|If I want a long walk, the destination is the top of the hill you see in the distance.|
I'm not an ambitious person, or possessing a single-minded focus. I'm not seeking fame, just a bit of name recognition (in a good way) and the fortune I need is merely financial reliability, but I don't need to win awards and sell books in airports all over the world (those are nice surprises, but not goals, you know?) I know what I like to do, and I work hard, and I love a deadline; that's why radio was a great fit for me - a deadline every fifteen minutes!
That's also why writing is a good fit; I'm good at self-directed work, and with deadlines.
I am a simple person, and my wants are simple: I want to walk and I want to write books (or, because the universe likes us to be specific, write and publish books).
That's what I remembered during my long walk this afternoon.
It didn't start out as a long walk; I just got tired of the dog staring at me so I put down the novel I was reading as part of my Sunday afternoon non-work time, and said, "Okay, let's go for a walk."
I figured it would be a quick one but once I got out there into the cold air, once we reached the beaver brook too soon, I just kept going because I needed to keep moving. The snow isn't deep, just enough to feel the calf muscles engage. I could feel all my muscles engage as we went deeper into the woods (what is left of them, I must add, as always). It felt so good. It felt like physical work, and my body loved the feeling of its heart pumping and the blood flowing.
And as I walked, and looked at deer and partridge and mouse and porcupine tracks criss-crossing the snow, I realized that this is all what I want to do.
Walk and write.
It's that simple. I love walking and I love writing.
This is why I love living in rural Nova Scotia, why I still believe I'm meant to live here.
Which reminded me of what my heart told me in January, early one morning on the yoga mat: Believe in your skills.
That's my mantra, that's what's getting me through these days and weeks and months of uncertainty, of waiting and wondering, of not knowing -- all territories I am profoundly uncomfortable to be walking through. Believe in my skills: writing and editing, speaking and presenting. It's what I do best, and what I enjoy doing. So I'm trying to stay focused on that, since I'm doing it all the time, and letting the future unfold by itself, deep in the woods where I can't see, because, you know, the forest for the trees and all that.
Here's the thing: (Part Two)
SOLVITUR AMBULANDO: It is solved by walking.
I figured something out about myself today, something that's been bugging me since the memory resurfaced 18 months ago. After that supervising teacher told me, during my final teaching practicum, that I shouldn't be a teacher, why didn't I tell anyone? I TOLD NO ONE. Now that I've remembered this, I can't believe I said nothing to anyone - not my mother or father, not my best friend, not even the guy I ended up marrying.
Turns out, that's simply my MODIS OPERANDI. (Thank goodness for Latin, right?!)
There's all this angst and worry in my brain, a constant thrum of anxiety at the back of my mind all the time. But no one knows. I haven't told anyone the true depth of my fear that I will never publish another book, that after June, I will no longer be a writer, that the church work isn't my real work, that teaching isn't my real work either. That I have no idea what I'm going to do if I'm not doing any of that.
I have friends at church who likely think I'm ignoring them because I don't call, I don't drop in, but I don't want to tell them what's going on because they won't get it; most people won't get how I feel.
Because I act like someone who had her shit together. How else am I supposed to act? I put my head down and I keep working and I keep hoping for the best. Talking about it is the last thing I want to do; I want to be distracted from what's bothering me.
Today, during my walk, I realized this is what I do, have done always: I don't talk about it, and obviously, the deeper it cuts, the less I talk. As in, someone told me I shouldn't be a teacher -- and I never told anyone.
I don't seek advice, and I don't ask for help.
This isn't as bad as that time -- when my entire future was simply smashed into bits -- because there is a different little hum at the back of my mind -- a quiet little hum of hope. I don't fully trust it any more but it's still there. I can hear it; I so desperately want it to turn symphonic,
but then again,
I like things simple
so right now,
a quiet little hum of hope