Ok, so Nanowrimo was a bust, but I enjoyed it. I wrote 10k words, so I achieved 1/5th of my goal, but I’ve never written anything so long before. My laptop died toward the beginning of the month, and I’ve been sick forever, but so what. I wrote well, and will keep chipping away at it. I learned quite a bit, and at some points, it did write itself- the characters and settings took over. What I had plotted seemed inauthentic or inorganic, and the story moved itself along.
I started my 2nd semester at school, and I’m finally getting at my creative writing coursework.
I blogged about growing a mustache for Movember at The Good Men Project, which involved 2 things I dislike, growing a moustache and taking selfies. It was a fun exercise, and I’ll make an annual tradition of it.
I haven’t written about it before, but I had some unhealthy negative attachment to two people in my past. I’m fairly certain I’ll never see them again, but my righteous indignation quickly turned to pride and ego whenever I thought about them, even though I haven’t seen either of them in more than a year. A good friend sent Lindsay Pema Chodron’s amazing book, The Places That Scare You. In it, an exercise is introduced. It was simple, and this is my even simpler version:
I want happiness and the things which foster happiness for:
1) Yourself or a close loved one
2) A friend
3) A neutral person-casual acquaintance/stranger
4) A difficult person
5) The whole world
I thought step 4 was going to suck, but I decided to go ahead with it.
After spending a few minutes of sitting quietly and thinking this through, then saying it out loud, I was flushed with forgiveness and peace. My heart has long been hardened to these people, after all, they *wronged* me. All negativity released. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to take a road trip with either of them soon, in fact, I’m perfectly fine not seeing them ever again, but I felt no claim to the negativity of the past. I no longer felt I had to retain ownership of how I allowed them to project their suffering on to me and take it on as my own suffering.
This was life-changing for me. I’m realizing I have self-worth issues, (which is really for another post or series of posts) and I kept feeding it by holding on to negativity. I am free of this burden.
I “forgave” them in the Christian sense a long time ago, but it still hurt. It ain’t hurt no more.
On the heels of such experience, I have long been dedicated to pursuing justice. I want to continue to do this work in a way that doesn’t involve just writing half-baked political screeds on the internet. I do want to continue to engage and impact culture, but I’m going to have to find a more effective way to do so.
I have no solutions at the moment.
But, although I am sick, my heart is at peace and my mind is uncluttered, and I’m going to bed, which in many situations is the wisest and most spiritual thing one can do.
I want happiness and the things which foster happiness for you.