The Scrooge of New Year’s Eve

 

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.

 

Bah Humbug - sig

 

For January 1st, I’ve never quit smoking, gone on a diet, bought a gym membership, or sworn to save money.

 

I live in my head; I think about stuff all the time. Why do I need a day to tell me to think about more stuff? And all at once?

I try to learn new things, better myself, and change what’s not working. When this holiday rolls around, I don’t sit and reflect—I barely give a thought to the past year except to say, “Huh. That sucked. Hope next year is better.”

And it isn’t.

It delivers a whole host of new and different problems. So that’s exciting.

But that’s life, isn’t it?

The thing is, like I said last year, I feel pressured to look back over my year and write something meaningful but I simply don’t want to.

What I’d like to do is drink some wine (or Baileys or beer—I’m not picky), watch It’s a Wonderful Life (I know, the irony is delicious), and eat sushi.

So here’s to sitting in front of a movie, drinking, eating, and writing ‘2015’ on all my documents for a few months.

 

Happy New Year, gentle readers. 🎉

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you stick to them? (Let’s be honest…are they even realistic?)

 

 

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I’m Nobody! Who Are You?

 

I’m having a writer’s identity crisis.

 

Nobody - sig

 

I can’t decide what to write.

Social media introduces me to the world as…

 

Who am I?

Articles, books, and blogs stress how important it is to have a niche. A platform. A brand. How crucial it is keep your “About Me” page updated and create a kick-ass profile. What I write defines who I am.

Cue the freak-out.

I don’t have a niche.

My “About Me” page doesn’t reflect who I am anymore.

My profile? That’s not me.

What type of writing should I focus on? Nonfiction? Fiction? What genre? What am I doing? What’s my blog about? Who am I?

I could just change my profile but I don’t want something hastily written in the midst of a crisis. It’s seen by far too many people who judge you by those 10-20 words. (They do.) And I don’t want to tweak it every week on a whim.

So.

I’ve deleted my profile. I know. You can’t do that. It’s so bloody important to have one. But I don’t. Not right now.

I am officially nobody.

I thought that would send me into a panic but, honestly, it feels…

Good.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Have you ever had a WIC (Writer’s Identity Crisis)? What did you do? How did you find your way? Or did you?

 

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Emily Dickinson

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

Ah, my beloved Emily. She’s always there when I need her.
(Poets.org)

 

Letting the Light In

 

It’s dark outside.

 

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The occasional car casts shadows along my wall—its bright headlights a stark contrast to the dark around my desk.

I blink at the computer screen. It’s 4:52. I check the weather and see sunset was 4:14. So early.

I reach to flip the lamp on and hesitate. This darkness is reflecting my mood nicely. I realize it’s actually reflecting my life right now as well.

I close my laptop and sit, allowing myself to be swallowed by darkness.

I breathe deeply. I let the darkness in.

It is strangely calming, feeling the darkness in my life and inside myself.

I decide to embrace it. Knowing that tomorrow, the first day of Winter, brings light.

The Winter Solstice heralds the return of the Sun even as it seems we’re entering the dark half of the year. We’re not. Sunset will be later. Each day will hold a sliver of additional sunlight.

Having acknowledged the darkness, I will appreciate the light that much more.

While the Solstice has always been magical, tomorrow I will open myself up fully to the hope and brilliance the Sun offers.

I will let the light in.

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Dark is not a bad thing—it’s just the flip side of light. It’s also a wonderful time to contemplate (and honor the introverted, introspective hermit I am).

I wish you all a wonderful Winter Solstice, full of love, light, and maybe a wee bit of magic.
I wish you all a very happy holiday and a beautiful season of light. ❤

P.S. Happy Summer Solstice to my peeps in the southern hemisphere—where everything I’ve said is flipped on its head.

 

 

One Leaf

 

There’s a tree outside my bedroom window with one leaf on it.

 

One Leaf - sig

 

This one leaf will not let go.

I mentioned I was on a journey to find my true colors. No longer hidden by green chlorophyll, this leaf found its color. It’s red.

But it’s not letting go.

Every morning, I see this stubborn autumn leaf. It hangs on, clinging to a thin branch.

I check on it after rain, after heavy winds—and there it is. Still on its tree in mid-December.

I said I was a leaf. I think I’m this one. The one that won’t let go.

Why am I holding on to who I was?

People change. Priorities change. Experiences shape and reshape us. Why do we resist?

Is it difficult to accept? Do we become complacent? Are we uncomfortable admitting we are not who we thought we were?

I’m thinking all of these are rooted in fear.

So, while I’ve found some of my true colors, I’m finding it difficult to let go.

A friend asked me why I continue thinking of myself as a woman I clearly no longer am. I didn’t have an answer.

But now I know that I am afraid.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you have difficulty letting go of who you were? Why? What is stopping you from moving on?  

 

 

 

Reaching Into the Well

 

I write about life—anecdotal and narrative essays. This is what I do.

I have a blast trying my hand at flash fiction, short stories, and have been working on twelve books for twenty years but, really, my writing is mostly personal.

To do this, you need to dig, break up some earth, to get to the gems.

I don’t.

I skim.

My words are leaves and bugs floating on top of a pool and, when I write, I’m just using one of those mesh things to get the stuff on the surface.

You can come up with a net full of fascinating material doing that, but there is often a lot of debris in the water or on the bottom of the pool. When you kick up some of the stuff that’s been resting undisturbed, interesting things can happen.

Charli Mills, who invites writers to share their flash fiction every week at Carrot Ranch, once commented that I write “deep”—that I have a well I can reach into for my writing. It was a lovely compliment but made me question myself and my process.

If this well is there (and I think it is), why am I not reaching into it?

Why can I write so deeply about a fictional character but not dive in when I write about myself?

This seems an easy question to answer. Probably fear.

I’m a pretty introspective person so it’s not that. I can easily look inside myself and see the beautiful broken pieces, the harsh edges, the softness. I have journals full of hurt and anger and love but I don’t want to write about these things. It’s not something I’m ready to do. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to. For now, I’ll skim and joke and poke fun at myself and my life. Occasionally, I’ll accidentally write a serious piece.

I’m okay with that.

I wonder, though, how all these other writers—memoirists and essayists—pull from their wells and share such poignant moments and memories.

Sarah Brentyn Sailboat Skimming - sig

Do you write personal pieces? Does this make you feel vulnerable? Do you skim or reach into your well of memories?