Sometimes, when moving boxes around or reorganising my bookshelf I find essays and drafts of ideas from when writing was my focus. What happened? The last decade was filled with so much writing – when was the last time I wrote, like really wrote?
I think about my motivations. I no longer create stories or draft papers and that is saddening. When i find those drafts or random pieces of paper, I marvel. Knowing nods at the good lines, cringing and blushing at the cliché ones. Most of it is rubbish, but it is my rubbish. Much like this blog, this journey of pain, life and writing. However, it is where the real transformation can be seen, it’s where the pride shines and lifts me up when I am feeling low, like tonight, it is where I need to be; to add to the writing journey.
It is early, well, early for me. 00:06. and I do not feel like Stephen King, producing his great works, high or drunk out of his mind at 4am, but I do know my truth comes freely after dark. I sip Chablis but do not savour it. I crave the obfuscation to reveal to me this month’s woes, but I know what they are, I feel it. Change is happening and I have no control. I also have no idea of what is coming next.
When was the last time I wrote? Why can I not begin? where do I start? What once was so easy now fails me.
At night my dreams bring me back to the days when I could not stand up for myself and I wonder if I have changed at all but I have no one to ask. The dreams are heavy, full of symbolic, hard to decipher meaning. Two days ago I woke up having submitted a story for my PhD only to be told my fiction was real. Confused, I was frog-marched to the Head of the university and interrogated. This morning I have been duped, I paid for designer shoes only to be sent cheap fakes – I did not read the small print. I sit cursing myself, not quite embarrassed, more fed up, this is not the life I want to live.
I ponder on these two dreams all through the day, every spare moment I have I relieve them, searching for clues. Why was I duped, how was I duped and what can I do now to reclaim the money? Then the PhD; what exactly do I know about my teachers and why can I just not have a normal experience? I realise slowly that there are elements here that mirror my own experiences.
At work, I joined a team I thought I would be perfect for, a role that would stretch and challenge me. It did not turn out that way. Instead it turned out to be a good title for a tick box exercise – cheap fabric shoes instead of the Manolo Blahnik’s I thought I would get. No point reading the small print and moaning now, so move on (which I am). The PhD one is more complex, although still about work.
I know I am selling myself short, not demonstrating my true skills, but unfortunately I cannot find an ally to help me to progress. An ugly cloud of ‘Race’ appears as the only people at the top are white and seem to be in an exclusive club I am not part of. I know this is only partially true, however, what do I need to do? I try to work harder, I try to work smarter but it falls short.
In my dream I get mixed up in someone else’s problem and forget about why I am there – to achieve my PhD. I am in a weird space. I do not feel like a subject matter expert but in some ways I am, I know stuff, so why the doubt, why the restlessness?
I recently discovered that I am a person who craves praise. I bet everyone who knows me is rolling their eyes but I always thought I was pretty independent and self- assured. I am not. I struggle with that which I know, versus things I have zero clue about (and the polar starkness of that). Do I actually need praise to start writing again, to comment on that which I see, that which affects me?
I spiral. Each time I have been confident in my abilities I have been brought down, yet I know that no one can bring you down unless you let them. I do not need to be caught up in the dream drama (who cares?) I need to defend my paper, defend my innocence and move on. I also know that that was a long sentence that could be written better but I am on the last glass of Chablis now!
The last mouthful has been swallowed and I learn something new. I have the answers I seek, I always have; this blog proves it. Writing is my way of understanding experiences and I must record what is happening, my experiences, the ethnography of the workplace, mine and that of others. My dream is telling me not to take my eyes from the prize – and I vow not to.
I am quite excited. I must start recording my experiences and see where it goes. I am not ending on some kind of drunken ‘huzzar!’ Although abrupt, that is all for now, and together we can watch this space.