“Home . . . I’m on my way “
It took a split second to recall why I had written those words . . . it was a year ago.
I had just wrapped up a year in Italy and was sitting on an airplane in Malpensa headed back to the states. I posted the message on social media to announce my homecoming. Today Facebook thought I’d like to be reminded of that day.
It’s odd to think that I’ve been home as long as I was away. Where did the time go and what the hell have I been doing this past year? On that flight home I had huge hopes and dreams, big plans. I had finished the first draft of my memoir and was eager to get busy with edits and rewrites. I was inspired, unstoppable. Or so I thought.
There were some disappointments when I came home. Unexpected heartache and adjusting to change, blah, blah, blah. But I was determined to not let that interfere with my goals. I was going to finish my damn book. I gave copies to a few friends and was encouraged by their feedback. I shared chapters and passages with my writers group. The thoughtful discussions always made me believe I was on the right track. I was motivated to keep going. Eventually I hired an editor. Her line edits were easy fixes, but the content edits were a little tougher. She was spot on with critique and suggestions. But the work involved felt overwhelming, requiring what I thought was skill beyond my capability. I was stuck while my draft collected dust and waited for me to tackle its pages. My journal writing and blogging suffered too. I was circling some kind of writers’ purgatory. Not good enough to write something amazing, and not bad enough to give up completely, I did nothing.
Meanwhile I did an excellent job of disguising my insecurity induced procrastination by posing as an adventure seeking world traveler. My Instagram had become a virtual photo travel journal. I was enjoying my tiny celebrity, it was a blast. When friends asked about my book, I offered vague time lines and talked about upcoming travel instead. I felt like a phony, a pretend writer. It was time to get serious about my work again. For the first time, I made no plans to return to Italy, or any other travel, I was staying put.
I promised myself come August I would get back into journaling, writing my blog with regularity and diligently working on my book. Every day I would do something. It didn’t have to be hours and hours, and it didn’t have to be perfect, but I had to write every day.
It may be too early too brag, but a few days into August and I have kept my promise. I’m learning that deep down there was more than insecurity that kept me from diving into my manuscript again. I had to face the reality of my story. I was not the evolved super woman I had written into my memoir. My journey had not led me to a fairytale ending. And that’s okay.
A year later, I am older and wiser, and there will be no end to the experiences and lessons that will shape me. I wish I could say when I’ll finish my book or what compels me to write my story. I really don’t know.
I only know that I am on my way . . .
Photo Credit: Randi Haithcock (Dear Friend and Travel Mate)