It has been a long time since I posted. And an even longer time since I routinely posted. To my faithful readers, it wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to say. Good gracious, I have so much to say that I think my husband avoids me sometimes.
Instead of posting I have been engaged in another form of writing; books. In this long period I have finished three different books. A non-fiction book entitled A Safe Haven for the parents and loved ones of those with mental illness. Sort of a Dummies guide to what goes on in the mind of those who suffer mental illness and ideas of what can be done to help.
I also wrote a fiction book entitled Whispers in California about a reporter who must realize that life isn’t a series of words on a piece of paper, but so much more. She explores questions she has had for years and finds answers in a woman who has given up everything to simply exist.
Then there is a book on poetry. That one covers poems I have written through the years when my brain has needed short and oftentimes dark passages to explain what has been fueling my own mental illness.
While not posting faithfully as I should, I have instead been searching.
I have been searching for my whole life for a sense of contentment; something that will keep my grounded in a life of chaos. I should clarify that I have never looked for happiness, I find it too fleeting and more about the moment I find myself in rather than a destination I can search for. Instead it has always been contentment.
In my twenties I thought it was the corner office. Part of me sincerely enjoyed the corner office and the fancy suits. I liked being the one that was in charge, and the one that others turned to. I felt needed and important.
But there was a catch, as there always is. I could never sustain that level of energy and giving for very long. Eventually my disease fueled by exhaustion and the art of the giving would show itself. And people would react; and people would disappoint. In the corporate world there is no room for the personal. It is considered detrimental to the goal.
I tried to get lesser jobs. Not in sheer work but rather in responsibility. I became the girl behind the scenes and while I certainly seemed to do better there, there was still a part of me that does not function in that world. It may be the needed interaction with people and their personal lives when I am a person that craves silence. It may have been the fact that no matter where I went my resume was put on display and therefore the expectations for me was greater than I thought was possible. It is very easy for others to use someone for their own goal; assistants can be directors not in name or salary, but in responsibilities. Makes it even harder for me.
However, I always try to remember that at least I had money coming in.
Then circumstances or probably my own stubbornness brought me home. I find myself writing not of momentary thoughts like in this blog, but in full fledged purpose. I found myself not writing a thousand words but now seventy thousand words. I could push myself farther and although it was only in my mind it finally gave me the thing I have been longing for: contentment.
It was quiet and I didn’t have to listen to the troubles of others. It was on my own schedule with my own deadlines. The goal was my own, and no one – not a boss, not a coworker, not even my family – knew if I was accomplishing anything at all. I could wear warm clothes and make extra coffee, and I could live for the first time in a world totally of my own…at least for a couple of hours.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a writing space so not all is comfortable, but still this feeling of contentment follows me. And as I contemplate the very real knowledge that it is time for me to return to the land of jobs, I fear the consequences of this loss. Losing something so satisfying will put me in a depression, and those consequences can be great.
But life doesn’t work the way we want it to. Life doesn’t give each of us many opportunities for contentment, certainly not on the schedule we wish it to be. We have to fight our own way through the fog, and find our own matches to burn the light. Despite the very real feeling of purpose and even perfection that I feel today, the truth is the responsibilities I do have, those that I have chosen (as opposed to those assigned) do not care if I am content. My children care only for the things both real and ethereal that I can give them.
And that is exactly the way it should be.