“However, if you do start crying in an argument and someone asks why, you can always say, “I’m just crying because of how wrong you are.” – Amy Poehler, Yes Please
2014 was a big year for me, as me, but a very minute year on this blog. I wrote – in total – four whole posts for this year, which is quite embarrassing. I’ve been keeping this house in check for ten years now, and four posts? FOUR, SARAH. What in the hell have you been doing with your time?
The problem came when I started being a professional communicator. It had always been a very farfetched dream of mine, to be paid to do what came so easily to me. But in the process of trying to “refine my craft”, I lost the fun. When you’re paid to be a content-driven machine, you start to lose your real voice.
Also, there was also life. Life so often got in the way of my writing, of my being able to take time and sit down and quiet my thoughts by vomiting on to a keyboard. And it wasn’t anything intentional – had I asked for the time to write, I have no doubt that twenty people would’ve come to my aid, but how silly, right? And why would I even want to bother?
There came a time this year when I realized that, you know, I really have problems in social situations. I wouldn’t go so far to call it paralyzing, but it makes me very anxious. I worry that people are holding me to my written standard, and they’re expecting my tongue to work as fluidly as my fingertips. They don’t know that I write in my sleep, spending every waking moment crafting the next zinger or jotting down lines to the next parody or manipulating the latest news story into something I could use. This happens all the time. It’s fine for the most part, but I sorely, sorely missed writing for me.
Bryan casually mentioned the other day he missed my writing and I wondered how he could miss it when I feel like I do it ALL THE TIME. But then I realized that I didn’t. I write for clients, I write for coworkers, I write for executives, but I don’t really write as Sarah Lena anymore. I don’t think anyone even checks in here any more – are blogs even a thing any more? – but I miss it. For me.
Um, also, Vinnie is 18 months old now and I have written maybe two things about him. Quick update on Vinnie:
Yeah, you know how we do Santa. (Sidenote: there’s a new Santa this year, after seven years of the very same Santa, and now I’m personally devastated and worried that he has ventured to The Great North Pole in The Sky.)
Anyway, so I’ve been going through this Thing where I’m doubting everything I touch and I miss writing but why take the time anymore and also people keep inviting me to things but I stress over them SO HARD like what if I’m not even funny or I say the wrong thing or people get upset that they wasted an invite on me? And then one of the things I got invited to was a Book Club that was reading Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. Now, I respect THE HELL out of Ms. Poehler for many different reasons (um, lady kicks ass and takes names!), and so – while I skipped the Book Club because I was worried that I would serve as a black hole of fun, aka where all fun things go to die – I did download the audiobook. I started listening to it today when I got tired of yelling at myself in the car, and it spoke to me. Like, literally. Just the preface could’ve been titled, “Hey Sarah, get over yourself and start writing again.” And I cried, because I thought I could follow the path that she followed, but I didn’t, but hey, she’s older than me so maybe there’s still time! (There’s not.) But she’s honest. She’s honest about how hard it is with young kids, and as a woman, and as someone who knows what they want. IT’S HARD. And it’s nice to hear that, you know? That it’s not just you, it’s not a failure on your part. It’s just HARD.
So if I could close with a quote from her book, I would be honored. And I can do that, because this is my space, and I love the shit out of her book.
“So here we go, you and me. Because what else are we going to do? Say no? Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone? Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready. This is America and I am allowed to have healthy self-esteem. This book comes straight from my feisty and freckled fingers. Know it was a battle. Blood was shed. A war raged between my jokey and protective brain and my squishy and tender heart. I have realized that mystery is what keeps people away, and I’ve grown tired of smoke and mirrors. I yearn for the clean, well-lighted place. So let’s peek behind the curtain and hail the others like us. The open-faced sandwiches who take risks and live big and smile with all of their teeth. These are the people I want to be around. This is the honest way I want to live and love and write.” – Amy Poehler, Yes Please