Beginning to write this blog has been part of my process of reflection on who I am, what interests me, and serves as an exploration of my writing voice.
I’ve spent a whole lot of time thinking I was ‘made up’ of the labels that could be applied to me. My profession (nursing), my size, depression & anxiety, having PCOS. Attached to each of these was additionally the baggage and weight of what I wasn’t, a long list of what I was NOT. “Not an artist, Not healthy, Not balanced, Not fertile”. I equally defined myself as what I was and what I wanted but was not. I longed for more creativity, for peace in my mind and a sense of control over what was happening in my body. I have to laugh at myself once again because I’ve realized in writing this another reason for my ‘amplitude’- look at all this crap I’ve been carrying around! Forgive my lack of skill, but my visual mind often produces images to go along with a concept so I’ve included my drawing of what I mean:) (The ‘Nots’ are meant to be little anvils) The second drawing represents the way I see my journey with depression. For most of my adult life I feel I’ve been ‘below the vitality line’, with dips into more severe bouts of clinical depression. What has changed with the work I’ve been doing is that I see that now I am emerging from the foggy veil and icy grip depression has had on my life and my mind, and am making my way towards vitality. I guess my only problem with my little visual is that vitality (or happiness, wholeness) is not a destination and the linear appearance seems to imply that it is. Each choice, each action that brings me joy has me living with vitality. I guess my little incline could represent the practice that it takes to break patterns of thought and behavior and employ new ones. Yes, practice!
So what of these labels I’ve applied and all the judgments I’ve attached to them? Well, recognizing them for what they are has allowed me to free myself from the belief that this is 100% true about me. For the last four years, I have been singing in a chorus. This has brought me so much joy, I don’t even have the words. Without realizing it, while I was judging myself for not being as artistic as I wanted to be, I was being creative and expressing myself through song. Then I started being responsible for the PR of the chorus and taught myself about using social media for promotion. Within the last year, this lead to an amazing opportunity to be in charge of social media content creation for a singing festival. I took a class in creative writing. I had an article published in a small local paper. I participated in two amazing short term singing projects that exposed me to new styles of singing and grew my love of music. I’ve found an amazing opportunity to write about cultural events for an online paper. It’s no longer an ‘all or nothing’ thing for me. Each of these are a small piece of what I am, and satisfy the creative artist part of me. All this from someone who used to view themselves as a nurse, and only a nurse.
I’m also a wife, an auntie, a sister, daughter, colleague…
The more I write, the more reading this may feel like I’m getting away from a point. I guess it comes down to the fact that I am many things, so as an extension, this blog is and will be about many things. I might write some poetry, reflect on nature, muse about depression and health, contemplate fertility, energy, spirituality, walking, singing, dancing, reading, yoga, meditation, self-discovery, Doctor Who, life, etc. I began writing for me, and me is lots of different interests, qualities, loves, joys, sorrows. As the creator and conductor of this train of many things I call life, I’m on board and laying down the tracks and leaving this blog as evidence of my journey. Feel free to hop aboard and join me if you’d like.