My day-to-day life looks very different than it did 7 months ago. I no longer face each day with the soul-wrenching dread of C train commutes and unseasonable office temperatures. Ever since I quit to do my own thing, it’s sort of like someone handed me a pencil and gave me permission to sketch a new life. The summer was about erasing the directionless scribble scrabble. Then I realized I was intimidated by a blank slate.
When people talk about the unknown it’s usually spoken about like an ominous dark force. Maybe because it so closely resembles death. As my friend said yesterday, “We can do all we can to avoid it but we all know how this story ends.” Even in that moment, my brain went into panic mode saying “Not today, Satan!” But, a little fear of mortality is healthy. I just listened to the The Bruised Ego Podcast Episode that I recorded (Season 3: Ep. 22 now out for your listening pleasure!) where I spoke about the creative process. I was reminded of how the idea of me dying without having written a book or pursued any of this writing stuff will mean a life not worth living.
I can’t forget that darkness in general has always been a motivating factor for me. It gets me to take action when I otherwise wouldn’t. How else would I exit bad relationships, ill-fitting jobs, and toxic dramas? It’s a push, a mother’s hand, and a not too gentle guiding force. I’m grateful for it but I’m still afraid of it.
Without the distractions of having to please higher-ups in a hierarchical workplace, I was faced with nothing but my own void of self. There was nowhere to hide. Who am I? That question plagued me, caused lower back spasms, and drove me to wonder WTF I had decided to do. So I made little lists, literally sketched what I wanted my life to look like as if I were some all-powerful being in the sky looking down at myself. Oh, look there’s Thea sitting at her glistening white desk, burning sage, pouring herself too much coffee, listening to Angel Olsen on repeat.
From this time where nothing and everything converged, I did produce two published pieces. A prose-poetry piece called "What Sophie Talks About" in Typishly and "The Way It Felt" (memoir) in the November issue of Split Lip Magazine.
Now, back to that void!