I Write at 2am

My internal clock is out of whack. Since the holidays, the sun has begun to rise and the birds have commenced their incessant chirping before my tired head has even hit the pillow. Even then I only sleep due to sheer exhaustion. In the daytime I rise reluctantly and zombie-like from fitful 4-hour slumbers… I must find a better way.

These past few days my feelings have been flitting between inner turmoil, quiet contentment, resignation, mild despair, acceptance, resentment, confusion, motivation, lack of motivation, excitement, disappointment, and generally feeling like crap. There must be a pill to fix that.

But the main thread of my tumultuous thinking is that I am feeling the squeeze of time. Counting down the days when I have to return to the “real” world and my life as a working mother. There is so much yet that I want to accomplish. So much to do, so little time…

I’ll admit it — I love being a stay at home mom. I relish the chance to spend as much quality time as I can with my kids. But reality has been slowly sinking in that soon I will have to return to the rat race once I finish this MA. There REALLY has to be a better way.

My goal for 2012 is to somehow crack the elusive work-life balance for my family. I have a slew of plans bouncing around in my head — little plots of how to take over the world  combine being a mom and having a career I absolutely love (because life is too short to do something you hate just for the money).

I suppose the next step will be to implement my strategies on how to achieve my goals. So much easier said than done.

In the meantime, I guess I better grab some sleep before the damn birds start up again.

I write, therefore I am?

What began as a perfectly reasonable day ended in me threatening to cry into my borrowed raspberry vodka cocktail.

I can’t quite put my finger on the point where it all began to unravel, but I think it was somewhere between watching Inua Ellams recite his poetry in my Publishing class and mock bidding for art’s festival funding in my Creative Professional Development class.

On the train home the tears sprung up. A seven hour stretch in class will do that to you. I suppose it didn’t help that I was also listening to a bit of Ed Sheeran on the Tube.

I suddenly became rather melancholy and morose. It was one of those uncomfortable moments when you begin swimming in sadness and are not quite sure why.

Fatigue? Frustration? What was it that ailed me? I still don’t know.

I just recall that the weight of the world slammed squarely onto my shoulders whilst I sat in Metro bar with my friends after class. I stirred up the plump raspberries that floated in the fizz of my drink and thought, what exactly am I doing here?

I am lonely and homesick and without two of the most important men in my life – my husband and son. The sacrifices of this MA get bigger every day. It’s been 10 months and 4 days since I last gave my little boy a cuddle or a goodnight kiss.

I push myself onward with blind reassurance – it will be worth it, completely, in the end.

In the meantime I struggle with feelings of guilt and fear and worry all wrapped neatly into a bitter package. I try to convince myself that I’ve done the right thing. For everyone. In the long run.

But it wasn’t just my guilt that made me abandon my drink and my half eaten bag of cheese and onion crisps. It was something else. Something bigger than me, that dragged me down with hooks of despair.

It was the writing.

I have never been so fully immersed in my craft and it is taking on a life of its own, morphing into something I didn’t know it could be. In the midst of tears that threatened to spill as the train zipped me home, I had  a very small epiphany that I think had been there all along; yet I had been ignoring it.  I want to keep writing and not just as a hobby.

How this realisation caused me to arrive at a mini meltdown I can’t understand but maybe it was the gravity of the acceptance. Finally admitting to myself that what I really want to do with my life is the thing I both love and fear the most.

Hopes, dreams, and what?

I'm the gal on the right.

Last week’s assignment for Creative Development was to write 500 words on the  “hopes, aspirations, and goals for your career.”

Hmmm.

This would be an easy task provided I actually knew what they were.

Hopes? I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow because I have a mountain of laundry to hang outside.

Aspirations? I aspire to make it through the next week on a minimal grocery budget.

Goals? My goal is to go through life with my sanity intact.

But seriously, (or perhaps I was being serious?) I’ve never really sat down and thought about it. I mean really thought about it. In the context of, “what do I want to be when I grow up?” Because 28 is hardly grown up. Trust me.

What I really want out of a career is lots of money fulfillment. I want to do something that I enjoy. Something that I am good at. Something flexible. Something fun. And of course it goes without saying that the pay should be better than decent. But. I just don’t know what that is. Yet.

I set out to do this MA as a way to discover myself. Nevermind that I have been discovering myself since my first day of university 11 years ago! Who starts out studying Pre-Med and then switches to Creative Writing? It seems I have been indecisive since day 1, no?

Well what is it that I’m good at? Let’s make a list. Lists are fun.

  1. Writing stuff, all kinds of stuff
  2. Planning parties
  3. Decorating
  4. Editing other people’s writing
  5. Crafty things
  6. Procrastinating (honestly, that pic at the top sums up my life)

Anyone know of a career that combines some or all of the above? Drop me a line if you do.

My life assignment depends on it…