All the Unborn Words

I suppose there are a lot of things I could write about today. I haven’t been here for a few months, so there’s some catching up to do. I’m going to give you a short timeline so you can feel like you’ve been there:

November – Our family moves to Vernal, UT to follow the work. We make a deal with the Devil (Halliburton) for our very souls. He happily gives us a nice house, stars, and much less traffic.

December – I’m working full time as a mostly-single work-at-home mom. Kyle gets to come home every two weeks and our house is filled with the delicious smell of fracking fluid. Also, I start getting worried that our daughter might grow an extra arm from drinking the groundwater.

January – OPEC decides that America sucks and they want to destroy the oil industry in the U.S. They succeed. Halliburton lays off the first round of workers. My husband’s cousin (the one who helped Kyle get the job) is laid off.

February – I apply for a teaching job with the Uintah School District and they hire me….for next year. Sweet serendipity! Kyle gets laid off the same week. Good thing we’re pretty healthy, because we no longer have health insurance.

March – Abigail gets sick, then better (fortunately). We get test results back that say there’s no “real reason” we don’t have more kids. I almost kill the dog by dropping a board on him. I decide that I should just go full-time as a copywriter and I SUCCEED, gol-darnit.

April – That’s today.

There’s a bunch of stuff in there that I haven’t mentioned, though. I am working in the Young Women’s organization now, I am teaching voice lessons for money, we are currently talking with the local Foster Care organization about maybe adopting over the next year or so. The truth is, I’ve actually been really happy and stable. I’m training for my first triathlon and I am in good shape.

But, today, I just feel like I’m going crazy.

I haven’t written anything real in months. About 6 months, actually. No stories. No book. No anything. I wrote a little bit of a musical, but even that has been put to the side. There is no time to be creative when I am frantically using every hour of the day to make sure we can pay the $400 electric bill.

There are all these things I want to do and write, but they are being crushed under a mound of “have tos” and “shoulds.”

I want to work on the musical

I should finish my articles so that I can get paid.

I need to get this story down before I forget it.

I have to go to sleep because I have to get up at 5am and complete this blog post.

I am getting scared that the adult part of my brain has finally taken over and the child who does all my good writing has finally been killed. I hear words coming out of my mouth that don’t belong to me. “No, I can’t do that right now. I really need to go and do my work.” “I’m too tired.” “Please leave me alone, I’m trying to work.”

I’m too tired to play pretend anymore. 

I stand in the shower and put my head in my hands. My body wants to cry, but I can’t. There is nothing that can be done. Someone has to do the things that make living possible. I can’t help but think of all the things I haven’t done. Children I haven’t borne. Stories I haven’t told. Life mile markers that don’t come. Water burns my back and words roll around in my head – “have to,” “should,” “need to,” “deadline,” “time.” I come out and 15 minutes have passed. I don’t know how the time has been lost, and I am inexorably behind schedule.

I say, “Some day I’ll be able to write again. Write for real.”

But, that’s silly, too. The future holds an image of me in a classroom of students, 5 days a week. Lesson planning, grading, struggling to meet the deadlines and a million standards that will crush my spirit further. The future doesn’t show me a way I can do what I really want to do. It shows me another way that I’ve chosen to grow up instead of remain a child.

Not to worry, though. This feeling comes and goes. I’m sure it will pass and I will be okay. I will continue to make it. I will power through my life and try to make the best of the situation.

But, I have a story published today in a book. Self-published, granted, but a real book that you can hold in your hands. I think of it and get teary. Is that a future that I have chosen to give up? By not grasping hard enough to it, have I laid it aside?

I don’t know. All I know is that, if there is a way to tell the stories I am meant to tell, I am losing my opportunity to tell them. I just hope there is a sliver of good fortune that will give me a chance to prove that these little stories are worthy of being seen. And, I pray that the light in me that wants to tell them is strong enough to shine against my darkish reality.

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7 thoughts on “All the Unborn Words

  1. I run into such spots of emotion that mirror this. Often more than I like or even am willing to admit to myself.

    As a teenager, I was so fulfilled with creative self-expression. I would sing ‘all the time’, write out stories and poems, dance when the mood hit, and felt invincible to the need for sleep or being grown up.

    I’m still very much a rebel on the topic of being an adult. But these kind of moments happen.

  2. What a ride you’ve had, Willow, and how gracious you are even when you are feeling sad. J lost his job after coming out here too, but found another, and though our future is still uncertain, and we don’t know how long we will stay, we’ve been trying to count the small blessings. The stars and less traffic are some of them 🙂 and health for you all.

    I hope your husband finds his feet and well done on the job, even if you don’t end up taking it. I found working full time did not always mean I wrote less. Still, I hope there’s more freedom around the corner for you. The child in you has put on grown up shoes but is still there. I just need to think of your rap to know that. Wonderful news on your published story. I’d miss your words if they weren’t there, and I know they will find a way out. Sometimes there’s just a lull, and we feel crap, but they’ll be back, I know it xx

    1. Ah, Nillu. You are so sweet and wonderful. I’m sorry to hear that your situation is so much like ours. But, you get to be in Switzerland, so that’s a slight difference. 🙂

      Yes, we have been blessed. Actually, it has been a fantastic opportunity for Kyle to really do some soul-searching about what he wants his life to look like. It’s been amazing to have him home and I remembered how much I love being around him.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I really appreciate your friendship. I do hope that the words are just backstage, getting ready to put on a fabulous performance the next time I sit down to a piece of paper. Still, it’s time for me to at least give them a chance each day to play. Even 15 minutes. Who knows? 100 words a day x 365 days is a novella. I could be okay with that….maybe. 😉

  3. Being A Grown Up SUCKS. Especially for somebody like yourself who is so beautifully full of joy and wonder and fun.
    Well done on surviving and Doing The Thing. I think you’re totally amazing. The words come and go…the good words, the ones that make YOU feel good…they WILL be back, have faith.
    Massive e-hugs and actual prayers x

    1. Oh, Kiera! Thank you so much for making me feel less like a loser and more like a person Doing The Thing. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your digital arms around my neck and your real-life prayers. I need them so much. In return, I’m sending you a crap-ton of chocolate karma. The next time you order an ice cream sundae, all that extra fudge is from me. 🙂

  4. Willow, I’ve felt like this lately, too. The part of me that really has life In the truest sense ironically gets crushed by the mundane and “realistic” aspects of living. Come back, my inner child, come back!

    1. Yeah, except you have your Hardcore Parkour to keep you young. How can you really grow up if you spend your weekends jumping off of rooftops and doing secret agent rolls? P.S. – Are you a secret agent?

      Wait, don’t answer that. I don’t want you to have to “rub me out.”

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