The Unwritten Word
Groggily, I stretch my arms above my head and curl my toes. I stumble out of bed and make my way to the bathroom. My pony tail has mostly fallen out from the night before and the other half of my hair is sticking straight up. I pick up my toothbrush and start brushing my teeth. About halfway through my twentieth brush stroke, a clear thought pushes its way forward. Fat American! I furrow my brow, spit and stare at myself in the mirror. Fat American!
“What’s that Sarah?” Chris asks me from the next room.
“Nothing!” I reassure him. I hadn’t realized I had spoken aloud. I rush out to the diningroom table, grab the notebook out of my purse that’s sitting on the table and thousand pens sitting next to it. I take the notebook back to the bathroom and write the ugly phrase down. I jot down my thoughts as I continue to get ready for another day at work.
This is just a typical experience for me. I have a whole page of topics I hope to someday blog about. Most of them started with similar experiences. While it may not be that uncommon for me to be inspired, when they actually make it to paper or onto this blog are. Can you imagine if every thought, every word, and every idea were to make it down to paper? I’m not saying that they would all be Pulitzer prize winners. Some would be sad, some would be happy and other’s down right silly. Like, “The bear stared at Claire at the County Fair while she was eating an eclair and demanded his share.”
But if you chronicled every thought, you (hypothetically of course, I when I say “you” I’m referring to myself) and others could begin to track patterns in your life. You could track what is making you sad or who makes you happy. You could start living your life. I’m not saying I would, or could, ever write something as memorable as “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” But hypothetically, I could. One can only speculate that if every idea or silly phrase I ever created were to be put down, that it would eventually turn me into a better writer.
There is something to be said about discretion though. Not all thoughts are my best or ones that anyone would really want to read, as I’ve already learned the hard way. I have blog articles that are half way started but not finished because I know I need to publish them in a certain order and after a certain amount of time has passed. Not because I have to, but because I know in order not to lose the small audience I have, I should gradually introduce people into my life.
Because I realize that if circumstances were reversed, if I were to read a blog about someone I knew and read details about their life that made me uncomfortable or words I didn’t agree with, the odds that I would keep reading what they wrote would not be great. I fight that battle of crossing a line and staying true to myself. So far, besides one mishap, I think I’ve done a pretty good job. There are things I want to write about, things like boys, dating and sex. All things that are tied in with being fat. Then there are the more serious issues, like writing about the sexual abuse and heart-felt apologies of wrongs I’ve done to others.
Those are issues that can wait, it doesn’t all have to be all so dark and depressing! I like to take things day-to-day. I like to write blog entries the same way my mother enjoys putting puzzle together. My mother will turn the box over and scatter all the pieces onto the table. Slowly, she methodically separates the pieces into categories. First, she sets up the outline by finding all the edge pieces. Second she sorts the pieces by color. Then she just sits and stares at the pieces. She waits with the patience of a cat, almost waiting for one to squeal on the others about where it belongs. She looks at the picture on the box and then back to the puzzle. My mom keeps doing this over and over again, till eventually she picks up a piece and places to where she hopes it belongs. Sometimes she’s wrong, places it back and tries again.
I like to think that I have that same patience when it comes to my writing. I setup the outline of where I want to go, usually tied in with the blog title. Then I sit here and think. I mull words over in my head. I type them out and then I erase them. Over and over again. It’s harder without a title for what I’m working on as the title helps me focus and stay on track to my point. It’s the closest to cognitive therapy as I get. And that’s okay. I will never get every idea I ever have from now on written down and sometimes I might toss away the ideas I do remember to keep. Because life is about quality, not quantity.