It’s so hard to know where to begin after a break.
So much has happened. So much that it’s both overwhelming with how much there is to say and talk about, whilst also feeling somewhat insignificant and petty in comparison to the magnitude of everything going on out there as well as in your own head.
And so your feet get stuck. Like in the quicksand that we were taught to be afraid of as kids, yet are to ever actually come face-to-face with in adult life. That’s kinda what the world feels like at times – getting caught up, and dragged back, by things you will possibly never encounter, and yet the thought and fear of them are still enough to paralyse you.
On a personal level, since I last wrote here, I travelled, I explored, I was free and as a result I also did a lot of self-reflection. I had a birthday. Then we tripped and stumbled into the gloom of the greyest and drizzliest winter in memory. I’ve also been examining issues around self-care, wellness, and how to navigate them appropriately and safely when you’re trying to also be an advocate for self-acceptance and body-positivity.
All of these things, individually, are enough to make me pause, question and dissect facets of my life, direction and purpose. But when they are all combined into an intense eight-week window they have left me feeling stunned, lost and a little bit overwhelmed in terms of my creative direction.
There’s so much to be done, so much going on, and have so much ambition, and yet I have no idea how I got here or how to carve a way forward to get to where I want (need?) to be.
There’s that old phrase about having your fingers in different pies. However I increasingly feel like I have too many pies and not enough fingers. All of these pies are of average quality at best, simply because I don’t have the time, energy, nor focus to finish making a single one properly. I then get frustrated and disillusioned. Lately I got to thinking – maybe I should, instead, plunge a whole hand in one big, beautiful, pie that is amazing, accomplished, and complete. A pie that I truly feel like the master, and proud, of.
But then what are those pies to be? Especially when you’re a flighty, indecisive, Gemini who gets bored easily and likes to do All Of The Things?
Well. Writing. Writing is certainly a big pie. The pie that I have always enjoyed the most, for so many years. The pie that is most versatile that I don’t think I could ever get bored of.
But where to begin, on the writing front? What kind?
There are so many issues that need discussion, that evoke my anger and passion. So much has happened in the world in the past month that I have big feelings about, that could easily be written about, that should be written about.
We lost both Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade to suicide.
The Grenfell Tower disaster turned one.
There’s outrages about the NZ fashion industry and classist, sizest, discrimination.
And then there is the unsettling, horrifying murder of Eurydice Dixon, which I just can’t stop worrying about and fixating on.
It’s a big, dark, world and there’s a lot of fires to fight and big opinions and thoughts to transform into words and put onto a screen, because you want the world to know ‘I CARE’. Yet when there’s already so many great think-pieces out there from more intelligent, famous, qualified, articulate, respected, individuals, you worry that your own attempts might just muddy the waters, by regurgitating already excellently put sentiments, and that you’ll do more harm than good by diluting the power of their words.
And yet, writing about skirts and shoes, buying the right kind of eyeshadow palette, and not worrying about five extra kilograms, as I have been doing, just feels very insignificant, tone-deaf and, well, dumb. It feels dumb.
However the world needs that stuff. I’ll go so far as to say it’s critical. We need beauty, frivolity, and silly distractions, because I hate to think what will happen to us all if we only talk about it rape, politics, murder and suicide, all day every day.
The extensive coverage of the 20th anniversary of Sex and the City, this month, has reminded me of this – that sometimes we should just be allowed to enjoy the fluff, makes listicles about outfits, and actually that’s cool. There’s no shame in it. It doesn’t diminish the Big Issues, but gives us a breather and creates mental capacity to keep on with the hard fight.
So how exactly should I carve up this writing pie, that i feel I need to plunge my entire hand into? There’s so many options. How do I avoid simply creating another dozen tiny, mediocre, pies of this particular variety?
I really miss performing and so I naturally come to think about poetry. Then there’s this story that’s been brewing and churning away in my head since i was 15 that I know could, maybe, do something with one day. I’ve also got at least six ideas for zines, floating around, I just need to get around to. All the while there’s still politics, feminism, sadness, inequality and all the infuriating things that need to be put right. And beautiful outfits to be explained. And inspiration and positivity to share. All whilst battling with my own position and status in this life.
Then suddenly, well, that’s all too much. So you wobble, stall and you’ve overloaded yourself, drowning in your own good intentions and ambition, when all you wanted to do was take control, be productive, and make a kind of difference.
How do you keep moving forward when the quicksand gets you? Where do you go? How do you get there? Where do you even begin? You know what, I still don’t really know…
However today I realised, after so many weeks frozen, stuck still, with fear, guilt, and too many choices, I’ve gotta just begin. I pick my flavour of pie and start with just one idea, one post, one action. Because that one idea grows, and multiplies, and evolves. But it needs start as something. A seed. My ritual that I had created this past year of writing on Sunday afternoons had stopped, because I’d overcomplicated it and sabotaged myself. I really miss doing this.
And, so, this post, it might not be about much, but it is here for me, it’s a personal message and reminder. To remind myself to keep doing this. To do anything. To just do something. To get back on the horse, even if you don’t know where you are.
You have to keep on keeping on. One tiny piece at a time. That’s how (i think) I might get to make my big pie?
Like all things in life, the rest will come. It will find a way. I don’t know how. But it usually does, doesn’t it?