I started writing a post today about Positano, but every time I sat down to write, there was some sort of distraction: the dog wanting to go in and out, someone’s voice interrupting my thoughts, and most of all, my own thoughts of fear and frustration about how to make certain dreams happen.
Let’s face it: the brain does not multitask. It switches quickly from task to task, and by doing so, we severely limit our brain’s inherent power. Let’s all just strike out multitasking from our vocabulary right now.
Since I couldn’t concentrate on writing, I decided to clean out my closet. (Does that make anyone else think of that Eminem song?)
I’m reading this excellent book right now called Unclock the Secret Messages of Your Body by Denise Linn, and this passage really stood out to me:
The objects in your home are invested with symbolism and meaning; therefore, clearing things out can have a direct effect on your psyche and ultimately your health.
It made me realize that health is so much more than diet and exercise. It’s also about the thoughts and emotions that we store in our minds, bodies, and even homes, and knowing when to let go of what does not serve us.
As a Cancer, I’m a pretty sentimental and nostalgic person, which means I tend to cling to things and memories way longer than I should.
This year, I have been finding freedom in minimalism. I have hardly bought clothes or makeup this year unless out of necessity (I used to treat myself monthly, if not weekly). I’ve gotten rid of more than half my clothes (especially the ones that reminded me of a job I hated). I’ve become obsessed with using up beauty products I already have. It even feels good to wear less makeup.
And so today I started to purge the rest of my closet with the rule to keep only what makes me feel good or what I need.
I filled boxes of books to donate and filled the garbage can with old journals about past loves I’d rather not remember, and several grad school binders. Everything that does not serve the future I want to create.
In the natural process of letting go, before we can find freedom, we have to go through resentment, anger, frustration, grief.
I found old journal entries from when I was still in college and young and hopeful. I wrote down so many dreams, but one that was repeated over and over. I want to be a writer. I want to be a writer. I want to be a writer.
I used to believe that I needed a career to sustain me, and then I would be able to write. The message I got from society over and over was “becoming a published writer is like becoming the next President of the United States or going to the moon. FAT CHANCE.”
One of the reasons that I decided to become a teacher is because I thought I would have summers off to write. Well, that never happened. I always had to teach summer sessions at the college to make ends meet.
There even was a time when I disregarded my writing dreams altogether and considered every other career under the sun, including nursing (yes, me who gets a panic attack at the very thought of a hospital).
Finding my writing dreams tucked away in a box broke my heart. Maybe it’s not the Universe that has kept me from my dream life all these years, but myself instead?
My first mistake was thinking that I had to be published to be a writer. No. A writer is someone who writes.
My second mistake was fear. All these years I have been mortified and terrified to let someone into my head through my writing. I thought if someone judges my writing, they judge me. I’ve gotten a lot thicker skin since then and know that others’ opinions are not always about me, but more about how they see the world.
Most of all, I got so caught up in the high standards of Academia that I was afraid to write and make a mistake. Have you ever read an academic paper? Yeah, boring. Perfectionism is boring.
This blog means so much to me.
It makes me a writer.
I can write about anything I want and publish it myself.
I can connect with like-minded people who also love Italy and learning languages.
For me, writing is the highest, truest form of freedom and self-expression. That’s why I’m a writer.
P.S. Now that I have that off my chest, I can write my Positano posts. Coming soon!