A voice. There is a woman’s voice that commands me sometimes. Not my voice, and no voice familiar to me. But I like the way she sounds. Full of authority, steadiness, candidness. A rich sound, like dark chocolate or plush velvet.
I woke up this morning, and heard her in my head: Move forward, she said. It’s time to get a grip. And then my own inner voice comes in with its list-making.
1. Last semester you knew exactly why you were here: So you could learn to look more critically and constructively at your own work.
2. So you could meet other writers with whom you might forge strong enough connections to exchange work in the future.
3. To bring your work up to a level that you’d feel ready and comfortable submitting it to journals.
4. To leave here with a strong manuscript.
5. Also, you came here so that your husband would be in a place where he could do the kind of work he’s excited to do.
6. You came here to live in a progressive, fun and active city.
7. You did not come here to get caught up in departmental, academic politics and cattiness.
8. You did not come here to doubt yourself as a writer or to compare yourself with other writers.
9. You did not come here to doubt yourself as a person or to mask who you are in the company of others.
10. You did not come here to fear people’s judgments of you.
11. Equally, you most certainly did not come here to judge other people.
12. SO. MOVE ON.
13. You need not become overwhelmed with your work load.
14. There are women all over the country and all over the world who have work loads and family loads that are ten times your own.
15. Get yourself up in the morning.
16. Be focused when you wake. Do your work.
17. If you need other activities in your life besides school, make room for them, embrace them. Don’t feel guilty about them and thus, overwhelmed. (i.e. – at this moment – I want to make room to exercise because I find that it helps me be more sane, productive and happy).
18. Generally speaking, remain focused.
There you go. I woke up, the woman’s voice told me to move on, and I made a list in my head of what I was getting caught up on, and where I need to place my energies instead.
No more whining in this blog about when and how I'll make friends. I’ll make them when I make them.
In the mean time, my friends who are not here with me, are still "with" me. I also woke up today and paused feeling thankful for these women: ah, cmv, ea, ars, ar, ll, rb, aw, eb. There are a lot of years of friendship in here, one friendship as long as 22 years! All these women who are distinctly different from one another. All these women around whom I feel in my skin and at home – who all represent some aspect of me, and likewise some aspect that is not me, but that is purely her own, and that I admire fully. I feel thankful for these friends.
No more whining about being stressed out and overloaded and no more whining about feeling guilty in the moments when I'm not doing school stuff. A person requires balance. And also confidence.
Now. On to the business of becoming a writer and the business of simply being myself in any given situation.
SONGS: Turn the Light Down Low, Can't Take my Eyes Off of You