Friday, February 29, 2008

in which our heroine is overworked and overwhelmed

There are times that are almost too much for real life. They belong on television with prolific voice overs and a killer soundtracks and soft lighting. Everything looks better with soft lighting.

Last Sunday, over 1/2 a Barnes & Noble cookie and a latte, I realized something painfully simple. If you take a step closer to something - you get closer to it.

But I too often speak in tangled metaphor.

The frustration of not writing, of feeling creatively and intellectually stifled in the small town I live in - eventually became too much for me. And I began getting annoyed at my own voice as it complained to friends and family about my own unhappiness.

So I put the call in to my editor - telling him I was in need of advice as well as ready and willing to do whatever it would take to move my career in some sort of progressive direction. I was neither ready nor willing. But I took the step anyway. And I took on the title of "Southwest Regional Editor". Nothing is certain right now. Not the direction in which I am going or the real depth of that title. Not my future in terms of any of my jobs - or school - or anything else. Things may not change much - but even the littlest amount of change is enough for me.

And having the personal and emotional hell going on that I've been dealing with for the past week - being told that I had one week to put out my first paper with only one writer - me - was almost like a blessing in disguise. A masochistic blessing - but a blessing nonetheless. Anger fuels me in ways. I'm able to scratch off items on a to-do list much faster. I think less and act more just to keep my anger from bottling to the point of combustion.

I worked out until my muscles ached and my breathing was heavy and the anger and stress subsided a little bit. When work became too much and my mind began to spin and my anger started to swell, I'd grab the weights, crunch until I couldn't crunch anymore, push up and get on the gazelle. I've been working constantly. Asleep at six in the morning and up by 10:30, making phone calls, arranging interviews and typing up notes - just to make dinner and go to work until 5 in the morning and asleep by 6 again.

I won't say it hasn't taken it's toll. The lack of sleep and utter exhaustion took an emotional and physical toll on me yesterday when I collapsed into a crumple of tears and fears on my sofa just an hour before work. The only joyful moments were to hear Madison's two-year old voice say she loved me when I kissed her goodbye and when Kim said she understood my sudden desire to return to the age of 20.

I wonder often and over again how I have become the person that I am now - even though I know the person I am now will not be the person I am tomorrow. I wonder where the girl who was on the verge of turning 21 went. She was kinda fun. She drank too much and didn't think about the injustices of the world and she was confidant and comforting.

So I took on a new challenge. And at times - the thought that this could all lead to a more creative and positive life makes my insides surge. I have another meeting with another editor next week for more advice and I've even been in touch with yet another editor of a regional magazine for more work. I've begun thinking of myself as an actual writer. I've made contacts in New York in order to put up an actual website and it would seem this is all a big mass of positive change.

But remember what I've said about me and change...

And still...the personal and the emotional are shaky and uncertain. What were once solid relationships are now taking on new forms that don't necessarily fit me yet.

And I am just a lady in waiting of the future. Waiting for the next wave of change to come.

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