Write for your life

I am not happy with my life right now. I have no job, no money, I’m living at home, and the one shining light in my life lives two hours away in Toledo. But I have writing and that’s what’s keeping me going. I write to work out my frustrations and to deal with my problems. The first thing I did when I was stuck in Gurnee– tired, angry, confused,–was to blog. I felt the pressure rush through my fingers and after I was done writing, I felt much better. But what if I couldn’t write?

I’ve always wondered about athletes who see their lifelong dreams disappear in one instant with an injury or something else out of their control. What do you do with yourself when everything you’ve trained for is gone? How do you deal with life when your outlet for expression is gone? I always looked on these situations with sadness and a certain amount of relief because writing is different. If I had a major injury, I could still write. If I went blind, or deaf, or was paralyzed I could still write. Lee Goldberg finished one of his last novels with two broken arms for crying out loud. But lately I’ve come to realize just how lucky I am.

My Friend the Dancer (MFTD) is struggling with this right now. She has trained for most of her life to be a dancer and left a couple of years ago to pursue her dream professionally in New York City. But after an injury, she left the city to recover, with plans to return soon after. Now she’s beginning to think about the realities of that. Re-entry into her training has been hard. Dance is brutal on the body. This has brought up thoughts about what she would do if she couldn’t dance. Everything else she considers is a consolation prize to her true dream. I don’t want to go too much into MFTD’s story, this blog is for me to rip my own wounds open, not those of others, but she said something to me the other night that brought it all home to me.

She said, “What would you do if tomorrow someone told you you couldn’t write?”

I’d have nothing. I’d have no outlet, no dream, no desire. I’d be an every day Joe. Nothing special. I’m not sure I could handle that.