Thawing Out

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

So I do this thing

I record voice memos. I press “record” on my phone, set it down in front of me, and I just start talking.

After a few minutes, I actually forget that I’m recording and just talk and talk and talk. Some are 5 minutes, and some have gone for as long as an hour. I have about 25 voice memos on my phone and if I were to visually display the emotions in them, it would look like a rollercoaster. Some are full of energy and pep, while others are filled with silence and sniffles from crying. At first when I started doing this, I thought I was crazy – literally talking out loud to myself and rambling on and on about things that were probably meaningless at the time…but also having the audacity to actually record these meaningless thoughts! But once I go back and listen to them, I am grateful for every second. Every up and down. Every moment of raw emotion. That’s when I start figuring things out about myself. Turns out, nothing I’ve talked about has been meaningless and I’m reminded that clarity comes with time.

I find it odd that I have barely written or read while in Chiang Mai. I used to write in my journal or read every single day! For some reason, it’s just not happening these days. But then I realized, my voice memos have been happening more frequently. So really, I have been journaling, just in a different medium.

I recorded a voice memo tonight. It’s Sunday night and I have a full week of teaching and tutoring coming up. I have a couple hours before bedtime, so the possibilities of what I could do are endless! But then I sat on my bed and just looked around at the journals I haven’t opened, my books that are tucked away, and my dream journal that has been sitting on a blank page for weeks.

Where has my creativity gone???

I sat there staring. This is what I long for all the time: time. And here I have it, and I’m wasting it by doing nothing.

So I start going into my self-ramble mode and ask, “Where has my creativity gone? I know it’s in there somewhere – why has it gone away, and how can I bring it out again?” This is something I’ve actually been wondering for quite some time. When I was in what felt like my prime, I was writing consistently, creating vision boards, drawing, painting, coming up with big ideas that could change the world (or so I thought), and dabbling in photography. These days? My creativity consists of a weekly Microsoft Word newsletter for my class aaaaaaaaand that’s about it. I teach my kiddos yoga every now and then and we have some fun lessons each day, but it’s nothing to rave about.

I decided to press “record.” I asked those same questions out loud. And it turned into a natural spewing of thoughts and frustrations. And then I looked at my miniature book case and picked up one of the few books I brought to Thailand. Living out of a suitcase meant I was extremely limited with what I could bring, so I had to leave a lot of things that I love back home. A book I brought with me is one I haven’t cracked open since August of last year – but that little voice in my head told me to bring it anyway.

“Women Who Run With the Wolves.”

The last time I had read from it, I was in the middle of a chapter. So in my voice memo, I grabbed this book, opened it, and started reading out loud everything that I had underlined so many months ago. These words come from the chapter titled, “Finding One’s Pack: Belonging as Blessing – The Ugly Duckling.”

When writers, for example, feel dry, dry, dry, they know the way to become moist is to write. But if they’re locked in ice, they won’t write. So what is the solution? Do as the duckling does. Go ahead, struggle through it. Pick up the pen already and put it to the page and stop whining. Write.

Generally, stop talking.

Do your art. Generally, a thing cannot freeze if it is moving. So move. Keep moving.

I stopped recording, and I started typing.

I couldn’t really believe the sequence of events in this voice memo. I was frustrated about my lack of creativity, and the one page I decided to read addresses this exact frustration. So here I am, moving my little fingers, struggle and all.

It’s going to be a good week, I can feel it.

Can’t wait to run with my beautiful little ducklings tomorrow…

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