Filtering by Tag: life

Ten Months Sober

So, this is a writing blog. I rarely, if ever, get any sort of personal. Briefly, last September, I mentioned my life, and how much things had changed. Today, I want to talk more about that.

This time last year, things were wildly different. I was on the verge of quitting the job I'd been at for 8 years to take a brand new job, about to celebrate 7 years with someone I loved very much. Of course, there are no relationships without struggles, and a couple weeks after our anniversary, the struggles broke us.

And...well, I've been picking up the pieces ever since.

Little by little, I've been rebuilding my life. True, it's taking a lot longer than I wanted it to, but I've been told I'm too hard on myself.

I've been finding the good, though, amid the absolute devastation. I have found a group of friends who love and accept me just the way I am. They don't tell me I'm awesome and stroke my ego 24/7. If I need to hear something, even if I don't WANT to, they'll say it. Everyone should have friends like these people.

I've also been rediscovering myself. In a relationship, it's easy to lose yourself. It's easy to bend and twist and compromise yourself to be what you think the other person wants you to be, until at some point you look in the mirror and you're not sure you recognize the reflection. I'd spent so long trying to be this idealized version of myself that it was almost like I didn't exist.

Over the last ten months, I've gotten to know myself again. And you know what? I like me. I'm lighter and sillier than the woman I was within the walls of that relationship. I'm trying new things and going new places and learning to be independent. I've spent hours watching Supernatural and Friends and Gilmore Girls and Audrey Hepburn movies. I've had Ben & Jerry's for dinner one night, and then pizza for dinner the next twelve nights (all while losing over 40 lbs). I've hung out with my fabulous friends until the wee hours. I've spent entire days cuddling with my puppies and dancing to Taylor Swift. I have met new people, experienced new things, and I've found a confidence that had all but disappeared. I've started planning a life that is all mine. A life of love and laughter and travel and pizza and words and puppy cuddles and Dean Winchester (if only on my TV screen). I've learned that not only am I capable of being alone, I actually LIKE it.

And you know what else I've been doing? Writing. So much writing.

I went from rewriting the same novel for damn near 8 years, over and over and over, to finishing that novel and then whipping through an all new one. One that came so fast and easy to me, and that turned out so well that I'm astounded. I fell in love with writing again. I found my voice - did you know that's not just something people say? All those years I struggled with that one book? I have pinpointed why it wouldn't work. It was too serious. The follow-up book managed to be lighter, funnier, in spite of the heavy issues my characters are dealing with. I am confident that I can rework that first book and turn it into exactly what I've wanted it to be.

So, yeah. I got hurt. I got hurt in ways that left me shaken and doubtful of my worth as a human being. I felt crazy and confused and scared and stupid and alone. Some days, I thought I wouldn't survive the pain, thought I couldn't pick myself up and go on living. But here I am, almost a year later, still standing. And more than that, I'm stronger than before. Life is weird that way. Just when you think you can't make it, there are a million reasons why you can. One person can't - and shouldn't - be your everything. And it's okay to let go of the past and move on with your life.

As Taylor Swift sings in the song that has become my constant soundtrack, "The rain came pouring down, when I was drowning, that's when I could finally breathe."

And, I'm happy to report, that I am breathing just fine.





Strong, Even When It Hurts

So.

Six months since my last post.

What have I been up to?

Well, life is kind of crazy these days. I'm single for the first time in seven years, I moved, started a new job, got a new car...you name it, it's different.

Basically, I've spent the last few months trying to get my feet back on the ground. I'm not quite there yet, but each day I'm getting a little closer.

On the writing front, I'm only two chapters away from The End. Which is another thing that's freaking me out. I've been working on this particular novel for so many years. Once I reach the end, once I go through the revision process, I have to say goodbye to this story, these characters. Yet another change in my life. While it's a good one, it still makes me nervous.

And excited.

My next novel is already forming in my head. My main character whispering sometimes, screaming at others, trying to get me to write her story. I need to finish my current one first, but the prospect of a shiny new novel is thrilling.

But I have to finish this one first. So close, yet so far away. I had the ending all mapped out, but about halfway through the novel, my main character changed the course of the story. Now, I'm struggling to nail down how it all ends. Happily Ever After sounds easy enough, right?

I'll get there, ladies and gents. One word, one step, one day at a time...

I'm Still Here

Last week wrapped up what turned out to be the most hellish semester I've had since I started college. It wasn't necessarily that the classes were hard, even though they were. No, it was everything else surrounding me that made my life hell.

Remember how Dana and I had taken the leap and decided to buy a house? Well, we found one. It was the last one we were scheduled to see and the moment we walked in, we knew. It's beautiful and charming and nearly everything we wanted in a house. I'll share pictures soon -- I've got my own office and it's so pretty!


But, of course, that meant that we had to move. And while we'd been packing in preparation for a couple months beforehand, it was still overwhelming when the day came. The following days weren't any less hectic. There was painting and rearranging and unpacking to be done. Oh, and a dog that just wouldn't adjust to his new surroundings.

I'd also been working 45-50 hours a week in the meantime, due to some unexpected circumstances.

So, all of these components, combined with the dreaded Math Class, left me stressed to the max.

I passed that class. With a C, which surprised the heck outta me. I will never again take another math class. You can quote me on that!

So...yay! Freedom! I'm not taking any classes over the summer, so I'm looking forward to catching up on my reading and getting back to writing. My writing group has been so patient these last few months. I haven't written anything, revised anything or submitted anything to my group since...heck, I don't remember when. Our next meeting is this Sunday...maybe I can whip something up in time?

We shall see.

In the meantime, what's up with all you lovely folks? How's the writing? Read any good books lately?



Balancing Act

Summer semester starts in just over two weeks and I'm just now starting to get back into the swing of things, regarding my writing. I've finally jumped back into my story from the beginning. I'm keeping notes as I read, jotting down things I think I could change, ways to fix overall issues, etc. I'm getting excited again.

I'm a little bummed that it's taken me so long. After all, once Summer semester starts, I may not have enough free time to continue work on my novel. Then again, I'm only taking two classes this time -- I learned my lesson last year. I will never take four classes over the summer again. But I start training for a promotion at work in a week or two, so there's extra work and studying time.

I often wonder if I'm crazy to pursue this dream of writing. It's become clear over the last year or so that it's damn near impossible for me to balance life and writing. My writing has suffered because of school. As much as I love my story and characters, I had a really hard time jumping back into it when I had free time. It scares me, the idea of giving up writing because of everything else going on. Writing is my first love. It's my dream. My passion. I can't live without it. When I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing. When I'm not writing, I'm feeling guilty. When I'm not writing, I'm feeling sad. Words have gotten me through a lot in my life and I feel like I owe it to myself to hold onto them.

But I've got to finish school. I've got to work. I've got to be a grown up.

I want a full life with a good job, a house, kids. The whole shebang. But I'm worried about how I will have all that AND my dream.

Dreams are tricky little buggers, aren't they?

So, for all of you out there who are managing to balance life and writing, whether you're going to school like me, or already have your home and family and job, how do you do it? Any advice? Words of encouragement? I'm dying to know!