I started this site more than a year ago. And, as has happened to me before, I quickly got caught up in all kinds of other things. August of 2013… that would have been a month before my workplace imploded, and I became the main person holding things together. My boss at the time had way more experience than I did, years more in fact. But he was more than a little burned out.
But no, I habitually understate things, sometimes quite severely. He was entirely burned out. Crispy, way beyond the ‘stick a fork in me, I’m done’ stage, and probably beyond the ‘charcoal through and through’ stage. He was a workaholic before two of the four staff members quit in quick succession, and when it was just me and him holding the place together, I’m pretty sure he was working 80 hour weeks. More than once, I saw him bring in just a few raw carrots for lunch. Looking back, I’m amazed he didn’t give himself a heart attack or something. I’m amazed the board didn’t step in and tell him… I’m not sure what, and maybe that was the problem. My memories of that time are a bit vague. No, that’s another understatement. My memories of that time are quite jumbled, in fact.
Anyway, that time was a a crucible for me. I was under a lot of stress too, and I developed rather stunning self-care habits. I meditated daily, I swam quite often, I talked with my wife, and with a quite perceptive friend of ours. I learned to use my voice effectively, which is something I often had difficulty with, previously. What I did not do, is write much.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a complicated relationship with writing. Although I did learn years ago that my thoughts were clearer once I’d written them down, I only tried in fits and starts. I had always had some odd fear, possibly related to the difficulty with my voice that I just mentioned. But I’m learning more and more that fear is not entirely useful. It’s just a sign of something that I need to pay attention to, and look more closely at, and probably move beyond. Because if something inspires fear, it’s not something I want to encourage in my life.
This has not been my first instinctive response to fear, in the past. But I want it to be, more and more. I’ve begun to rebuild myself, and writing is part of that. I really am quite a different person than I was eighteen months ago. Resurrection is a loaded word, but it does not overstate things. I was giving far too much power to that which was dead within me – the little voice that says ‘i can’t, i’m scared, i’m not good enough’ – and now I am learning to ignore that voice, and learning to expunge it from my awareness, because listening to that insane voice never helps.
I am committed to abundant life, now. Rebirth is a good word, but resurrection, with all its connotations, fits better, I think. It implies that we don’t quite know what’s happened, that it’s been mysterious and miraculous, and quite the wild ride, really. Implicit in that word is freedom from fear, because if you’ve come back from death, what is there to fear?
She was limping left on broken heels, and she said, ‘Father, can I tell your congregation how a resurrection really feels?’
I’m not nearly as much of a fan of The Hold Steady as I used to be, but that line sticks with me. To be clear, I’m not talking about religion here. Religion can inspire wonderful things, but it can also encourage that dead voice I mentioned. It does, in fact, all too often. I am talking about spiritual growth, the breaking of barriers within ourselves, the sometimes painful process of breaking a shell that was constructed for protection from an uncaring and broken world.
So. My path of healing myself is at the point where I need to get in the habit of writing. I have two projects to that effect. One is this blog, which I will endeavor to update at least weekly, with my wife’s support. The other is a forthcoming Harry Potter fanfiction. Well, it’s a continuation of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which everyone needs to read right now. Seriously. All six hundred thousand words, right now. Go.
Still here? Damn.
OK, you can take your time, but seriously, HPMOR is in my top three favorite novels, and about as hilarious as Terry Pratchett. So read it. It’s worth the time. And I hope you will continue to read my writings here, too.