Ruts, and reasons for them

I clicked on over to this post about overcoming creative ruts at {A} (a site I’d previously not visited) from SouleMama, and cried a little for my creative loss.  It reminded me immediately of this post that I wrote around this same time last year, and I thought, “What has happened to this part of me?”  In {A}’s post, her first suggestion for getting back the creative vibe is to do nothing, give yourself a break, and wait, guilt-free, for the itch to return.  She says days, weeks, months — but what about years?  What if its been three years?  And what if the itch is there, but the energy and the time are not?

I miss writing — really writing, not just typing whatever comes to mind on my blog or making grocery lists, but holing up somewhere with my computer and hashing out a great story or essay, coming back to it over and over through the following weeks till I feel satisfied (somewhat) with its final product.  This was my life during college — how I spent the vast majority of my study and free time, and I loved it.  I loved the images, the words, the making of something pretty, the feeling of accomplishment, even the sitting in one place for five hours or more, with coffee and chocolate my only companions, watching everyone else study chemistry or read lit. books.

Though I at times miss the freedom and escape of that time, it seems so strange and otherworldly that the only person I had to worry about was ME.  Even when I recall a specific memory before marriage and babies, I have a strange feeling as I watch the picture in my mind that something is missing — I had to have been thinking about changing J’s diaper or what to feed my family, but I don’t look like I was thinking any of those things, and it feels abnormal and weird.  When I lay down at night next to my husband’s warm body, nestling under his shoulder, I feel such gratitude for where we’ve been and where we’re going.  I trust him, I know he loves me,  there is no one I’d rather be with.  When I wake in the middle of the night to little flutters in my belly, I can’t believe I’ve been entrusted with another tiny life, I can’t wait to hold this little one and see how our family changes when he or she arrives.  And Jones, my little dude, wow.. My heart aches each night as I walk up the stairs and pass his bedroom door, I just have to peak inside.  And when I see him sleeping in whatever strange position struck him, with his favorite blue blanket wrapped around his body, cars surrounding his head or sometimes still sitting in his relaxed hands, I want to wake him up just so I can tell him again that I love him and I can’t wait to see him in the morning, to talk with him and laugh with him the next day.  Sure, we have really tough days where it feels like my sanity has almost been lost and the sight of a dirty dish or the thought of attempting to make dinner sends me into a fit of tears — but those days are a package deal with the other, mysteriously full and lovely things of marriage, family, and motherhood.  Every time I analyze it, I come to the conclusion that the crazy and emotionally messy days just go hand-in-hand with the season of having young children — it will pass, and some new season will come, like going to school and doing homework, learning to make friends and navigate relationships, understanding forgiveness and repentance, falling in love, becoming independent, and leaving your mommy..

I don’t think my creative rut is because of young motherhood — out in the blogosphere, there are plenty of moms with little ones who are still able to maintain the things they enjoy, mentally and physically.  But I do think that language study has creatively incapacitated me for a time.  Learning a language, encountering it daily and living in the culture in which its spoken, is SOOOOOO interesting, but extremely brain-zapping.  Despite the fact that I long to write, perhaps even more than my English-majoring days, and have so many thoughts I’d like to put on paper, I just simply don’t have the energy.  My thoughts are elsewhere and better spent on grammar and kanji at the moment, I guess.  It is for survival here, its necessary and I need to do it — but it makes me sad.  I hope that the span of our time in Japan won’t always require such a big part of me to be shut off and ignored.

Writing this post, at least, was a good outlet for my creativity. 🙂  Here’s to being in my rut for another two years.

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2 thoughts on “Ruts, and reasons for them

  1. I hear ya sister!! You’re not alone!! It’s normal. 🙂 But, it’s also a season. You’ll get time to yourself again (someday…) 🙂

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