Getting it back, Giving it all
Wow, it’s been a while! It feels so good to be back though! Not just here on the site, but in general. So much has been going on – a lot of which has contributed to my absence. And while I’d like to say said absence is because I’ve been traveling the world and seeing the sights, the past few months haven’t been so fun. I don’t tend to share a lot of my personal life, but in this case, I do want to make an exception. Maybe it’ll help you; maybe it’ll help me. But here goes:
For the past few months, I’ve felt like I’ve just been sleepwalking through my life. I wasn’t in a good place, emotionally or physically. I had a vicious case of double pneumonia that knocked me flat out for over three weeks, but even prior to that, I just wasn’t feeling like myself. I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t reading, I wasn’t hanging out with friends. I had basically shut out everything that made me happy. (The one saving grace, as always, has been my family. They nursed me through the pneumonia and got me back on my feet. As the Beach Boys sort of said: God only knows what I’d do without them.)
I also noticed that over the last few months, maybe even the last year, I had lost a…I guess you could call it a spark. I felt like my voice had been silenced, both on the web and in real life. I felt like even my personality had somehow become muted. I wasn’t being my real, authentic self and I realize now how toxic denying my true nature can be. There I was, trying to be quiet and meek, to not disagree with anyone. There I was, trying so hard to have everyone like me. And it was exhausting! And it was soul sucking! It was me trying to cater to the whims of everyone, of slowing my pace and shortening my steps so as not to disturb the air around them. I wouldn’t even really post on any of my social media accounts except to share an article. I added no opinion or thoughts of my own because I was so worried about offending someone.
What the ever-loving heck, Bethany?
I’ve got a healthy body, a sharp mind and a fine pair of legs. Time I used them! And I am. Someone recently asked what I wanted people to say about me when I die, when someone is standing over my coffin and giving the best eulogy ever (they better!). Do I want them to say, “Here lies Bethany. She tried so hard to not make anyone mad”? Or “Here lies Bethany. What a doormat.”
How about “Here lies Bethany. Finally she’s slowed down a little!” Or “Here lies Bethany. Genius, billionaire, playgirl, philanthropist. God she loved her cats.”
Now that’s more like it.
It took awhile, but I finally got moving again last month. I stopped waiting to “get motivated” and instead decided that I needed to get off my ass and and find my motivation. I needed to put on make up again, I needed to dress in something other than stretchy pants, I needed to start reading great books again instead of watching crap TV. But the biggest thing of all that has really helped is that I started writing again.
I love writing probably more than anything. Most days, it’s aggravating and I’d rather hang drywall than do it. But there is nothing quite like that moment when the words just flow, and the characters feel so real it’s as if they’re standing right beside you. Bestselling author Jodi Picoult describes the writing process like this:
“The way I feel about writing changes on a daily—or an hourly—basis. Sometimes it’s like riding a bicycle down a hill, with the wind whipping through my hair and my hands in the air. And then there are the times when writing feels like slogging through the mud that was left behind after Hurricane Irene.”
Preach, girl! I know that feeling. And while I don’t particularly like the slogging days, I love those days when the puzzle pieces finally come together. It’s like the clouds part and the sun shines and it’s got to be how Superman feels when he’s basking in the rays, absorbing the energy and feeling as invincible as can be.
Writing has always been a home base for me, and returning to it after being so down and out for so long was exactly the medicine I needed. When I first sat down, I couldn’t believe that I’d almost forgotten how good it feels. And once I got typing, the hours flew by. The days flew by. And suddenly:
I got my mojo back.
Suddenly, I was picking up my makeup brushes and having fun again. I was writing and brainstorming and outlining and getting inspired again. I mean, I have so many ideas for this site alone! I have a full list of interviews and reviews ready and can’t wait to share them. I have so many new post ideas and articles that are thisclose to being released. I have short stories and full length novels that are thisclose to being done and ready. I have new covers to share. I have a YouTube channel that’s thisclose to launching.
It took a long time and it wasn’t easy, but I found my voice again. I not only found it, but I cleared my throat…took a breath…and roared.
Here’s to a new beginning.