Writing can be frightening for me. It helps me process the world. It helps me see and understand what’s happening around me, sometimes at an alarming rate. It can reveal things to me I hadn’t seen or understood before.

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Sometimes, I don’t want to process.

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Sometimes, I don’t want to see what’s lurking under the surface.

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I don’t want to know or see or understand the motives.

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In the same breath, I think I would be happiest if I could write all day. Fiction. Nonfiction. Writing. Words. Digging deep.

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I’ve had an explosion of creativity in the last few months. It feels good. It feels right.

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We sat on the porch last night while the children played. The day turned to twilight, the lamppost sat dark, making us notice that time is shifting, and schedules need changing. Your arm wrapped around me, pulling me close, telling me I’m safe, cared for, loved. We talked. I remembered what I was doing last year at this time, not writing. The anniversary of the seizure, the big one, the terrifying one, the one that broke me, happened the weekend before. A marker. A glaring reminder that a year has passed.

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“Oh. I remember what I was doing last year at this time.”
“What’s that?”
“Not writing.”
“Hmm…”
“This is when I started to go to Starbucks to hide, not to write.”

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I remember that week. This week a year ago. We had spent four days in the hospital. A week at home recovering. The week he went back to school, I would sit at Starbucks, usually in running clothes, hoping to go run, with a book, a journal, my phone. I’d read a few passages, answer a message from his teacher, talk to a doctor on the phone, send a message to a nurse. I’d try to journal, distract myself with social media, watch the barista’s work. Make myself go for a run. It’s when I really stopped writing, creating, going dormant.

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It’s when things began to unravel. I came undone. It was harder to hold it together. To stay together. To know how to function. It’s when the thoughts of running away really took root. I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing. It had worn me out and worn me down.

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It took a year. It took a year of me dismantling my life. It took a year of me giving myself permission to do the thing or not do the thing that made logical sense. Of saying yes to crazy dreams that had stirred my soul for years. I had to do 2020 differently. And 2020 was never going to be the same for anyone. It made it easier and harder to do the different thing. To make your own way. To stop saying yes to what made you miserable and start saying yes to what you thought might stir your soul.

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I’m still working. I’m still digging deep. I’m still terrified of what could be in me. I desperately want to do the right thing.

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Creating helps.

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I can’t stop now. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t force it, I had to let it rest. Now it swirls in my being and comes out in a million ways. It makes me hopeful that new things are possible. I just have to keep doing the next right thing for me, not the next logical thing, not the next “good” thing, the next thing that’s right for my family.