Have you ever been guilty of forgetting yourself? You wake up from washing the dishes or taking a shower or eating dinner, and realize that somewhere along the way you hit autopilot and drifted off to sleep. Maybe you were tired of living with your mind turned on all day and found a routine to lose yourself in instead. Maybe you never consciously chose to not be awake. Either way, you forgot that the tripping, jolting, new driver aspect of life is the only way you can ever discover who you are meant to be. To use a tired old metaphor, what if the caterpillar entered it’s cocoon only to stay in there forever, never emerging to become the beautiful creature it truly is, capable of things it never was before. Perhaps the metaphor isn’t perfect or very original, but that’s the point. I’ve forgotten who I am, and so I’ve lost touch with words.
Recently, I got a tattoo of the Ancient Greek maxim, “know thyself”. I loved the idea of a tattoo that reminded me daily of something important. Well I am a writer. I may not do it professionally, and I may never write anything of consequence, but that is what I am. Written words are part of my soul–they are my bloodstream.
I have not been writing.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve written a handful of paragraphs, but I’ve finished none of them. The inspiration comes, I pick up a pen and write down a few sentences, and then the words vanish. I am sent chasing desperately down empty halls, flinging open doors, hoping to find one trace that the words were once there and might come back. When I don’t find them, I give up. And this process is one that takes place over and over again.
There are too many empty pages in my notebook, too long a time between posts online. And there are two meaningless words on my forearm. I cannot know myself unless I am writing. When I write, I am forced to go to the most out of the way corners of my person, find those few words and make something of them. I learn. I grow. I find something on filled pages that I never knew was in me.
This isn’t a resolution. I don’t think I will change a bad habit by writing one angry, angst filled post on my blog.
This is a confession.
In the sharing of my hypocrisy, may I be renewed in my willingness to write.