Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Developing a new habit (or re-constructing an old one)

Habit. A word rife with meaning. For many of my younger years (read: under 30), I associated habit with something bad, or something I was ashamed of, or what I considered to be the darker parts of me. I had a smoking habit for over 15 years. I had a habit of dating undesirable men. Well, I found them desirable, but they were lacking, shall we say, a certain substance. Or maybe the problem was too many substances...but I digress. I never could develop the habit of working out on a regular basis, because I was too too busy to waste my time on something like taking care of myself (ok, that's still an issue). However, for several years, I had a really good habit: writing. I loved to write and used to do so willingly (almost) every day. I carried a notebook or journal or scraps of paper to jot thoughts down when they crossed my mind: lines of prose or images that resonated and might later become a poem. I used to view the world through a writer's eyes, sharply observing, hearing snatches of conversations that would play over and over in my head as dialogue, noticing the subtle tones in a touch or a glance.

I haven't looked through that lens in a long time. There are many reasons for this. I could spend a lot of time speculating how I ended up so far from where I started. But the goal of writing is show, not tell. I am here today, 30-ish, a mom, professional woman, wife, educated, and a supposed grown-up. Welcome to my attempt to peel back the layers of this person I have become and to find my voice again. Ack, that sounds so clichéd. It reminds me of a job interview when I was asked to compare myself to a vegetable. Caught off guard, I hemmed and hawed for a moment and blurted an onion and said something expected about layers. I read once that clichés are around because they ring true for many of us by capturing commonalities across the human experience. So it is for me. There are many tiers in my story, and I am still walking along the edge finding my way. Thanks for taking this walk with me.

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