Back In the Saddle Again

    In my world, timing is everything. I have always been an extremely organized, structured person. Every minute of my day is accounted for, from the minute I wake up, until my head hits the pillow at the end of a long day. Anything that could throw my schedule even the least bit off course sends me flying into “Emergency Mode,” as I try to make up for time lost. What I can control, I do, and what I cannot control, I panic about. Now, as I come back into the light of the world that I have been hiding from, I must face the fact that sometimes, one must surrender to the powers of the universe, and let go.

I am a story teller. Never one for a dull moment, my young life has been filled with intrigue, mystique, scandal…or, at least the endless pages of my notebooks have been. I was that overexcited, rather eccentric child that could connect and relate a story from my life (or from the lives’ of others) into any setting. In school, my teachers would smile blankly, nod and motion me to put my hand down and save the story for later. They knew that most of the time, I was not raising my hand to contribute to their topic, or at least, not at they hoped that I would contribute. I put on plays and puppet shows for anyone who would be willing to led any ear. My world was a world of creativity, a deeply rooted love that I had to share with the world. 

My thoughts were filled with endless characters, plots and dialogue. They lived in my head, dancing about the sidelines of my thoughts, always finding a way to wind themselves into every aspect of my life.  Eventually, my story telling turned into writing. Bringing my characters to life, watching them grow before my eyes from mere ideas to people who could, in some universe, be considered real, brought me pleasure that I did not know was possible. Story telling became just as vital to me as breathing. I cannot take in the world that I see around me and not make something out of it. I am simply wired to create. I don’t think that having a passion for the written word is something that was my decision, not entirely anyway. Although I made the conscious choice to let the words flow out of my mind and onto a sheet of paper, I always felt that I was being guided by a higher source.

   Writing is the way I make sense of a chaotic world. I see the tumultuous backdrop of humanity around me, and I feel it is my duty (mainly to myself) to create a sense of meaning and understanding in such an atmosphere. Again, it was all about timing. In a world without order, I create order. Sequence and structure, even in the busiest of places, allow me to be at peace. And suddenly, I, who thought I could control everything, have been put in my place.

Now, being deeply connected to my passion does not make it any less painful or difficult to create. To quote Mark Danielewski, author of House of Leaves, and one of my favorite authors: “Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.” 

   I literally feel a sense of suffering for what I love. Writing included long nights of anguish, as I restlessly dreamt of my characters, and the lives they would lead. Being passionate, in my eyes, means that you can work past the anguish and the suffering that it causes, to move past the difficulties and try again. 

My stories were always mine to share, on my turf, at my time, and what the rest of the world did with my stories was far beyond my concern. Now, with the upcoming release of my first novel, I am very quickly coming to understand that things are not in my control, not now, not ever. 

Why tell stories? Why go the distance to bring my thoughts to life? It’s something that everyone does: The world we live in is full of chaos (beautiful chaos, but chaos nonetheless). Stories allow a person to make sense of the world. That’s what I do: I bring clarity to the chaos.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When things are not in order, I tend to fall off the face of the earth. The truth is that I wouldn’t call where I have been the past two years “over the edge of the earth,” because I was in fact, very much grounded and in the atmosphere. I’ve just been…disconnected. But, then again, disconnected cannot be the right word either, because I have been connected and firm. I’ve just been…not here. I have been elsewhere. This blog used to be my home. And, as connected to it as I was, once the world of “Shattered Illusions” made itself at home in the crevices of my brain, there was no turning back. I was absolutely committed to bringing these characters, these miserable, lonely soul searchers to life on paper. Since my abandonment of this blog I have graduated from High School (YIPPY!) and relocated to New York, where I currently reside. I have created a new life for myself. Looking back at old posts makes me laugh, because I cannot believe that who I was two years ago literally doesn’t exist anymore. The novel has been the most important project of my life, and now, as I come to the end of the publishing process, a heavy question lingers: Who am I going to be after this is over?

I think that is why I am scared to go back to working on my book- my relationship with the novel since it’s impending publication has been a very bumpy one, but only because I have made it so. Hashem has blessed me with a beautiful gift, a beautiful talent. However, when my editor sent me the final draft for review back in June, I PANICKED. I lost control, and after opening that email, I spent days literally throwing up. My body shivers as I think back on that moment. And, I am not interested in going back to it with such awful feelings. This novel is the love of my life, it is my creation, something that I have birthed and sculpted into it’s life form, and I need to be able to look at it with the beauty that I know it has, not with the fear that shields my eyes from the wonders of it.. But, the fears that I have literally blind me from being able to move forward. It’s crippling. I am an extremely passionate person, I have a zest and a love for life that I hardly know how to contain at times.  But, then comes what my friends call the “over zealous” Guardian in me: I build up excitement and fun in my life, but then my system goes into panic. My choosing fun and “spontaneity” over responsibility, I am going against the basis of who I am. Which, of course, is the backwards part of my passionate love for writing and creating stories: Writing is a spontaneous, random act. True, it has it’s techniques and it’s structure, but I cannot physically control when or how a story will weave it’s way into my head.

    When people ask me why I write, I cannot answer them. It’s not something I choose, it is, quite simply (“simply” ah- if only passion was a simple attribute to balance), what I am. It’s in my blood, it pulses through me. I don’t have a choice to be this way, it is just who I am. Through this process with Shattered Illusions, I have had no choice but to surrender my scheduled, organized lifestyle to the ways of the wind. Writing has been a magnificent teacher in the art of “letting go.” It is allowing myself to let go and be free that brings forth the most impressive results. By nature, I should want to control every impulse that surges through my body. This is where I allow myself to free fall into the beauty of an unknown world.

With the release of this blog into the cyber world (hello out thereeee!), I hope to record the last steps of the process, the final sprints in this grueling, wonderful marathon. The only thing left to do is open myself up to the challenge. This is where I learn to fly.