There’s a lot going on in the land of Meg right now.
I’m doing fierce battle with my depression while trying to keep my kids adequately fed, watered and entertained.
I’m trying to keep the momentum going on my diet (basically calorie counting and keeping active: I’ve lost ~6kg in the last 6 months with my sneaky, it’s-not-really-a-diet-it’s-just-a-few-days-without-treats-here-and-there approach) and sporadically attending a drop-in karate class around the corner.
My husband is helping a friend start up a virtual storefront business that I will assist with admin/marketing/content writing once it takes off (which hopefully it does! Ka-CHING!).
I’ve started a partial certification in Education Support that is looking fun and promising, and I hope to be able to take the rest of the course next year so I can eventually get a casual job during school hours.
My dabbling in flash fiction is going well: not only am I judging this week’s Microcosms contest (seriously, it’s an awesome prompt this week – go enter!) but I’ve found this curated list of writing competitions and signed up to enter The Great Flash Fiction War over this weekend. First prize is $2000. Bring it!
And then the girls have two birthday parties to attend this weekend. Plus the school fair.
Oh, and I have a weird, exhausted-but-not-symptomatic head-cold thing going on.
I’m not freaking out. YOU’RE freaking out!
Anyway, none of that is the “craziness” I’m referring to.
No, the crazy part happened this evening.
Lately my youngest miss (who turned four just over a week ago…) has been asking me to stay in their room until she’s asleep. I find it draining, but considering I used to cosleep with both girls all night every night I can deal with this little bit of neediness with grace. I just play some meditation music on my phone, fire up my kindle app (set to white writing on a black background) and read in the dark while she settles next to me.
On a whim this evening I decided to start rereading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I read it towards the end of last year and found it quite inspiring, with its approach for identifying and dismantling Resistance in your life.
Near the beginning, in the introduction, this section fell really heavily into my brain, like it was important that I paid attention this time:
Look in your own heart. Unless I’m crazy, right now a still, small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times before, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.
I read shit like this All. The. Time. I love that inspirational stuff. But I generally say “Psh! Whatever. It’s all well and good if you HAVE a single, driving passion but what if you don’t? I’m passionate about everything – but nothing ever seems to be truly passionate about me…”
This time, though…
I don’t know if it was the quiet, meditative setting, or the wine I’d drunk with dinner, or the culmination of my incessant ruminating on what exactly will keep me happy at the moment (or, more precisely, what will keep the melancholic lethargy at bay) – or possibly a combination of everything – but I stopped for a moment to dwell on this passage.
I took a good look at the gaping, craggy pit that’s been squatting in my chest lately and sucking the energy out of everything. I peered inside and saw a little, brow-beaten Meg at the bottom. She’s been there before – many times – and almost feels at home there. In the past I’ve thought that the way out was through singing, or saxophone, or DJing, or writing, or working with children in some capacity.
This time when I leaned into that cavern of yearning listlessness and whispered “What will make you happy?” she stretched a hand up my spine and whispered back:
I want to be a dancer.
She twirled and struck a pose.
Dancing is what makes me happy.
I’m never happier than when I’m in a crowd on a dance floor losing myself in the music. It’s why I was a goth for so long, and why I fell into DJing: I’d go clubbing AT LEAST once a week if at all possible and dance my heart out.
I freaking HATE “exercise” with a fiery passion – but I can dance for hours on end. As a kid I avoided all sports but took several types of dance class a week, right up until puberty kicked in and I had enough of the bitchiness and competitiveness.
Last weekend reminded me of this, when I went to my 20th reunion for my old school in Dubbo. It was a super fun evening and we ended up at a nightclub. I had the weekend to myself so I got quite drunk and danced my butt off. The music was amazing, with a really skilful DJ beat-matching and mixing like a champ. It was so much fun that I almost started crying.
So now what?
I’m a frumpy mum in the country. How the heck can I use this passion to drive my life down the right path? I can feel in my bones that I’m onto something here, that I need to incorporate the freedom of dance more deeply into my life. But how?
It’s a tough one for sure.