Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kobject's Reflection

What I think I learned:

1.     One time, after a CAT scan of my sinuses, an ENT looked at me with surprise and slight dismay and said, “You really are a stoic person.  You have the worst sinuses I have ever seen, and you haven’t really complained?”  I never would have described myself as stoic, and I still wouldn’t today.

After my first couple of posts on our blog, I was talking to my best friend, describing my surprise at the reaction that some people had.  “People have said that I am a different, more open person in this writing, but I have always felt like an open book.”  My friend responded, “I have known you since middle school, and I am getting to know you in a completely different way than ever before…  You play your cards close to your chest.  You tend to be a pretty stoic person.” 

My best friend, the person who knows the best and worst things about me and is not afraid to be the mirror that I need to look into, pointed out a truth that I had no clue existed, and I realized that while I have thoughts and feelings that are constantly roaming around in my mind, I don’t often (or often enough?) express most of what I am thinking out loud.  But every time that I do talk or write about them, I understand them and myself in a whole other, better way.  If I am willing to take the risk to express them.

2.     I am not a big fan of taking risks, and I become somewhat of a nervous wreck when I feel like I may be “over sharing”.  After writing on my Day 1 object, I sent Pobject an email saying something to the effect of “I think my first one is kinda sad, and I am kinda scared to share it.”  Being his usual supportive self, P encouraged me to just go for it, and so that is exactly what I did.  I just put it out there and tried not to think about it too much.  The overall response was very lovely and supportive, but I have not felt that emotionally naked in a long time.  I started wondering if I could really do it.  Can I put myself out there like this for a whole month?  Should I not invest as much of myself in the next pieces as the first? 

Luckily I was able to find a balance that made me feel comfortable enough, but it was truly a growth experience.  The whole time I just kept thinking, “If you are uncomfortable, you are out of your comfort zone.  If you are out of your comfort zone, you are growing.  This is a good thing.”  And it was.

3.     I like to plan.  Perhaps, too much.  While Pobject and Lobject randomly picked a piece of paper out of a hat each of the 30 days to determine what they would be writing on for that day, I quickly realized there was no way I could do that.  I could not even imagine doing it.  What if I don’t come up with anything to say about it?  What if I just can’t do it? 

While I did not plan ahead of time which objects I would write on for each of the days, I did decide to let myself feel it out each day.  To see what I felt like I had something to write about and then go for it. 

But I also realized how much happier I am when I write – pen and paper (or daybook) – the first draft.  I am much more comfortable if I can then type out the second draft, revising along the way, and then possibly revise some more after walking away from it for a little while.  With the constrained aspect of this writing and with a, son, husband, job, and other things that deserve attention; I was not always able to go through this whole process, but the lack of those steps was also part of the growth process.

4.     I was talking to a friend of my who is an artist last year, and he confessed, “I have paintings in my house that I started over 10 years ago, but I am not sure if they are done, so I have never put them out there.  I just keep adding and taking away from them.  I am not sure if I will ever really be finished with them.  I don’t know when to stop.” He honesty and awareness of process struck me, and I saw a little of myself in him.

With this project I accepted, I will never be 100% happy with anything I write.  So I have now decided, why not just put it out there once I am happy enough with it? 

5.     What is writing?  What time counts as “writing time”?  With this constrained writing activity, I would sit for ten or fifteen minutes flipping through an old storybook, imagining.  Smiling at an old photograph, remembering. Reminding myself of the details of an article I read a couple of years ago, piecing together its story.  But was I to “count” that in my 30 minutes of writing?  It was just as important if not more than actually getting words on paper or the screen, but it was not what one may traditionally call writing.  And once it is on the screen or paper and I am revising, does that count in the “writing time”?  If I take a piece that I wrote or started to write several years ago and revise it, is that writing?  Or is that cheating? 

I am not sure I have a real answer to any of these questions, but if I were to guess, I would say that it is all writing.  We write in our minds constantly, and a little of it gets on to paper from time to time.
6.     During this month, I became much more aware and mindful of the objects and everything else that surrounds me.  And my mind would start creating stories about them without even thinking about it.  I discovered that inspiration really is everywhere.

My reflection in pictures:

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