"If writers possess a common temperament, it's that they tend to be shy egomaniacs; publicity is the spotlight they suffer for the recognition they crave." Gail Caldwell, from her book "Let's Take The Long Way Around"

"To look life in the face, always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. . .always the years. Always the love. Always the hours." From the movie "The Hours", based on the book of the same name by Michael Cunningham

"Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly." Baz Luhrman, "Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)"

"A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls." Walt Whitman

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant or talented?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williamson

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to the Blog

I am sitting in the eating area of my now favorite, newly discovered, from here going forward writer’s retreat.  Where I am is a secret for now – I’m not ready to share my secret hideaway quite yet.  Leave it to say that it is a beautiful, stone house in a place that is not 117 degrees that has been restored to its post Victorian era self.  The parlor, where I would be sitting in the window seat had I not left my lap desk upstairs (where Deril sleeps off day 1 of our anniversary adventure – not in the way one would think; rather, in addition to the physical pain he is enduring right now, I think he wishes to sleep away all memories of our on-the-way-here stay over debacle – a story not even worth telling), is my next foray into this house where I would like to pretend I am receiving visitors in a muslin blue day dress, or maybe reading a novel in the window seat.  Or maybe, my handsome Lord Deril will pay a call and dare so much as to hold my hand or steal a kiss.  I am too much a romantic.  I should have lived during another era (although that in itself I am sure I have romanticized too much).  The hosts here have generously allowed me to borrow the use of an old black felt hat with a dark rose flower.  Deril is afraid I’ll abscond with it, which I won’t, but which has given me the notion to find a thrift store in town and buy myself a “writing” hat. 

I’m at a crossroads, I feel.   I need to find myself.  I am more than a retail manager.  I am a writer and I need to write.  To find in me the wherewithal and the energy and determination to do so is my challenge.  I know I must work for a living; we all have to pay our way somehow.   But a paycheck, while it feeds my stomach, does not feed my soul.  Fortunately I have found dancing again, though I am a long way off from being a Black Swan.  But I must remind myself that I am me, I am Shelley Marie Smith Balough, and I can only bring out the dancer/writer/person I am by completely being and embracing myself.  I guess that’s what this blog is all about.

When I get anxious, which is often, I tend to respond in a few different ways:  eat and eat poorly, spend money which I usually don’t have, try in some way to control all aspects of life around me, or sleep, which at the point of sleep means I’ve gone into some depression.  I KNOW that what I need to do when I am anxious is fill the hole, soothe the sensation with writing.  Let words fill me up – fill up the tank, as motivators like to say.  I don’t know what scares me about writing.  Is it because I am a perfectionist?  Too judgmental of my own work or more likely, is it that I am just afraid of the emotions I might access while doing so.  Most of the time, though, I come out of it feeling very reassured, very satisfied, especially when I work on an aspect of my blog.  Ah, yes, progress has been made.  I know I’m different – I mean we’re all different – but I mean different.  And I guess by that I mean untrusting.  I think my fear deep down inside is that I’m a fraud.  I think that’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to figuring my dad out.  I think that was his greatest fear as well.

Until tomorrow…

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