Spy

If there is a line where the other side is Creativity, I feel like I’ve been camping on that border.

Gaining strength for the adventure.

So ready in some ways. Just making sure in others.

I have actually made a few small forages across the line. Short trips.

The colors there are so brilliant. Oh, and it’s spring.

I Love Therapy

If I woke up and was 18 again, I would start therapy right away.

I know not everyone can afford it (though some churches and non-profits has free options) or access to it. But if you can and do … dang. I was so scared of it, like by going I’d be admitting I was flawed.

SHOCKER. I *AM* FLAWED.

It has just been such an incredible outlet and growing experience for me.

That’s all.

Lie Soup

I remember how, in college, every day felt like it could be the day I met him.

Not anymore, although certainly when I started online dating I got that feeling back.

I’m actually on a semi-hiatus from it. The faces are too familiar. I need new choices.

How can I still cry for him almost two years later? Sometimes I think I should thank him for saving me from himself. Mostly I’m angry he took that choice from me.

I write to him. On a separate blog. One he’ll never see.

I’m moody and dramatic lately, pushed from behind by PMS and ahead from Cupid.

I’m angry.

It’s not constant. I’m not wasting away into a waif. I’m not directionless. If anything, I’ve been more focused and motivated, more creative and driven, than ive been in a long while.

But I’ve been telling myself a lot of lies lately. I try to follow up right away and confess I’m lying. But sometimes I don’t, and poor Jackie spends hours marinating in that awful brew.

Tonight my skin is pruney with Lie Soup. I need to cry it out.

Secret-Free

Back in, oh, 2005 maybe, all of my insides were shaken when introduced to the idea of “the box,” that is, the place where you keep secrets no one knows. I remember having a conversation about this with a friend, who had learned about it in a psychology class, and to this day, I don’t know if this is wide-spread concept or something that one professor believed.

But it struck me: did I have a box? Did I have secrets no one knew?

I sure did.

There was something very unsettling about it for me.

I decided to empty my box.

(Let me pause here and say: this is not my field, so I can’t speak about this psychologically or medically or in any smart way except that I have seen secrets ruin lives. But I also know that it is not safe for everyone to share secrets. So there’s no judgement or advice here, just a story, just my story.)

I didn’t take out a billboard and post my secrets. I didn’t start this blog till much later. I started small. One on one with a very safe friend. Then another friend. One summer, I decided to talk about OCD in front of a group of 9th and 10th grade campers and my counselor friends. I truly thought I was opening Pandora’s Box, forever altering the course of my life.

secretsI mean … I was. But not in the negative, scary way I feared.

Later, I started this blog. Wrote about mental illness in the university newspaper. Spoke for a few classes.

Let me again be clear: some of my secrets (like OCD), I eventually felt safe to share with anyone. But some of my secrets are still only shared with one or two best friends. I do not owe the world my secrets. I only owe myself freedom from them. So when I find a secret is holding me hostage, I start with finding one safe friend to share it with. Sometimes it never goes any further than that. Sometimes I share it with a group or this blog or toss it into the wilds of Instagram.

So, I’ve been secret-free since 2005. It feels good.

The Heaviness of Ideas

I’ve had one of those bursts of creative ideation where I travel two thousand miles in twenty minutes and then am as exhausted as if I did it by foot.

Two thousand miles. Is that the distance from the mind to a manuscript?

A flash of inspiration. A thoughtful soak in a hot shower. I stepped out with a new direction.

It is only 8 PM and I can hardly keep my eyes open. Creativity is a marathon, and I started training again today.