I promised myself I would write.
Now I’m doubting the words coming out on the page. Not just the words, I doubt my own thoughts. When you think about it, really I’m doubting myself. What if I’m not good enough, not special enough, not unique enough?
What is enough?
I always thought writer’s block happened to others, not me. I thought it was a lack of ideas, possibly indecisiveness. Maybe it’s really fear—fear that I’m not really good; not that smart, not that talented.
Everything I write falls flat in my head. All I hear is melodrama. My words are all trite drivel. I start anew. Look, a fresh page. Now I stare into the emptiness, wondering what to write. I chase the thoughts across the deserted playground in my brain, but they’re faster than me. Soon I grow tired. I stop, double over with a stitch in my side, breathing in and out, ignoring the faint wheeze in my chest.
Sheepishly, a few ideas crawl toward me. They’re too slow to run. These thoughts present themselves to me, feeble and obviously flawed. Nobody wants them on their team. I don’t want them. But they are all I have.
Over the years, I’ve set aside virtual space for each interest, each facet of my personality: roller derby, nutrition and fitness, quilting and artistic endeavors, the humorous ups and downs of married life. I sorted and segregated interests for anyone who may stumble upon them. Each facet of myself that I offered was only as valuable as those who found it interesting. Dividing and distributing myself into these packets only served to diminish the whole. My interests defined me. I was an artist. No, I was one of those weight-loss nuts. No, I was a wife with funny marriage stories. No, I was a roller derby girl.
Stretching back to life before the internet (that’s right, kids), I realize I compartmentalized my life as long as I can remember. Is it because I like things to fit into categories? Is it like how I organized our takeout menus into a tabbed binder? Divide the parts and pieces of me and they’ll all make sense eventually?
And what of those parts of me that don’t fit neatly into a category? Like what it’s like to swim through depression, losing yourself and making your way back. How dreams have changed, and what triumphs lie outside well-defined categories. How, through all of these things, I feel the most myself when I’m writing, yet struggle to sit down and do just that. Is any of that less a part of who I am? Where does all of that belong on the Megan binder?
The reality is, I don’t belong in a binder. What I do is not who I am. I am all of these things. I am none of them. I am a woman. A lover. A friend. Someone who exhibits passion and intelligence and creativity. The time has come to stop the compartmentalization. Time for these parts of me to mingle. Time to find the spaces in between. Time to let the writing flow as it will, less defined by the space where it appears than the way it is born.