Fast, intense, naked, troubled, terrific, exhilarating, terrible, this November has been about dreams and long awaited (feared?) turns finally coming around. Multiple incredible events took place this past month, but I will tell you about two (2) main ones.
Ever since I was 12, I dreamed about becoming a novelist, AND –
On the first day of November I started writing (the first draft of) my very first novel!
50,202 – to be precise.
This sounds incredible and much more compelling than what it actually looks like, as these 50,202 words are more like one huge regurgitated blob of disconnected thoughts and episodes and anecdotes and bits of dialogues, all written with great speed and no filters (because word count) rather than anything even vaguely resembling a novel. I’m not even half way through a first version, not to mention revisions, editing, and all the actual work I still have to do for it to start making sense. So please don’t hold your breath.
Then again, what really matters is that I found in me the fire and persistence it took to accomplish this, which is the single greatest act of support toward my Inner Writer I’ve ever had the courage to undertake.
Before I started, I thought it was going to be easy and fun. I believed that finally letting this story flow out of me must feel absolutely fabulous, with angel choirs to the click-clack of my keyboard as I drift off in a cloud of narrative cotton candy, my chest pleasantly swollen with a sense of creative fulfillment.
But then I started typing in the real world, and it turned out there were no harp sounds accompanying my fingertips, most of the time it was the end of the day after my son’s bedtime and I was tired, irritated for all sorts of petty reasons, discouraged, and I resented having signed up for this writing nonsense more often than I’d care to admit. Also, the stuff that came out was nowhere as good as I had envisioned, and writing it out felt much more like pulling (my own) teeth than anything even remotely related to creative fulfillment.
But hey, I DID IT and you know how these things go. Now I will not stop.
Ever since my son started walking I’ve fantasized about the time he would start going to school, so I could have at least the morning hours to dedicate to my oh-so-neglected work, AND –
On the third day of November, my son started going to Preschool!
Here in the Netherlands it means that one afternoon and one morning a week (for a total of 5 hours a week) he is at his playgroup.
Five. Hours. A. WEEK!
Can you believe what a difference that made to me? It’s nothing short of a revolution, for how ridiculous it may sound because what I can actually accomplish in those 5 hours is minimal.
Unsurprisingly (now I know), the whole going to Preschool business is almost more of a complication than a facilitation, as at least there’s that one time a week he goes in the morning (at 8:30) when we have to wake up at an hour which is completely incompatible with my biological clock (7). I have to set three (3) alarms, be stressed for two (2) days in advance because I’m afraid I will not wake up. And rightfully so! It did already happen once (1) that we missed Preschool because we overslept. Yeah, we woke up at 10, my Toddler and I, both the same breed of scrappy rock stars. All the alarms rung for almost a full hour, until my phone used up all its battery and died. Sleep tight, ya morons.
Another consequence of the beginning of Preschool is that my son, who before could spend much more time playing on his own and doing his thing, has become intensely attached to me. To the point he will only eat his dinner if he is sitting in my lap. He is always over-the-top delighted to go to his playgroup, but once we are back home hugs and cuddles with Mama is all he wants to do.
Also, naps are gone. Done, over with, never to return. People tell me I shouldn’t complain because this means earlier bedtimes and anyway I’m lucky he kept naps going for so long (he’s almost 3) and perhaps they are right. But bedtime does not happen that much earlier and thanks to this I now have to navigate through my afternoons with a Toddler who is pretending not to be tired, who is grumpy and a bit punchy, who only wants to either hug Mama like a koala bear hugs its eucalyptus branch, or binge-watch episodes of Puffin Rock till it’s dinner time, when he regularly melts down into a heartbreaking tantrum because I have to turn the Puffins off.
But then again, hey! This is how becoming a big boy looks like – it never is a NOT messy process, and I should feel privileged for the trust he confides in me, for crowning me his emotional haven in this sweet little tempest.
In addition to all of the above, on the twelfth (12) day of November I saw an actual rock concert (first time in 3.5 years) which was a BOMB and gave me a massive creative kick – AND – on the seventeenth (17) day I got officially signed out of therapy (long story, will tell soon) and declared depression-free.
So excuse me while I high-five (5) the stars and believe me when I tell you that in November (11) dreams DO COME TRUE.
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