So...things are pretty crazy right now. Sending out my resume, finishing books, brainstorming short stories and essays, trying to enjoy the sunshine, finding good cafes to work at. Insomnia, dating, just trying to get a handle on everything. I want to write about last month's panic attack and my trip to Portland and my tattoo. I have so many ideas and sometimes that is my downfall. I am so afraid, more so now than I ever was as a silly teenager who thought her opinions were oh so important. I see now that I was obnoxious and precocious back then but I was young and not so self-conscious. Now I'm so fearful that even picking up the phone to call someone who is expecting my call is dead fucking scary. I wish I had a degree to back me up, some piece of paper that said, I did it. Instead I have debt and interest and my waiting week of unemployment. I have time that I should be using but every second I don't use feels like I'm wasting my limited time on earth. There are moments of bliss, moments when it all connects, or moments when it doesn't but I can see into the future, even five minutes out, to when the universe might alone in my favor. It's getting through those five minutes that's hard.
I was just glancing at my blog and thinking, "how ugly and outdated." It's true, I know that. But I am stretched pretty thin right now. I pay a publicist to make sure Best Sex Writing 2012 actually sells some damn copies. I pay my assistant to get my books proofread and keep my life in order. I'm going to Wisconsin in February and some conferences in March. I feel like my money is already all spoken for; there isn't any left to ponder something that feels silly and flighty and frivolous. I feel way too frivolous these days, and I trying to be stronger and prouder and tougher, while also, literally, wearing my heart on my sleeve. The stoic part of me that wants to stare down the hard things and never blink, never cry, never flinch, wars with the side of me that collapses at the first hint of trouble.
All this to say, this year has been all over the map. My heart, my head, my career. I have no idea where any of those are going next. I am just trying to get through each day and be grateful and humble, to learn about myself, to not get so stuck in the darkness I can't see the light. I stayed up til 4 the other night, partly because of coffee, partly because I wasn't at home. It was quiet and beautiful yet I kept asking myself, "Is this where I'm supposed to be?" Putting myself, literally and figuratively, into anyone else's hands is not something I'm all that comfortable with. I hate giving up any of myself because I know what can happen, and I mean that in the positive and negative senses. I feel on this great precipice and yes, having the power to decide which way to go, all the way fucking down to rock bottom or all the way up, is both a power trip and one that makes me cringe. I eavesdrop on two writers at Gimme Coffee and think, "I wish I had your vision, your ambition, your life. I wish I knew your secrets." But I only know my own. I know that I will stay stuck, in this limbo lifeless place, unless I write it all down, the good, the bad, the ugly. Not in a vicious way, not in a purging demons way, but in a way that leads me forward, somewhere that is new and different from the past, somewhere that takes me into a place I haven't been before.
This year has been so full of irony and madness and love and hard choices and loss. Beauty and laughter and dresses and cupcakes too. I want to take this year of double chai and truly celebrate it by being doubly alive, rather than sleeping the day away in my sunny bed because I'm so afraid to try, so sure that nobody will ever want my words, or me. I think what I figured out on that couch at 4 am was the lesson I keep needing to learn; that I have to accept myself, be okay with being the girl with her heart on her sleeve rather than trying to bury her heart and her hopes, rather than playing it safe. So I must get back to this crazy list of self-created chaos, back to the place where I actually love the process, rather than simply want to get to The End. I think it shows in the work, and I see that being afraid, tiptoeing around the Big Topics, will always keep me at the low end of the totem pole. Stripping down to the scary places is the only way to get anywhere. So, here goes...