The blank page stares at me, like a billboard that fails to fall out of my vision even though I keep driving forward. I type a few words, hit delete and then decide it is time to fold laundry, wash dishes or browse the web for nothing in particular. This is an attempt to sabotage. I know this. But yet, I continue to take this break, hoping for a golden morsel to land in my lap. My wish – words that are worthy enough to write or fall out of me with little effort. In this brief hiatus from the page, nothing materializes.
The tempo of March unravelled this way. I’d start, stop, return and hit pause again. The page is always waiting, like a mom bellowing for her young children to saunter into the house at the end of the day.
I suspect my uneven rhythm is the natural roller coaster of living life. Self-doubt slithers in our veins, like a shadow we cannot see, but in quiet moments, we feel its pulse, whispering, “This isn’t good enough. You keep repeating yourself. You are a fraud.” This dark voice is unrelenting when you compare yourself to others. We piece together stories of “what is” based on tiny fragments, brief glimpses of what we believe is the voice of truth. Speculation is never an accurate portrayal of the truth. But yet, I too, convince myself that the visible is more powerful than the invisible.
To break this dangerous spell, I seek refuge in nature. This morning I walked and jogged in our neighborhood, not quite certain of what I desired to find. Too old for fairy tales, I saw this as another distraction. As I laced my tennis shoes, I whispered to myself, “What am I doing? I just need to write.” But sometimes the things that make the least sense, tug on you, until you give in.
Running my regular route, I felt a tiny lift, finding a silent power in the blue sky, the yellow flowers scattered across the road felt like a welcome of sorts and the sun’s rays beamed overhead, a reminder that there is clarity in absolutes. I spotted a yellow and orange crowd of flowers in the corner of my eye. Walking over, the petals huddled together like they were whispering a secret to one another and I wanted to remember the image as I had seen it, instead of revisiting in my camera feed or on Instagram. I couldn’t help myself. I took it as a sign. Clicking the button on my phone, the vibrant colors popped even more and the words, “starting again” flashed in my mind.
What choice do I have? You cannot always push the self-doubt down, but that does not mean you have to yield to it. The words will eventually come. They always do. Maybe they are clunky, like a toddler taking her first steps, but like that little girl, the walk, with practice, starts to feel more comfortable.
When I returned from my outdoor refuge, I revisited the page.
I gathered my words, envisioning myself pulling those flowers one by one to form my personal bouquet.