The Ability to Stop, But The Choice To Continue
Today’s Brew: Pounding Wild Blueberry. Working two crazy shifts back to back today and tomorrow.
My body loves being fat. I’m not saying that to be all Piss On Kristen, it’s true. The sales people in Lane Bryant and Torrid know me by name. Just because my body’s all about the fluff doesn’t mean my mind is. I realize I have to work harder to get to my goals, and what’s going to be good and healthy for me is going to be different than what another person considers to be the same.
The other night I found this cool tattoo while surfing Pinterest. Since we’re all writer and reader types around these parts, I thought it fit in to every facet of my life beautifully.
The caption read: The ability to stop, but the choice to continue.
I never thought a semi-colon could be so fucking deep.
I’m going to try to explain how much I fell completely in love with this saying. Julie’d used a version of it in her review of Because the Night, and the line always stuck out to me. She referred to Tristan as “having the ability to be good, but making the choice to be dirty.” It’s kind of knowing right from wrong, and knowing that you’re going to have to make an effort to get the results you want, no matter what those might be.
I’ve talked about pole dancing class before, and how I when I started, I could barely get my feet up off the ground. Now I can get them up over my head, while hanging on to the pole. I can’t totally invert yet, but with persistence and the right attitude, I’ll get there. And yes, my size 14 ass wears booty shorts. Sometimes you need to put yourself out of your comfort zone to get to where you want to go. However, there are things I do better than the rest of the class, like splits. My brain got this stupid idea that it wanted my body to start running, so I figured, what the hell, I’ll try it. I can’t go very far, but it gets easier every time I try. Today I rollerskated for the first time in two years. I exhausted quickly, because I’m not use to using those muscles any more. But each time I lace up my skates, I’ll be able to do a little more.
So what the hell does any of this have to do with writing? Everything. The more you write, the better you get. I didn’t start from nothing doing these activities. I’d been doing Zumba for a year. I thought I was in amazing shape, and I found out otherwise. Sometimes I think I write something that’s awesome, and it doesn’t get that reaction. I need to make it better. And not everything’s going to be the same. Sometimes a draft of a book takes six weeks, sometimes it takes six months. Depends on which muscles I’m using.
A lot of us, and this totally includes me, have been struggling a lot this year with writing. I don’t know if it’s burnout, or rejection, or just not getting the results we desire, but I’ve noticed so many people reaching out and talking about this. This is brave. We’re all taught to put on a mask and pretend nothing’s wrong, and that we’re perfect at everything. But we’re not. And others can be quick to point that out. And it fucking hurts, even though we know that we can’t possibly be the world’s best writers, or athletes, or anything else. We just do the best we can.
The ability to stop, but the choice to continue.
There have been many days that I’ve thought long and hard about finishing the projects I have in progress, and then moving on to something else outside of writing. Those days aren’t pretty.
I have the ability to stop. But is that really what I want? To quit? Or do I want to rise to the challenge and make myself better? I have more stories in me, and some of you seem to like the ones I’ve told already. I’ve learned so much about myself through writing, that I’m not sure I can let that go now. So I have to acknowledge that every day won’t be perfect. Some days I’ll run the proverbial extra mile and others I’ll eat too much cake. Like with fitness, I have to put the bad day behind me and treat each day as a chance to kick some ass.
But I have to make a choice to continue. It’s not always an easy one, especially when I’m feeling really bad. It’s way easier to crawl deeper into my hole and congratulate myself for failing. That’s a place I don’t let anyone else into, because I’m pretty sure none of you want to see it. But it’s there, welcome me into its dark, airless pit of despair. I know we all have these places, and I know I haven’t made my last visit to mine.
If you love writing, or anything, you’ll make time for it. You’ll want to grow, and do what it takes to get to where you want to be. It’s truly all about you. With writing, we have to accept we’re all on different paths. Some people might write faster than me, get published before me, sell better than me, but that doesn’t mean what I’m doing is wrong. It’s just different. Some people don’t like my work, but other people do. I have to make the choice to listen to the positive or the negative, and move forward from there. The good so outweighs the bad.
I pay a little bit of attention to astrology. I don’t plan my day around my horoscope, but everything I hear makes a fuckton of sense. Today is the Full Blood Moon. It’s also a total lunar eclipse, and the start of something called a Triad, which I haven’t had a chance to explore, but it only happens every couple of decades. It’s also Passover, which the guy on the Today show thought made this lunar event even more significant. When Mercury is in retrograde, it loves to fuck up our lives. All of this unusual activity with the moon has got to be messing with our gravitational pull, our magnets, and our alignment. So what I’m hoping is once we pass this cycle, we can all come out of it feeling a little bit better.
You’re all fucking amazing, we don’t tell each other than enough. No one gets tired of hearing it, ever. I’m glad to have you in my life, and I hope you make the choice to keep going even if it’s hard.