Thursday, July 31, 2014

What Change Wrought: Relationship, Writer's Block, and Self-Development

Sometimes strong feelings or major life events can be inspiring to a writer. Other times, they are the exact opposite.

For a while I was doing very well with my daily writing goals. I was consistent. Frequently I more than surpassed them by several thousand words! Recently, however, I've been struggling. I haven't written consistently in some time. I missed July by a long shot, neglecting my publication goal despite its reachability. I mean, Khloe could have been done by now. And I want to finish, intellectually. But I just don't have the motivation.

Part of this has been because my son has grown into a more active phase in his development. He does require energy stores that I used to put solely towards writing. However, to place the blame squarely on my child's activity level is unfair and unrealistic. Yes, his energy draw is large, but he takes naps. He plays by himself. He sleeps earlier than I do. I could realistically write even with his increased mobility. There is more going on. Much more.

As you know from reading earlier posts, I've been on quite a journey this year. Every week brings new change in myself and my perspective. It has been a healing time. It has been a beneficial time. I have learned things about myself and come to conclusions in this year that I never could have at other times in my life. I work out 6 days a week. I study Spanish daily. I try to eat balanced meals. I try to meditate at least once a day. I'm working towards specific professional goals.

And I am sincerely grateful for this. I am healthier, stronger, and generally more focused. It is an exciting time for me.

Unfortunately I have a major area of my life that is holding me back and I feel this is impacting my writing. My mind is so focused on this area that I have been uninspired to write. For someone like me who typically writes daily and has multiple books independently published, this is a strange turn.

I would even go so far as to say I have no interest in writing.

In fact, writing this blog post was a chore. I struggled to pick up the laptop. I wrote lines of several other posts and even wrote entire completely different posts before finally settling on this topic as worthy of publication on my blog. I agonized over the words in this post. I fretted over coming clean about this issue. And even still, there is much more I could confess to you, my gentle readers. But what should I say? What is too much? What is enough without making people uncomfortable?

Crazy, right? I mean, who does that? And what could possibly twist me up so badly as to cause such difficulties?

Well, I will answer: the next phase in my life journey. I am applying to PhD programs, and that necessarily is a point of excitement and trepidation. If I don't get accepted, it doesn't matter. I would be disappointed but I would get over it. I would decide on another goal. Rejection is not my worry. My worry is that it will create more relationship difficulties than I have at present.

You see, when someone undergoes transformation, it is impossible for things to stay the same. The equilibrium is disrupted and suddenly old habits don't fly any more. New things are required. Change doesn't just happen in the person transforming, but all around that person has to change. The question is, how?

Absolutely I have transformed. It began with my pregnancy and has continued for the 11 months since my son's birth. I am a completely different woman, with a completely different understanding of how I want to be in the world. Part of this had to do with acceptance of myself, part of it had to do with deciding what I wanted and then actually taking realistic measurable steps towards those things. And quite frankly, I know my husband isn't interested in the same things I'm interested in. It is not that he is consciously working against me getting my goals, but he isn't helping me get them either. As I try to shoot higher and higher, I feel more and more that I am weighted down.

I don't feel this way because I no longer love my husband or because he is sabotaging me. Neither of those things are strictly true. I feel this way because the longer and more entrenched my transformation becomes, the clearer it is to me that my husband is unable to change.  Or rather, he is so worried about what steps he should take, he doesn't take any. He doesn't change because he doesn't feel 100% confident in what he wants. He goes back and forth, afraid to stay where he is, and afraid to move forward. While he's waffling, I'm moving forward with my life, leaving him in the dust. I'm growing and changing quickly and he isn't...

It is pretty clear why I've been struggling with writing.

How can you do anything you love when something so crucial as your relationship is in the hands of someone else? I don't know. I struggle with it every day. It is painful to watch my spouse rely on old habits and struggle against the changing landscape that is our relationship and his very different wife. It is painful to watch him make choices that inevitably cause discord and difficulty. It is painful to watch him make choices that utilize a kind of logic that doesn't make the remotest bit of rational sense to me.

We're one week away from our 6 year anniversary, and I wonder how things will be moving forward. It is no longer my decision. I have made my choices and I'm comfortable with them. I just hope that he actively chooses his own transformation, one that will enhance and enrich my own. I hope he decides to join me.

In the mean time, I wonder. I wonder when things will change in such a way that I am once more inspired to write. I wonder what would make the difference for him. I wonder what will inspire him to transform. I wonder when I will be able to truly move forward in every aspect of my life. I can't handle the stagnation. It is upsetting.

Because right now, when I hold the computer on my lap, I don't want to write. I don't want to open my word processor. I don't want to open my blog post editor.

I just want to browse the web and forget.

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