I will write today. I will push these words out like a mother in labor. I will scream and curse and clench my fists and push this baby onto the pages of my screen so I can cut the umbilical cord to this five-year act of treading water.
I wrote this before I began cardio this morning. The mere act of sitting down and typing these few sentences shifted my day just enough that I was late getting started on cardio, late getting back to eat breakfast, late getting in the shower, late getting to my morning appointment.
I always joke that I’ll be late to my own funeral. That’s probably the only time being late would be rewarded. Though maybe not. What about when you are late meeting your goals but you learn something from the detour?
I had a goal. Scratch that. I have a goal. They say you should say your goal or aspiration out loud and often so that it comes to fruition. But since my goal is about writing, I should write my goal. I want my Masters degree in Creative Writing. I want to stop personal training. Personal training was never supposed to be a steady occupation. It was a pit stop. Like running into a 7-11 to go to the bathroom and grab a diet Coke and some gum during a road trip. For five years now, I have needed to finish a piece of writing of mine with the intent to send it in as part of my application to schools I’ve chosen. It has been this past month that I have finally sat down again after multiple attempts over multiple years and returned to that piece of writing. Late. I would say I made a mistake, but I look at everything I’ve done and experienced over the past five years, and I know that’s not an accurate representation of a shift in plans.
To be sure, there is a literal, tangible deadline if I want to attempt to start a program in the spring of 2018. But there is also a looming figurative deadline. And so, if I don’t make it happen soon, then it will certainly be a mistake.
I remember one Saturday morning run I had done several years ago, back when I was in a tough relationship. (Wait…what relationship of mine hasn’t been tough? But I digress.) Headphones blaring louder than whirring traffic, heat of sun beating harder than my heart, skin sweating like a leaky showerhead, tennis shoes pounding pavement with purpose. I came to an intersection, looked left, looked right, looked left again, ran forward. A car streaked by, a flash out of the corner of my eye. He had run a red light. He had nearly run me out of my running. My thought at the time? I need to break up with this guy. (Not the guy in the car, of course…the guy in my life.) I knew that if I continued to allow myself to be unhappy, I would regret that decision of self-disrespect and stagnancy to my dying day.
I kind of feel that way today. I feel like I’ve been treading water. And my legs are tired. And my eyes want a change of scenery. I’m just waiting for my brain to catch up. For my heart to release. For the prison bars of doubt to bend just enough for me to slip my body through and escape. I may need to pretend I am Wonder Woman and do a little pushing. Push my fears. Push my words. Push my life.
Of my skull
It sometimes feels
Stuffed with cotton
Cotton thoughts muted
Like when a Q-tip digs
Digs too deeply
Into my ear canal
Lowering the volume
The volume of life
Copyright 2017, Jodi Leigh Miller
Note: I originally had a different title to this post, but I changed it. The biggest fear a writer faces is losing his or her work. This is word choreography. It is rarely memorized. So writers depend upon the reliability of either pen-to-paper methods or technology. I was on a slight writing spree this morning while I sat and drank iced coffee and read my novel at a local cafe. I kept putting the book down and jotting thoughts into the Notes section of my iPhone. I decided this evening to share this particular blurb, but when I proceeded to copy and paste the paragraphs into an email, it looked like half of the writing disappeared. Like one minute you see droplets of water on your windshield and the next they are dried up and gone, leaving only spots as reminders that water was once falling out of the sky. I nearly cried. But it was just a bug, and the words reappeared. Thankfully. So here they are. They may not be as magical to you as they are to me. But I do like to think of my writing as akin to unicorns. After all, I have to half live in an imaginary world to get my magic to flow. So go on and read below.
. . . .
I don't think a writer can be a truly unique, creative, candid whiz of words without experiencing every emotion, enveloping him or herself in the extremes of the heart and mind like a teenage boy swimming in clouds of cologne in preparation for a first date.
I am moody.
I am different.
I see the world as one sees a movie. I sometimes lie back in my lounger, snack on popcorn, and let my eyes scan the screen. And sometimes I sit on the edge of the cushion, gripped in the scent of performance and emotional enhancement. But all the while, I remain aware that I am a bystander, an eavesdropper, a voyeur. I am real. You are the movie. Or, if you are in my life even for a teensy bit, you will become a character in my written world of woe and wonder.
Don't like me.
It's all the same.
Life. As it should be. Can be. Will be. When I wrote about me. And write about you. I swear I will finish a book before I am through.
Jodi Leigh Miller is a Women's Physique IFBB Pro with experience in all divisions. She is a record-achieving power-lifter, posing specialist, certified trainer, life coach, and author. She holds an English degree from The University of Texas at Austin and is a certified educator. Jodi was recently accepted into the low-residency MFA in Writing program at Pacific University Oregon and begins January 2018. She is an experienced, knowledgeable, multifaceted phenom who shares her soul in this blog.