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Monday, March 30, 2015

On Doing The Work.

The hardest part is getting up the stairs.

Maybe I should have written my way through this, like I have everything else. Maybe I shouldn't have ever held back or thought twice, but put all my dirty laundry out there for everyone to see, unashamed of the permanent stains on all my threadbare items. Maybe I should have proceeded with the same reckless abandon I did ten years ago, not giving a damn who was reading what or where or how or really anything.

In so many ways, I miss that youthful naivete, that shelteredness despite the bad things that had come before, the inexperience with handling such events as some semblance of an adult. The freedom that was there, it was phenomenal.

But you get older, due to time never stopping and due to the bad things that begin to happen, things you couldn't dream or truly fathom in your not-so-distant youth. And with those come a hesitance, some superstition, and a bitter and wounded caution. And those things become the voices in your head, the inner monologue of constant doubt, of disbelief in the sanctity of good things, the constant dress rehearsing of tragedy that stops you before you can take one step upon the stairs that lead to the tiny corner you've tried so many times to carve out for yourself.

Because what if?

And so it is easier for me to not go up the stairs, to tell myself I will get to it later, after work, or when the kids are in school, or over the weekend sometime, or or or ...

And my chair sits empty. My computer needs an update again because it's sat so long, in perpetual hibernation.

You and me both, laptop. You and me both.

And through this, the thing I have come to realize is that it's not enough to just write. It's not enough to wait for inspiration or timing or quiet or space. It's not enough.

You have to do the work. You have to sit down and chain yourself to your machine of choice and just like any other endurance test you just have to do it, over and over and over, to ever make any progress. It will not be comfortable. It will not be convenient. It will cost you time and sleep and sanity but the only way out is through, and that means you must show up and hold yourself accountable and do the work.

Which means I guess I need to start telling my stories, not so much with reckless abandon, but with a cautious optimism and the hope of grace.

Today, I made it up the stairs.

Here's to doing it again tomorrow.