Well, October is over. It was a crazy month for us with Ella’s birthday and party, my infinitely less important birthday, and a ton of family visiting. I had been looking forward to this October for so long and I was worried how I would feel once it was all over. Knowing myself, I was trying to mentally prepare for a downward spiral. Stay at home motherhood isn’t full of changes and excitement; there’s not much to look forward to outside of the developmental milestones or making your kid laugh. October had been my thing to look forward to for months and months and now it’s just over.
But here we are in November and no one is more surprised than myself that there is no downward spiralling.
Maybe I’m counting my chickens before they hatch, since it’s only the first day and all, but I don’t feel like I’m standing at the edge of some abyss with nothing to look forward to. I’ve never had alcohol but I’ve heard the way to avoid a bad hangover is to drink a lot of water. To avoid an October hangover, I also prepared. My “water” has been productivity. It’s easy to think that when you’re tired or drained that laying around doing nothing is the cure, is the way to feel better. It’s taken a lot of laying around doing nothing to figure how that that doesn’t help me. It actually makes me feel worse. I feel better when I do better, when I’m actively engaged in something. And for at least the last two weeks, that’s been this blog. I’ve stopped apologizing for my interests, frivolous and self-indulgent though they may be. I’ve fully embraced this new passion for photography and and old passion for fashion and decorating and making things pretty.
Most importantly, I’ve become a writer again.
I guess I never stopped being one; not writing consistently doesn’t mean I stopped being a writer. I stopped being a good writer, maybe. But I’m always a writer the same way I’m still a wife when Matthew is away and I’m still a mother when Ella’s asleep. It’s taken me a while to realize this, that “writer” isn’t just a label I’ve decided for myself. It’s something I have always been.
I love writing because it’s the greatest word game there is. It’s like the story is already in my mind and I have to unscramble it, stringing sentences together that are in sync with each other. I love finding the perfect word, creating the perfect phrase to describe what I’m feeling or thinking. It’s the same as when I’m styling my coffee table or bookshelves– I love putting things together. Trinkets, outfits, words– it’s the same passion. Making these discoveries, putting them on paper is what energizes me. I’ve always had an imagination; stories and narratives just pop into my head and I’ll think them and create them in the same instant. Like they’re dreams. But for a long time, I thought I’d used up all of my creativity, that my mind had turned into a toxic wasteland. Rejection and lack of inspiration disheartened me. My own fears that I was a fraud who wasn’t good enough kept any light bulbs of inspiration turned completely off.
But this blog has revitalized me. It’s not the Great American Novel or even the Great American Blog. But the more I create for The Curated Life, the more creative and inspired I feel to do more. It’s like that Maya Angelou quotation I love so much: “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
So my busy October is over. All the projects and visits and things to prepare for are in the past. But with writing, there’s always something to look forward to.
Happy Sunday, everybody.
P.S. In the spirit of using creativity and looking forward, I joined NaBloPoMo! I’ve never done it before (I didn’t know it was a thing before a few days ago) but I’m really excited to follow Maya’s advice.