The strangest thing has been happening to me lately.
I’ve been having some mild sleep issues lately, which is not the weird part–I’ve gone through periods of insomnia and periods of oversleeping before, often correlated with stress or anxiety/depression. But usually, I just have trouble falling asleep or sleep through my alarm. This last week, I’ve had some trouble falling asleep, but the more notable issue is that I’ve woken up at odd hours, sometimes more than once throughout the night. I’m awake very suddenly and have no idea why–I’m not cold or hot or in pain, I don’t have to pee, and I don’t remember having had a dream. I’m just awake.
If I don’t get up and try to do anything, my mind will then very quickly fall into a vivid memory, dropping me at a random point, as if my brain were picking back up a book I had just been reading. And then I just replay it over and over, trying to get all the details right, trying to find words to describe how I felt in that moment, or trying to remember exactly what I felt in that moment. It feels very important that I remember exactly and that I figure out what it all means, but I’m tired, and eventually I fall back asleep.
The moments that happen to be coming up don’t surprise me in the least, actually–they’re big, defining episodes in my life, and they’re things that I’ve yet to write about in great detail. Many of them are on my list of things to write about, and they’re things I think about somewhat frequently, but when it actually comes time to write, I always, always push them aside.
I think: It’s too hard. I’m not ready yet. I’m not a good enough writer. I haven’t figured out yet what I want to say. I really want to get it RIGHT. I need more skill. I need more time to write. I’m not ready.
I think: It’s too personal. I can’t put that on the internet. What if it upsets people?
I think: It’s too intense. I need more distance. What if I start thinking about it and can’t stop? What if I can’t handle it?
I think: I just can’t. Can’t. Not yet.
But now, the weirdness of the last few days has me starting to think differently. I’m starting to think… all the things I should have been thinking all along.
I think: It doesn’t matter if I’m ready, or good enough. It doesn’t matter if I get it RIGHT.
I think: If after it gets written, I don’t feel comfortable sharing it, then I don’t post it. Simple.
I think: And writing isn’t the same as plain old ruminating, writing is how I stop thinking in circles and get through to the other side. It might be hard, but it won’t break me.
I think: I can. And I should. Now.
As a general rule, I try not to attribute meaning to random shit that happens to pop into my head, or dreams or sleepless nights. Usually that just leads to worry, fear, unpleasantness.
But lately, I swear to god it feels like these stories are at the door, always just waiting for me to let my guard down so I can hear them knocking. I swear to god it feels like they’re begging to get out of me, and it feels urgent. Like they have something to say. There is a surreal kind of power in the demands that frightens me and excites me at the same time.
I want to feel that power flow out of me. I want to give in.
And it doesn’t really matter whether me feeling that way “means” anything or not. Because there is no downside to writing, aside from the possibility of spending a lot of time writing something I don’t feel I can post, and then having to scramble or miss a scheduled day. And really, that doesn’t seem too high a price to pay to have finally done it, finally tried to spin my mess and madness into gold. Whether or not it works, I will have tried.
I have some writing to do. I hope it goes well.