I had so many grand visions for this blog when I first started it six months ago. Just like, at right, trying for zen in one of the studios I teach in, I had grand plans last winter of sitting and meditating for ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes at night, every day. This lasted five days.
In my mind, as I started my blog, I would write a post every week. I would be witty, whimsical, maybe even wise! I would jumpstart my writing and refuel my vocation! I was onto something! I was embarrassed to sit down today, to take a breather while doing 15 things getting ready for my upcoming trip up to Seattle, and realize a few things. 1) In November I started blogging by enthusiastically writing one post per week. 2) This lasted three months. 3) In April I wrote three. 4) In May I wrote two. 5) I June I wrote….one. Uno. 1.
But, no. I think of topics and funny anecdotes ALL THE TIME - as in (chuckling,) "this morning's debacle with *fill in the blank* would make a great post." I may be waiting in Starbucks line and a title or phrase will pop up, poof, like a tiny, heat hazy (cuz it's fing hot) light bulb in the middle of my imagination, only to wither away when I realize it's 2:12 pm and I won't be home until 6 after doing errands, getting kids from camp, taking Audrey to karate or Aedan to gymnastics, Liam to speech, or whatever else needs to be done. This summer camp thing is proving to be time-consuming and draining.
I'm just busy. And hot. I want to come home and jump in the pool, finish up dishes, read my book, kind of be still. The best thing to do, as I have learned, if you want to call yourself a title of any sort, is to do it, make the time, carve out the space to sit down and write. (Sans the blow-hardy black glasses or chamomile tea.) Even if it's a post about nothing, a Seinfeld-esque, metafictional account of why you aren't writing. Writing about nothing, or doodling about writing.
But it turns out, I will be writing (as we speak) my second blog post for June on the second to the last day of this very strange, jam-packed, topsy-turvy month. I am leaving for Seattle tomorrow to my mom’s glorious, relaxing property, to no plans or agenda. I am giddy with joy about it. But before I can finish my massive “to do list,” I had to sit down and write. Because a topic has been brewing in my mind for weeks.
In typical “ebb and flow” fashion, I'm slowly honing back in on my memoir, on the act of scribing my own story, aka going back to my book. The idea of autobiography, or story-telling, of crafting an experience via writing in order to interest an audience and say something of value. Is there really such a thing as a true and genuine "memoir" without some artistic license or editing?
Driving home one night after yoga, I saw the question against the sunset sky, a question mark trailing off with the peachy clouds. "If I were to direct the story of my life, what would it look like?"
Who would play me? What music would I select as the backdrop? What of the many messy, significant or simple moments would start the movie - and how would it end?
Would the girl playing Audrey have well-brushed hair? Would Aedan engage with me more after I pick him up from camp - would I share with my audience my feelings when one of the kids gets "written up" for acting up, or when, right before bed, one of them tells me how a kid was mean during the day? How would the actress convey my feelings as they flit across my heart?
Would my house be clean - countertops shiny and mail well organized? I imagine the actress playing me would be well put-together, because I in real life am not. She would wake up smiling, with matching pajamas and a perfectly glowy complexion. She would be the picture of grace and patience as she zipped up the kids' already organized lunches, with an eye on the clock at all times to make sure no one would be late. The dog bowls would be full of chilled water and gourmet dog-food, and there would never be crumbs, hairs and mysterious items in the bottom of her kids's backpacks from days before.
Her car would have a full tank of gas at all times. She would laugh and tell stories to her kids en route to camp. Her coffee would never spill while she reached around for a comb; she wouldn't speed, she wouldn't shriek at her kids. In my Lifetime movie, I would create real-life scenes and show them through a blended lens of messy reality and wishful thinking.
But would that be my life? Would that be a story worth telling, something relatable, humorous, or memorable? Would I be any of those things to myself, if I was the mom / wife in the matching Lululemon outfit with the always-clean socks who never forgot deodorant or what day a kid's field trip was - who was always on time and whose eye shadow always contoured perfectly atop her well-rested eyes?
I never have been and never will be that girl. Always, I will search for patience and timeliness and grace. My whole life, I've prayed for more patience. I want to have it - I want to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and see what I sometimes see, but not always often. A big, genuine smile, shining eyes, and an ease about myself that feels innate, yet sometimes elusive to me in my hectic life.
People can create memoirs based on experiences and end up weaving together a narrative that combines who we want to be with who we have been, who we could become, and who we dream of being. I believe people do it all the time, to stay grounded and humbled at the same time that they continue to try harder. Look at me with my blog, this blog, that started with such lofty dreams. The Lifetime Friday night movie of my blog unfortunately met the much edited down version that eventually made it to an After School Special (remember those?).
And that's okay. Maybe I will write six in July, or maybe I'll skip a month. Maybe I'll go to yoga in my perfectly matched outfit, or maybe I will scrounge whatever I can find that's clean while watching the clock to rationalize that if I rush (and if the kids stop dallying) I will be ten minutes late to get my Om on. But I'll still make it, and I'll always be glad I did.
Just like I am always glad I started this blog and grateful for it being read, if only (like I said in my very first post) the same two people read it. The story of my life continues on, patience or not, consistency or not. Reality always, with a few forgotten crumbs in the corner.