Reader, can we have a real conversation right now? I’m in a weird place. Let’s face it, your girl is not okay. But yet, I totally am. I’m just in a weird place. My mood’s been great, but my brain won’t stop going seventeen different directions all at once. Honestly, it’s frustrating.
I have a story in my head that wants to come out, NEEDS to come out… The characters are demanding keyboard time and I’m not able to give them what they want. I am sitting here taking my hair out of my typical messy-bun ‘do’ and then putting it back up because I’m fidgety and restless. And it never takes me long to remember, ‘Oh, yeah, I don’t like my hair on my neck. Why did I do that?’ and back up it goes.
Something came to me that’s rather strange, but at the same time, as a writer, it kinda makes sense in a roundabout way: It’s really not dissimilar to when you’re about to bring a whole new life into the world, right? Moms, I know y’all know what I’m talking about… I can’t settle down, but I can’t get comfortable, and yet… this isn’t a physical baby that’s begging to be out of me, it’s a brain baby. Several brain babies, at that.
I honestly… don’t know what to do. I’ve got some comedy videos going on the ol’ YouTube, but the comedians are … while they’re great and absolutely funny and I’m laughing a lot (I love to laugh), the downside is, I want to just be. I suppose you’re sitting there reading this and asking, ‘But, Rea, why aren’t you just turning on some music that doesn’t have lyrics, just nice, mellow music to listen to? That should work!’ And you know what, Reader? You’re absolutely spot on about that. It does help. However, the story that is in its foetal stage right now, it’s grown a lot and it’s got a lot of depth and emotion and energy and all these things and … it’s frustrating.
Am I having an anxiety attack? I highly doubt it. I’ve had one of those, and they are no joke. Those tend to affect more than just my head, they tend to affect my heart and breathing rates, too. Scary stuff, if you’ve never had one. This is… well, honestly, it’s a bit different and that’s why it’s so difficult to describe. The only comparison I have to use is ‘birth pangs,’ but the pain isn’t there … yet. It’s just a profound discomfort.
I’ve had three children. My youngest is the only one that went a day past her due date. She tried to come on her own exactly 35 minutes into the new year, but when we got to the hospital, a little over an hour after we got there and I was walking around (I seriously hate sitting still!), she decided, ‘Ha. Nope. I’m staying put.’ And she did. Until the day after she was due and the doctor had to medically intervene (because I was high risk and not trying to be dead by the time I was the ripe old age of only 24)…
So, this situation with the brain baby is just as uncomfortable. To put it a different way, have y’all ever read Greek Mythology? I love Greek Mythology, myself. I used to read scores of stories about it when I was a kid. Did y’all ever read the story about Athena’s birth? She was born, fully grown, from Zeus’ head. The thing is, Zeus had Hephaestus pop Zeus in the head with his hammer to help him with the headaches he was dealing with. I have no hammer-wielding Hephaestus. That is to say, not in a literal sense, but I can definitely relate to poor ol’ Zeus right now.
And it is maddening!
My own Athena is pounding about in my head, but there are no headaches. No major ones, anyway. I’ve got a little bit of one, but it’s more of a dull annoyance at this point (thankfully), but I blame crappy pillows (because let’s face it, y’all, I love my crappy pillows. I don’t wanna give ‘em up and get new ones! Not yet!) .
I was talking to my writing partner earlier, she’s an absolute sweetheart … Everyone needs a writing partner like her. She’s a blast. I told her what was going on earlier, and she said, ‘Oh, sweet! ...hopefully, it’s the good parts, and not the fear of failure and scared of the process of the “baby” coming out!’
No, not the fear of failure, but more the aggravation of, ‘can you please not, not right now… I need to think! I can’t think with all that chaos going on. You need to just sit down and be quiet for a second. Take turns!’ Not unlike I’ve had to tell my students on more than one occasion (for those of you who are new here, HI, welcome, I teach PSR [Parish School of Religion]… I’m a K-1st grade teacher), ‘No, you need to sit down and wait.’
I mean… I get super weird when the subject of giving birth comes up. I have reasons for that, and no, I generally don’t mind, depending on who it is (and I would absolutely speak up if I wasn’t okay with the topic), but I really, literally, have nothing else to compare what I’m experiencing to, to make it clear enough to where you can ‘get it’ what I’m trying to say.
Right now, it’s nine minutes from midnight and I’m about -this close- to going to bed. I’ve been up since 545 this morning, having only gotten to bed at 145 in the morning. Lack of sleep + a small army of characters that this brain baby is bringing… it’s a lot. Like I can see them as clear as day. I know what they look like, what their personalities are like, what they sound like, even right down to the music they listen to, their favourite subjects, favourite childhood memories.
That’s one of the upsides of being an author. But… one of the downsides is what I’m experiencing now: that real sense of discomfort and inability to settle down and wanting to do allthethings and like I mentioned to a close friend earlier this evening, I want to build something. Listen, y’all, I’m NOT a builder. I’d likely bust a hand with a hammer quicker than getting anything resembling any sense of progress. I wish I was kidding. You need to understand, Reader, while I truly appreciate your interest in how I herd words together to make sentences, and I do, y’all need to realize that your girl is a clutz. I’m not even joking. There’s a reason I’m called ‘Babushka.’ It’s my favourite nickname because it’s got the funniest reason behind it: I fell through a couch trying to rehang a curtain last summer. I wish I was kidding. In the spirit of complete transparency, too, I would be remiss to leave this out: When I was 12, one of my brothers distracted me when I was hanging New Kids on the Block posters (don’t judge! Donnie was cute!), arranging them carefully where they resembled wallpaper… I was using a stapler and I think it was one of my older brothers had come to get me for something right as I was about to staple yet another Donnie poster to the wall, I missed, and stapled my thumb. If you haven’t ever done this, take it from me: it doesn’t feel pleasant!
See how good a friend I am to you? I did that so I could tell you about it so you would hopefully not have to find out the hard way on your own from a first-person perspective. You’re welcome! ;)
Seriously, though, staple to the hand… not cool. Not cool at all! My brother felt bad, but he did laugh pretty hard. Looking back on it, over 30 years later, I can laugh, too, but in the moment, nope.
I'm slowly waking up. Mass in a bit, so that'll help a lot. There's so, so much comfort in going to Mass and spending time with our Beloved Lord. My brain isn't going all over the place right now, but the goal is to not have that happen again today. I'm going to take some time to listen to some guitar music, maybe even grab Olaf and practice some, and just get lost in tunes and do some writing. Maybe my 'Athena' will be out today. I don't know. I do know that I'm leaving all of this in my Beloved Jesus' Hands and let Him work it all out. Jesus is my Hephaestus.
Also, I just realised some of you may not have any idea what I'm talking about, Zeus, Athena, and Hephaestus, so here, this should hopefully explain. :)