Words - and wise words - come in the most unexpected places, at the most unexpected times.
I had been wallowing in self-pity due to stress and worry about too many things going on all at once. Which, when handled carefully, can be kind of fun when the wallowing includes over-indulging in chocolate and anything with salt.
Yes, comparatively, my worries were minor compared to the greater, bigger issues of life. But at the time, everything in my head rolled around like a vicious tornado, robbing me of my clear thoughts and, most importantly, my writing creativity. I couldn’t think of anything to write.
Very often I hear writers complaining about never having anything to write about. I have written many articles lamenting, professing and nagging that there is always something to write about. If you’re a writer, you write, and that’s all there is to it. I had always been proud of the fact I was always writing something; I could always find something to write about.
But lately as that tornado of worry and wallow robbed me of my concentration and writerly thoughts, it was also playing havoc with my self-confidence. Writers are often deemed as ‘tortured artists’ and I sometimes wonder if it applies to me, as I am often my own worst enemy. Berating myself when the words didn’t come and where the ones that did seemed trite and forced, I began to wonder if I really was a writer. So I wallowed some more, ate more chocolate, and then wallowed even more. I was feeling like a fraud. I knew I should practice what I preach – I am a writer, I write, and that’s all there is to it.
But through it all I did keep writing, even though what I wrote was crap. I have many false starts that will forever sit in my hard-drive. I kept trying to push through the crappy days and fought to get past my tongue-tied creativity, even if it only frustrated me. My self-confidence was taking a beating, and I was sure I would never be able to write another word again.
So the other day I (seemingly) had nothing to write. My confidence was gone, the chocolate was depleted, and I had just about given up and decided to take a break from writing for a few days. Then, to add to my woes, I got a tickle in my throat.
OH GREAT! Just what I needed. A cold on top of it all!!!
So forcing to be happy, calm, and repeat chants like this too shall pass, I reached into a bag of Halls Triple Soothing Action cherry throat lozenges.
Just as I was about to unwrap one, something on the wrapper caught my eye, and instantly my woes about a potential cold disappeared.
I stared at the lozenge for a second, feeling kind of spooked, like someone was on to me. There were other encouraging words on the wrapper, but none as poignant as those eight words. Upon frantic, excited inspection, I discovered all the other lozenges in the bag had wrappers with other encouraging words and phrases. The lozenge makers were pretty smart, printing 'pick me ups' on the wrapper for those feeling low and needing a boost. Those encouraging words were just what I needed.
It was at that moment that I realized – don’t try so hard. Things like words – and wise words – do come when it’s time. Accept things for what they are at the moment, and with patience, time, and without being so hard on myself, tornados to do go away, and all will be clearer once again. Wise words, and things to write about, do come at the most unexpected times.
I never did eat the wise-words covered lozenge. It’s tacked to the corkboard in my office/bathroom. The tickle in my throat is gone. My resolve to keep going, to achieve what I want despite little road-bumps in life, is renewed.
I unexpectedly found something to write about. I could do it and I knew it – if I wanted it bad enough.