Stuck. I’m stuck. Stuck in this seat this morning, dressed in my work out clothes, but not working out. I’m stuck with my computer—poised for work, the screen blank, my mind blank. Blank, blank, blank. I’m stuck with a list of blanks. My fingers are stuck, hovering over the keys, waiting for the click click click of the words, when they flow. It doesn’t come. Words escape me. Reminders, taped to my cabinets, entered on my calendar, plugged into my phone, nudge and cajole: Come on; you can do it. Do it! Get back on track. Do it!
The stuck has been sticking around, dragging me off my course—a course I’ve struggled to set, bringing me down. A day of productivity is sandwiched between multiple days of nothing. Nada. Stuckness. The words are trapped inside, with my motivation, my chutzpah, my drive. Sticky notes in my head, on my computer, around the house urge me to move forward. “Write ‘New Starts’ piece,” for my writing group—originally due two weeks ago, but it does not come to me. Still. New starts are in short supply right now. My own barriers, built with my own shit.
Humbled by an old friend’s comment on a previous post: “please stop writing about watching your own fruit rot – it’s compost compared to what you are capable of. ” Truth front and center; can’t look away, it reverberates in my head. I am touched, and nudged from this new source. Didn’t see it coming, now can’t see past it. So right, so dead on— motivating in the moment, even as I sit here (still) stuck. What am I really afraid of?
Afraid that I’ll strip naked, stand vulnerable, and not feel validated for the effort? Can I get a hip-hip hooray, if I can’t pat myself on the back? I toss and turn, playing out scenarios and working out strategies. I write new lists of things to do, things to put off. Hard enough to call and make an appointment; let alone go to the appointment—I’ll leave it off the list for now. It’s not lost on me, that I jump on a plane, in a heartbeat, and embrace the adventure, but I get scared when there’s a fruit tree to climb, in my own yard. I stand in place, worrying and hoping that the blues don’t settle in for too long. Trying not to run into too many brick walls, of my own construction.
To do, to do, to do lists pile up, and become sticky notes, and then end up in the recycle bin. Recycled into new lists. The “to dos,” and the “not dones” stack up. The stuck is sticky, and holds me in place—a place where no movement occurs. Eat some more crackers, peanut butter and popcorn—nothing healthy—stuff it down. Full to the brim with my own insecurities and anxiety, I don’t move from that stuck spot despite the crappy view. As real excuses fade away—no birds to feed, the nest is nearly empty— I’m left with the obvious: letting my own fruit rot. Fruit flies are next. I hate fruit flies. Need to pick that fruit instead.
I’ll keep the work out clothes on; today’s not over. It still might happen. I might build up a sweat. Not exactly prolific today, but this is a start. This is the “New Starts” piece that I need to finish. Check, check; two stickies down and four to go for today. It doesn’t answer what to do with that unpublished book, or the one that’s ¾ written… the author of three unpublished books. Not the fruit I want to eat. So I need to get a ladder and risk the fall; grab the fruit and hope it’s sweet. Putting it out there and trying to move on, that can be a start to the New Start. Check.