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.