My husband crept into the bedroom early this morning to say goodbye. It’s a ritual we’ve developed, not walking out the door without kissing our sleeping spouses before starting the work day. I hear the door close, and I lie there for a short while. I cannot sleep in, my internal clock has become so engrained to wake up at four am, that Ben and I fall asleep by nine, and so while I’d love to have a delicious lay-in, I usually rise on my day off before seven.
Since I started this blog, I have gone straight to the computer on these early mornings, coffee in hand, ready to write; floating blissfully along on a stream of consciousness. This morning I check my emails, sit in front of the laptop, and…nothing. I have notes galore for story ideas, but today I’m just not feeling inspired. But I have to write everyday…don’t I? I never promised to write daily, though I have decided that I would. There is always a little bit of time to commit to the written word, there is always something to write about—this feeling of not feeling ‘it’ is the creative block, the goal of writing daily is to learn to break through those barriers, and get on the other side—to fill the page with typed thoughts, and look back on a job well done.
Yesterday, I luxuriated in not only writing, but in the general dicking around on the internet: looking up music videos, reading about the movies and artists I wanted to write about. I work a second job one or two days a week, and while I had a decent number of hours between my two jobs, time just ran away from me. I wrote the piece and then hopped in the shower to wash my hair. Freshly scrubbed with my wet hair wrapped in a towel turban, I returned to the office and continued to work. Whether or not the writing is perfect, I am writing and it is very exciting. It can be all consuming— so consuming in fact that it occurs to me that I am due to go to work in an hour. I haven’t eaten, I have no idea what to wear and my hair has been wrapped up in a towel for a frighteningly long time.
I start to dash around the messy house, which I hadn’t even begun to tidy, and simultaneously attempt to eat lunch, dress myself and do my hair and makeup in less than twenty minutes. I do a quick foundation, blush, mascara, and as an added dimension of colour, add an onyx eye shadow on the crease of my eyelids. With ten minutes left before I am to run out the door, I unravel the towel on my head and discover the most horrifying disaster. My bangs have been twisted up and dried in a manner not unlike Cameron Diaz in “Something about Mary”.
Ah, fuck. With the help of my hair straightener, I attempt to tame the unruly fringe, but to no avail. Desperate, I zip to the sink and shove my face towards the tap and run the water, soaking the offending mane. I then reach for the blow-dryer and attack the bangs, spraying myself in the face with water, causing the water to blast my dark eye shadow, creating the appearance to look like splattered soot. When it gets to the point that it doesn’t look bad (but it didn’t look good), I grab my coat and purse and lock the door behind me. Once outside, I am hit by freezing cold winds, and the spitting of rain. By the time I get to work, all my desperate efforts to tame my hair has been bruised by the chilly squall. I did make it to work on time and though I was rushed, hungry and disheveled, I was happy to have written.
This morning, as I sat in front of a blank screen, feeling as though words had failed me, I made another decision. Yes, I will write something daily, but I will not to worry about it so much. Not every day is a masterpiece kind of day; not every day is a day of creative resurgence. Today is the kind of day where I curl up under a blanket and watch “Eat, Pray, Love” on Netflix.
From there I think about a million things. I think about reading that book for the first time, how it inspired me to go to New Zealand. How Ben and I travelled to Ubud, Bali (where author Elizabeth Gilbert meets her husband in ‘E,P,L’) to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I think about travel and adventure, where I’ve been and where I’d like to go next. And I think about how you can revisit a story over and over again and endlessly find a different narrative each time. I also wonder why Julia Roberts’ top lip is significantly plumper than her bottom lip, but that’s a question for a different day. But just like that I have written…something. Not bad, not great, but the effort remains. And I can live with that.