The irony of my current situation is not lost on me. In fact, I think it might even be obvious to my two-year-old. Mama's happy. Mama's writing. Mama's smiling.
And because Mama is happy, Mama is also finally not stressed out about the one thing that has been at the top of my "My life will suck much less if I can just fix this ONE thing" list.
It's weight loss. The size of my ass. The thickness of my thighs. The hourglass figure I know got lost in there sometime between my baby bump exploding and um, well, now.
I'm a writer and if you are reading this, I am going to presume that you are, too. As writers, as creative peoples (and yes, I added that little "S" on purpose. It's called poetic license.") we are driven to express. Whether it is meant for the world or the crumpled up bar napkin stuffed in the back pocket of last night's jeans, we've shared. We've purged. We've given birth to the thoughts and images and memories and characters and stories inside of our heads.
We come out lighter for all of it just in time for our minds to fill once again with the next crazy-awesome literary piece of greatness that only we were meant to create. So we write once we've clocked out of reality, paid the bills, fed the kids, kissed the spouse and apologetically said "Not tonight, honey," one more time before plopping down in front of our laptops, macs, and PC's, ready to begin the process all over again.
So what happens when the whole creative mess is stalled? Stunted?
What happens when the journaling stops because you've gotten too busy or the novel hits a wall because you had a kid and can't justify time for your creative growth because Junior is potty-training and well, fuck it-you can always work on the novel tomorrow?
Things might be different for you, but for me? Well, according to my mirror and the scale I step on each week at my Weight Watcher's meeting, my ass gets really, really, really big when my creative process gets in a rut. Yeah, I've got some medical problems which contribute, but I can't help but see the writing on the wall that's telling me that this is what I needed to be doing all along. To create. To write. To share.
Even if no one else sees it.
This is who I am. I might never get a book deal or have my works turned into a made-for-TV-movie, but without nurturing and encouraging my own creativity, my head gets fat with ideas, and then the over-spill takes up residence on fat cells that make it their own life's work to find the most unattractive place upon which to take up residence.
As a kid, I wrote all.the.time. Poems, stories, essays. My friends knew that when the phone rang at 10 p.m. on a weeknight, it was only because I needed to know what they thought of my latest work. Breathing shaky, hands trembling, and voice unsure, I'd begin reading, slowly coming into my own. Always ending with confidence and pride.
I don't count my years as a newsroom journalist in this whole mix. That was telling Other People's stories. Stories I had no say in. The work helped me grow as a writer, but it didn't quiet that little voice in my head. I mean, my ass was still getting fat. Right?
The Husband has been telling me to write since we met. Our running joke is that I still haven't made him a millionaire with my book deals so he now has grounds for divorce. I had sure-fire plans (work as a journalist to get established) and big dreams (then I can begin publishing my books!) that went nowhere fast. By the time I got home from work each day, I had no energy left for my own stories.
Eventually, I stopped writing all together. Even my journals remained half-empty. And for all those years that I kept shushing my own voice I just kept finding reasons to not do other things, as well. Procrastination, the noun, was trying to figure out my secret to success because I was that good.
And then, in the tradition of an over-night success, I woke up one morning with the blog idea and got to work on a memoir and a novel and found all of my forgotten children's book manuscripts and Weight Watchers and bought Ariel Gore's How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead and...and...my head suddenly began to feel lighter.
It's been six weeks. I've written 20,000 words and lost seven pounds. Mama's happy because suddenly my thighs feel as light as my head.