Friday, September 9, 2011

the 2100 day slump

I am a writer.

You probably should be skeptical of anyone who has to actually state this fact.  Particularly as a first post on a blog she just started for herself.  But the self help books say that positive affirmations are key to living the life you love.  So here I am stating it.

The truth is that I am mother.  I have a five year old son who is the apple of my eye, and the devil in my plans.  I also have a thirteen year old stepdaughter who is as sweet and complicated as the day is long.  (Turns out I actually have a somewhat successful blog all about that topic elsewhere)  I figure I have been mothering every day for the past 2100 days.  That was approximately when Rob and I moved in together and I began helping to parent Talya.

So on this first day of school that Cedar is in Kindergarten and Talya is in eighth grade I am patting myself on the back a little bit.  It is no small feat to keep a baby healthy until Kindergarten, at the same time attempting to co-parent a stepchild with a lunatic ex wife, all the while making sure no one drowns in the process.  Parenting may be worth writing blogs about, but my work of these two thousand days is hardly a job that prospective employers find interesting on a resume.

And, while driving children to various social engagements, picking up dirty socks, making things out of cardboard and Elmer's glue, and crafting nutritious and diverse family meals are all important things to do with one's time, I can't help but find myself aching for change.   I have had a few jobs in my time; park ranger, baker, nanny, teacher, grocery clerk, retail manager, to name a few.  None of which have any draw for me to return to now.  After 2100 days in my current position, I am in a bit of a career slump.

I want to be a writer.  In seventh grade I began keeping a diary.  This daily practice has morphed and altered over 22 years, sometimes with several entries a day, sometimes whole months passing without a word.  But it has been a regular practice nonetheless.  I have no delusions that writing in a personal journal is a pathway to greatness.  Quite the contrary, rereading old journals makes me wonder why I haven't had more therapy.  But I do say it makes you a writer.  Writing for an audience of one can be powerful enough to create ripples in the energy of the world and make changes.  Even if only to yourself.  Being that you are the only person you can truly change anyway, this is not such a bad assignment.

I am a writer.  I have the aforementioned blog, which of course, being a blog on which I bear my stepmotherly angst and anger, is anonymous.  I can hardly point you directly towards it.  That blog however has been a positive outlet for me for about three years.  It has also drawn a crowd or two on occasion.  It currently has over one hundred readers, and I write on in a few times a week.  I take the fact that people actually read what I write not to mean that I am good writer, but that because I simply take the time to write down the events of our co-parenting lives, all those other stepmother's out there are hoping to be reassured that someone else's train wreck is more gory than their own.

For a few years I wrote a family blog called tamarack's trails.  Wherein I recounted the baby's daily bowel movements, and pondered the merits of heirloom tomatoes versus beefsteak.  Fun for extended family, but not terribly scintillating.

I tell you all this to give you the extent of my credentials up front.  This is my basis for becoming a writer.  I write.  Therefore I am.  I also want to give you fair warning that what you read here may just not be any good.  Most blogs are not, I've found.  But with the kids gone to school and the mold growing in the toilet as you read this, I need to make a change for myself.  If I fail miserably, I still have my current job to fall back on.  And luckily, it's a job I am required to do for the next fifteen years.  If not until eternity.

By this point you are wondering what the hell this blog is about, right?  I'll spell it out more clearly.  I am going to write.  I am going to write about being a mother with the smallest of writing experience on her resume.  I am going to write about becoming a writer.  I am going go to workshops.  Attend a class.  Make a writing friend.  Practice. Plan. Get rejected.  Probably cry.  Practice more.  hopefully laugh.  Maybe actually write something worth reading.  And blog about it here.  Maybe I'll pull out of my slump, maybe not.  Maybe someone will read what I write, maybe not.  But it doesn't really matter.  Being that I am a writer, and I want to be a writer, I am going to begin a new journey, ease my ache a little bit, and see if I can merge the two. 

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