Chasing Contentment

Wednesday, April 11

It's hard to stay tired and cranky when I'm getting such sweet emails and cards and blog comments wishing me a happy birthday (tired, sure, but not cranky!). And I'm feeling much better today. Mike's at class tonight, and Griff and I very much enjoyed dinner (Chel's Chicken ChaCha - my own creation), though Eliza refused to eat it. So now I'm full and happy and contemplative.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my job and about its role in my life. I've been pretty open about how difficult it's been. I think I'm getting better at it, and I think that, in time, I could be capable at it, maybe even good. But it isn't the kind of job I had envisioned spending my life doing.

Now, there is no way I could have foreseen the twists and turns my life has taken thus far, but there have been constants. In college, I had a friend who had a major in nearly every college in the university. I used to tell people I didn't have that many options. I was good at writing, so that's what I majored in... a journalism major with an English minor.

When I interviewed for my first job, I listed writing as my greatest talent. If you had asked me a year ago what I did, I would have said that my job was in PR but that, essentially, I was a writer.

Now, in this job, I'm told that I'm slow partially because I insist on using complete words rather than leaving out all of the vowels in my file documentation. And I have this thing about using punctuation.

I told Aleece for years that writing news releases wasn't very creative and that it wasn't really 'writing.' Turns out, as with so many things I'm realizing about my skills and talents in my former job, I was wrong.

I miss the writing. Any writing. I miss taking a concept and seeing the words flow onto the page, making the concept understandable for mass audiences. I miss working the words around in my head... on the screen. I miss playing with words... tucking something clever into a rather bland news story. I love words... love the way they work and play together. I miss words.

We travel back and forth to Orlando a fair bit to see Mike's brother and his family, and I keep a book in the van to read while the kids watch movies and Mike listens to the Astros. The book I'm reading is by Julia Alvarez ("Something to Declare"), and in it, she writes about writing. I love reading about her passion for words, but I can only read it a little at a time or it makes me sad, reminds me of how I miss writing.

Ever since I was little, I have had various stories floating around in my head. These little daydreams that I would sometimes turn into stories (I spent my semester in World Civ in college writing a short story for my friend, Mika, longhand. I don't recall the grade I got in the class, but I loved the story. I wish I still had a copy now.).

For a while now, there have been no stories in my head. No new characters or plotlines. No new lives to explore. I had initially thought that it was the stress. The stress of working in a place where we knew Mike or I (or both of us) could lose our jobs at any moment could scare the daydreams away. And despite the stress we're under now, it's nothing compared to that.

And there for a while, I was taking some meds that I thought might be reducing my creativity. But I'm not taking them as often now.

But still... no stories in my head.

So have I lost that creativity? Are the stories in my head all played out? Was there a story well, and I drained it early on in life? Did God take away my stories so I'd quit missing the writing since I couldn't think of anything to write?

I can't believe God works that way. I believe without a doubt that He put me in this job, and so I'm going to keep hacking away at it so that I can continue to be where He wants me.

Now, maybe I've overestimated my skills as a writer, but overestimating my own skills isn't really something I'm known for doing. I tend to fall pretty hard the other direction.

I'm pretty sure I could find the time to write, even if it was only for myself (much like writing this blog), if only I had a story to tell.

Anyone have a story that needs telling?

[  posted by Chel on Wednesday, April 11, 2007  ]


Chel, I am glad you had a happy birthday :) You deserved it. :)

And for the record I think you are an extraordinary writer. I have admired that from the get-go. I hope to do keep up with it. I think it's when you are the most down about something that it comes to a point where something happens to pick you back up. I think that story just hasn't appeared to you yet. It's there and you obviously want to get to it, you just now have to sit back and be patient. I really hate that word, but from what I have learned, it's true.

Keep up the excellent work. I am proud of ya!!!

By Blogger it's me, Val, at 7:13 PM  

Sorry for the typos above. I never proof read and I need to start!

Above I meant "I hope you do keep up with it" :)

By Blogger it's me, Val, at 7:14 PM  

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