they are driving and finally spot the parking they want. I couldn’t help but imagine a jungle where the survival is for the fittest and fastest. I pushed the thought of the reckless drivers out of my mind, that’s not a pretty picture.
I took a seat at a cafe on the strip across from the beach. I wasn’t dressed for the beach and thought it best to sit back and watch.
As soon as I ordered an iced frappe, which is pretty for a very cold coffee, I noticed the man occupying the table next to mine. Alone. Why is it that men who dine alone seem more charming than a man dining with company? Does his solo status elude to his actual status? He just seemed so interesting to me. He picked up his phone and I imagined his secretary on the other end, confirming his schedule for the rest of the day. After his call, he looked into the same direction, the beach. Was he trying to notice his surroundings too? I really wanted to know what he was thinking. I couldn’t help but watch him watch people as they went about their days.
In my peripheral, I noticed the leaves fall and I celebrated internally, for noticing this happen, and for the welcome suggestion of an upcoming winter. Out here, it still felt like a cool summer. Autumn was merely a suggestion and winter was just around the corner. Winter here feels like a very cold spring; perfection.
Tall trees surrounded the cafe, I looked up to admire them. Practically yellowing where the sun light hit them, and vivid dark green were those in the protection of the shade. I need to find out what kind of trees they are. Their leaves were tiny, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them before. I probably just didn’t notice.
The (big umbrellas) – I don’t know what they are called, they covered the tables that were out of the shade – hung free, hoisted to the ground by weights. It wasn’t windy but they swayed from side to side as if dancing to Adele’s song “Hello”. I mouthed the words and caught myself swaying too.
I sipped from the sweaty glass and frowned when it wasn’t cold anymore. The ice had completely melted and I was barely half way through. Serves me right for noticing my surrounding instead of the drink infront of me.
I wondered about every one that was out on the beach at 11 AM on a Tuesday. I didn’t have anywhere to be, that justifies why I am here. Could it be? all those people are jobless too? That didn’t sit well with me. Surely some of them are tourists, some set their own schedules and some work shifts. Maybe that explains it. Regardless, it felt naughty, like ditching school or calling in sick.
Finally, I noticed that descriptive writing is hard, but it’s so much fun trying to paint a picture with words like a painter or an artist, I’ve never been happier about being a writer and an artist. I feel proud and lucky that I can do what I love, spending a morning sipping a cold frappe at a cafe overlooking the beach at 11AM on a Tuesday.