Writing Into Empty Spaces

I miss the words and the thoughts and the love, oh the love, pouring out of me. I miss feeling like I have a purpose, a reason to put fingers to keys. I miss the urgency and the ideas. I miss all things writerly. Over the past few years I’ve experienced my itch to write diminish even more. I’m afraid if I scratch, it will be gone. I know we change and we mutate and we grow. I know we become different people all while staying who we are. I know that writing isn’t in the cards for everyone, and that I have a career that I’m nurturing and loving. I know all this.

But that doesn’t change the fact that when I sit down and think about it, I get sad that it’s been weeks since I’ve blogged. It’s been days since I’ve stopped and read through an entire article, a chapter, an episode without looking for a distraction in between. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked on a novel. In November I started something. In November I always start something. And then a few days, a week, later I stopped.

It’s unconscious at first. I might take a day off. I might get distracted or forget. And pretty soon it’s weeks or months later and I’m sitting here remembering the intentions I had. I feel like this about a lot of things. If I don’t get very specific and intentional about what I want, I lose track.

There are so many things that I want to do.

There are places I want to go, people I want to meet and experiences I want to have. I get distracted with all the ambitious thoughts. I get lost in myself and the research during times that I cannot actively do things. When I can’t cook, but I’m looking up recipes I add them to Pinterest. Forgotten. When I can’t write but I have a thought I add it to a list in a journal somewhere. Forgotten. When I can’t exercise, but I’d like to probably do yoga or start running, I add it to Pinterest. I look up techniques and blogs. And then it’s all forgotten.

I can’t quite figure out how to get myself to do things a lot of the time. It’s those in between moments when I’m inspired. I’m inspired in the shower or while I’m driving to work. I’m inspired by a song during a busy moment, or a YouTube channel when it’s almost bed time. And all of the empty space when I could be doing things. I could be writing or achieving or exercising or cooking? I can’t quite figure out what I do with that time.

I know, realistically, that I’m watching TV or reading or driving because I’m not sure what else to do with myself. I’m watching another YouTube channel, playing Best Fiends, or kind of sort of napping.

How do I get myself to do things when I can? I get distracted. I forget. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I don’t want to talk to people or exert myself. Distractions and forgetting are the hardest, and most common parts. I need lists. I need down time to think and organize. I need to figure out how my brain works, or else it doesn’t work. A lot of times I feel like it’s not working.

I can’t tell if there’s actually something wrong with the way my brain works, or how I work. I can’t tell if I’m lazy or normal. I can’t tell if my ambitions are too high for myself, or if they’re realistic and I’m just not doing the things. It comes in every way. I forget about laundry until I can’t find any pants. I forget that my car is a mess, even when that mess is right next to me, until I’m trying to squash another thing in the front seat where there’s no more room. I forget that I wanted to clean off my desk or try a new recipe or work out on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I think I’ve always been like this, though I used to write more. It used to be something that occupied my brain. It doesn’t anymore. But what occupies my brain? I have so much going on sometimes, so many different autopilot thoughts, that I can’t organize the contents. Some days I feel exhausted just by thinking. Some days I feel out of sorts and like I’m a mess, and it’s all because my brain can’t calm down and feel composed.

Is this what it’s like to be an adult? Is this how life works? Is there a reason I can’t see the mess in front of me, can’t remember that ONE thing I wanted to get done, can’t write because my mind won’t go in that direction? I know that your brain forms pathways, and the more frequently you think about certain things the deeper the paths. I wonder if somewhere along the line I just lost the mental capacity to write and to have ideas and passion for expressing myself. I wonder if some time when I was younger I allowed myself to forget the pathways to remember simple chores. I wonder if it’s part of something larger.

Some things that occupy my mind lately: Roller Derby though I don’t actually skate, food food food, Weight Watchers, how I should exercise, what I should post on my library instagram, a million stupid thoughts expressed on Facebook, Pinterest and how to get lost down the rabbit hole, how can I entertain myself this evening, how much money is in my bank account, did I pay that bill?, what am I doing tonight, what can I eat for dinner, where can I go to find new restaurants, a lot of Best Fiends, instagram instagram instagram, YouTube, water, drink more water, I’m tired of being tired, has anyone sent me an email? oh I was supposed to e-mail so and so, I think I’ll check Snapchat filters instead. Is anybody reading this? Did anybody ever read this? This all seems pointless, Hygge, why isn’t it Spring yet, what am I going to buy so and so for whatever, no I should probably not buy those leggings, I want to travel to all the places, food, food, instagram, Roller Derby, food cures, allergies, how to boost immune system.

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