My mom told me once, and I didn't like it, that what you are made to do, you just do. You don't think about it, it comes out of you and can't be stopped. Now I do take issue with the last bit, that it can't be stopped. Just about anything can be lost, forgotten, or suppressed. That wasn't a very illuminating bit of advice when I came again to her asking what I should do in life. Read: job. Should I become a journalist? No matter that I hadn't written a thing. No matter that I didn't daily sit down and journal. I guess I believed in the think method*, only applying it to words, not to music.
You can't stop what you're made to do... The complicating factor here was, I was seeking a way to make money and this wisdom didn't directly translate to a pay check. Not that I was looking for much money, necessarily, but I wanted a path.
Since you can't help but ________ you should pursue _________ in school and do ______with it. A life-sized MadLib game. (As a side note, I never learned grammar till college, so MadLibs have never been fun. I didn't know what a preposition was. Isn't that strange for an English major to not know till Junior year what a preposition is?)
So I ended college. Didn't know what to do. Liked to read. Cannot edit to save my life. My options seemed limited. But I got into grad school, did well, and then got a job. And it's here that things got broken.
It's here I learned some of what I was made to do and it was suppressed. I am a writer of sorts. I wrote letters growing up, and collected daily doings writing them to my cousins. And it was fun and funny. How can someone go to the grocery store and not be on an adventure?
So, I started a blog. Had one really before going to Nebraska, but continued it.
Until it was found out by someone at school. And I was told to take it down. And apologize for my words. Words that were gracious and true and not poorly reflecting anything except maybe my vocabulary. I cannot understand still what happened to me in those 9 months. But all of the "you do what you are" shrank away. The more I was the more I was ostracized.
I stopped writing. I stopped laughing. I stopped talking. I stopped eating. I could not do the right thing without criticism and I was a shell inside and a blank screen to reflect incorrect images onto. It's strange what you believe when you are told who you are for long enough when you are alone.
Lazy. Inept. Hurtful. Stupid.
You'd believe it. Don't tell me you wouldn't.
It's taken years to undo. No, not undo. Label. Untangle. And like a chain, it's crimped in a way that won't hang the same again. It is so easy to relearn those lies, to get retangled to only see the snags. God sheltered me in those times. In such small ways. I was empty but was protected.
I am what I do. And since I stopped doing absolutely everything that was not necessary for waking hours: feed, bathe, exercise,laundry, sleep, what I do now has been basic.
It's similar I guess to the sensation of a phantom limb. I haven't had a phantom limb, but I have slept on my arm and had it go so numb I was surprised it ever had feeling again.
Now, nearly 5 years later, I am becoming aware of who I was. Feeling a tug, or a pressure, an itch or a tingle.
Start to write.
Start to read.
Start to be.
Test the waters.
You are safe.
*The Music Man, watch it