Spending My Time

by Susan Pogorzelski on February 28, 2011 · 3 comments

It seems like such a long time ago when I wrote how stagnant everything seemed, when in fact it’s only been a few years. But I’ve seen how much can change in as little as six months, nevermind years, so I wonder how it’s possible that I’m so surprised that everything can be different with just a little bit of passing time…

Things have changed for me and yet, I have a feeling that things are going to keep changing, still. It’s the way of the world, after all — as much as I try to fight it, if there’s anything I’ve learned so far, it’s that change is the only constant.

I think I’m finally ready to embrace that…Little by little, a change at a time, knowing that there’s always something else and that life keeps going.

There’s so much that’s been going on that I want to write about, that I’m desperately longing to share with everyone. And yet the words won’t come — not as they’re meant to, not as I want them to. Clearly, not as eloquently as I could have hoped. My mind won’t settle — a flurry of projects and plans and questions and wondering what’s next, and what about now?

It’s exciting. It’s terrifying. And, to be honest, a lot of it may seem perfectly mundane.

And yet…

It’s life.

All of it…

Every sunlit morning when I wake up and try, try again; every thought, daydream, and silent, secret wish; every word, written and spoken, every smile, every escaped giggle, every intake of breath, every sweaty palm, every “can I do this?” and every answer: “yes you can.”

I have no idea what’s in store for me. I used to think that I had my life all planned out, and yet, nothing at all is how I would have envisioned it — not the job, not the writing, not the traveling, not the house — and certainly none of it in this order.

It’s thrilling. It’s invigorating.

It’s terrifying.

Because if all of this can happen — if all of these wondrous things can occur without even imagining them — then what else can be in store?

I told you my mind was a jumble…

For now, here’s what I’ve been up to and what I’m trying to figure out, with a preview of some upcoming, in-depth posts once everything settles and I get back into the blogging habit. In the meantime, I hope that you’re enjoying the guest posts as much as I am — they’ll be continuing at least through the end of March.

Got to get goin’, goin’ ahead
It will take a long, long time
It has taken such a long time this time

– It Will Take A Long Time –

It’s funny how writers can  pursue their craft, experiment in so many different genres, and yet, when it comes down to it, there will always be one universal theme. I wonder if it’s because, as writers (and particularly fiction writers), we use narrative to understand our world and our place in it. When you strip away the other-worldly characteristics, the science fiction and fantasy, the horror and romance, you’ll always be left with one focus: humanity.

Who are we? What do we long for? What do we fear? What makes us different, what makes us the same?

What makes us human.

It’s been the deeper subject of almost every poem, every short story, and every attempt at a novel since I was a child, scribbling away in a notebook instead of paying attention in class. Which is why, come to think of it, I admittedly suck at my multiplication tables.

For a long time, back in those days when everything seemed at such a standstill, I couldn’t write; I felt lost, thinking that I had lost that part of myself, that passion for writing — no, not just the writing, but that passion for trying to understand the world — that has always been a part of me. A few years ago, I rediscovered that again, writing and posting unpolished stories that came from the heart, stories that, through writing them, let me tell a truth…They let me imagine, dared me to wonder, allowed me to question.

And now…I’m daring to dream again. I’m in the middle of writing something that is completely different than anything I’ve ever written — a piece of dystopian fiction — a genre that has always enthralled me — that is pure crap in its first draft, something I’m not even sure I’m capable of writing — and all the while completely thrilling. I’ve found the joy in writing again — of not having plans, of letting the characters find their way and me, finding my way along with them.

Do I think it will be anything worthwhile, anything earth-shattering? I’d be lying if I could ever think yes. But it’s captured my heart and my imagination and, with it, strangely enough, I think I’ve found the courage to believe again that, someday, I may just dare to see my forever-dream come to fruition.

Write on.

Beautiful things
Are comin’ my way
Beautiful things
I want them to stay

– Beautiful Things –

Sometime in the spring or summer, I have plans to open up an Etsy shop…if only because I’ve been working on some craft-like projects and I figure it wouldn’t hurt to make a little money in the process. I’m not an artist, but I’ve always loved anything aesthetic — whether it be art in a museum, a photograph in a gallery, the architecture of a building, or, preferably, the vibrancy and natural wonder of the outdoors.

Couple that with my love of history, which I’m positive correlates to the fact that my parents are antique dealers and I’ll never forget my mom telling me that history is truly the story of a life — and I’ve found a new creative outlet, one that allows me to visualize and work with my hands, capturing everything I love about a time in which I can’t ever belong, a time I can only read about, only imagine, only believe in.

Cryptic, right? I’m not promising much in the way of ingenuity or even craftiness,  but it’s another outlet for me, another way to, in some strange way, embrace everything I love about life, to capture its beauty.  If anything, it’s something that makes me feel content for now. And I’ll take that any chance I get.

And it all begins where it ends…
– Joyride –

A few weeks ago, I met with my doctor for a prescription renewal of my anti-anxiety and depression medications. We talked about how the seasons were changing and how I’ve truly felt happier and lighter than I’ve felt in a long, long time. She said she could see the change in me, that I looked great, looked healthy, and that I was smiling. It’s funny — sometimes you never know you’re missing a part of yourself until someone points it out to you, makes you see it for yourself…

It seemed that with all of the medical problems going on, I’d forgotten how to smile.

I remember now.

I’ve been remembering for long while now, actually…Only, now, in these past few months, I feel like that smile is reaching my heart.

Which is why I can’t yet figure out if going off my meds, with the doctor’s approval, is a stupid idea or a great one.

Last week, I crashed. Every single insecurity bubbled back up to the surface; dreams became so vivid that, upon waking, it took a few minutes to clear that fog from my mind; over the weekend, when I didn’t have plans, I stumbled back upstairs to bed and slept for hours. And then the cycle of dreams continued.

It reminds me of the fragility of the mind. It reminds me how fragile we all are. It reminds me how close I was to darkness and how perpetual it felt and how I will never let myself get there again — I have a choice now. But sometimes that choice isn’t so easy.

I’m doing better — I talked to my doctor again, talked to my family. I know my body and my mind well enough by now to know when I can feel myself slipping — that I can tell between a weak moment and the impending darkness. And if there’s anything the past two years has taught me is that I can’t ever be ashamed, that I can always ask for help.

There’s so much more I want to say on this subject, so much more that is so important when it comes to mental health. So much more to say that I want to devote another blog post to it. And another and another…Because there’s so much we’re only just beginning to understand.

And while there’s so much that’s left uncertain, so much we really don’t understand, there is one thing of which I have no doubt…When you feel that darkness reaching, you find something worth holding onto.

And you don’t let go.

Yes it’s true, right from the start
I believed in the church of your heart

– Church Of Your Heart –

For the past three weeks — and lasting throughout the spring — I’ve been taking part in a spiritual development course. I don’t know where I stand as far as religion. I grew up Catholic, endured years of CCD class and confirmation, but somewhere along the way, I lost my faith in that God — that religion, I guess you could say — and found my own. This isn’t a course on religion; it’s not even a course on spirituality.

Rather, it’s about learning to understand the self, to listen to and believe in your own intuition. This course has been the most amazing experience in ways that I can’t even begin to verbalize.

And I’m not going to try…

Not yet.

I’ll find the falling star
I’ll fall in love
With the eyes of a dreamer
And a dream worth believing…

– Watercolours in the Rain –

I’m giving online dating a try.

And…We’re going to skip right past this one and leave the topic for another rainy day.

Because that’s how that’s going…

Some days are covered in rain
While other days are made of glory
And you are the summer sun
The only one who knows the story…
– My World, My Love, My Life –

And finally…

I’ve been seriously considering going back to school for psychology or counseling or teaching. Compassion is such a huge, central part of me, and it wasn’t until these past few years that I realized just how strong that was. Coupled with an intense desire to help people — individually, on a personal level — and something just feels right about it.

As a freshman in college, I’d declared teaching as my major, only I got so frustrated with the politics and paperwork that I changed to a straight English writing degree. Psychology has always intrigued me, but it was the emotional aspect of it and not necessarily the science that I wanted to study.

It’s making that connection with someone, sharing a life story, being able to empathize with them, to reach out to them and offer them hope, offer them friendship, offer them meaning, offer them…something. That’s what speaks to my soul.

Only…can I make the change, is it the right fit for me and, the big question, am I willing to incur mountains of debt (ironically, I mistyped that as “doubt”) again and handle working full-time so I can pay my mortgage while I go back to school?

* * * * *

Questions again. Questions and wondering and excitement and nervousness all wrapped into one giant bundle of knowledge that another change, whatever it may be, is imminent.

So much happening, and yet, if there’s one thing that’s for certain…

I’m no longer standing still.

Note: All of the lyrics above are quoted from Roxette’s discography. I think I may be overly-excited from finding out that my favorite band as a kid has a new album out. Rock on.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa March 3, 2011

Hey!
I’m so happy to hear you so full of positivity and possibility but also honesty. It is important to notice the change and progress or lack there of, even weekly (what coaching can do) otherwise, we don’t see it. Let me know what you decide about school, I think you are on the right path. Also, I may or may not have joined a different online dating site so you can always share stories with me there. Talk soon,
Vanessa

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Amy March 5, 2011

It sounds like life is full of positive change for you right now. How exciting. I wish you the best as you keep pushing on towards those things.

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