The Blog

Going Into Your Shell

I have been venting my anger and sadness through the written word. I email my friend, and send her my unpublished articles. "No. You cannot publish that." She tells me. I become frustrated. "You are trapped in a loop." She goes on.

Finally. I write...

I said I have been writing but not publishing. This is partly true.

I have been writing. Yet, it is all of the negative variety. Very uninspiring stuff. Stuff that I cannot even finish. In terms of a complete article. There is no solution to the things in which I write. There is no epiphany or lesson in any of it. Only word vomit.

I have been venting my anger and sadness through the written word.

I email my friend, and send her my unpublished articles.

"No. You cannot publish that." She tells me.

I become frustrated.

"You are trapped in a loop." She goes on.

I have not been able to seek out inspiration anywhere. Because I refuse to leave my comfort zone. I have done what I'm really good at, and withdrawn into my shell. Become somewhat reclusive.

People can rarely even get me on the phone these days. I'm a little like the phantom. But it's the way I find I'm best able to cope right now.

Ordinarily, I can connect with myself so easily, that a simple trip to the supermarket will stir my creativity enough to find some meaning in life.

Yet my friend is right. I'm trapped in a loop. A loop of what is my memories.

Solitude will do that to you.

You will sit down with your thoughts and draw upon your experiences. And you will do your own head in.

What are memories anyway?

There's this definition here:

"The mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experience."

Retaining and recalling past experience.

We draw upon all we know.

So if I'm stuck in a loop of retaining and recalling past experience, doesn't that mean that in order to "move forward", I must create new experiences?

Where do you think the saying "but it's all I know" comes from?

From your experience and memories quite literally being all that you know.

One thing that has been difficult through the breakdown and separation of my marriage is people telling me that I have it good because I don't have any children, and financially, I'm ok.

It doesn't lesson the pain, and it makes things confusing in terms of what comes next.

There's too many choices. I find myself confused at the possibilities.

I'll be 35 in 2 months. I'm not 25. I'm 5 years off 40. Starting again is daunting. It scares the living shit out of me.

I feel like I'm in limbo. I belong neither here nor there.

But I have to be realistic about what is my life now.

My life certainly didn't pan out the way that I expected.

I'm not saying I've not had an amazing ride. But it hasn't gone the way I thought it would.

Obviously no one gets married with the intention of separating or getting a divorce. Life just happens.

Most people have a little plan in their minds as to how they see their future going.

If you were to look back 2 years. 5 years. 10 years. 15 years. What were your plans back then? Has your life turned out the way you had planned for it to go? And most importantly - are you happy?

Asking yourself if you are truly happy, is a very confronting question.

Some people go their whole lives never questioning whether or not they are truly happy.

Because like Paulo Coelho says, "No one should ever ask themselves that: why am I unhappy? The question carries within it the virus that will destroy everything. If we ask that question, it means we want to find out what makes us happy. If what makes us happy is different from what we have now, then we must either change once and for all or stay as we are, feeling even more unhappy."

15 years ago, I got engaged. 10 years ago I was trying to have a baby. 5 years ago my ex husband and I were a force to be reckoned with in the business sense, and 2 years ago, the cracks had begun to appear.

If my life went according to plan, I would have 2 or 3 children by now, and have the fairytale.

Yet, life throws us curve balls.

On a long enough timeline, you experience so many different things.

I never anticipated this for my life. But here I am.

So it's time for me to start creating new memories. As scary as that is.

I also have to understand that my new memories will only come once I start living, and stop wallowing.

Sometimes the memories that we create are what our parents have taught us to create.

We've not been exposed to anything other than the familiarity of our childhood.

It's all we know.

So if you are faced with the possibility and the task, of the world becoming your oyster, like I find myself right now, what would you do?

Oysters produce pearls. Do you know how they produce those pearls? Through irritation.

Here's another dictionary definition for you:

"The creation of a natural pearl starts when a foreign substance falls into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, hence irritating the oyster. The oyster's natural response is to conceal that irritant to protect itself. The mantle then covers the irritant with layers of similar nacre material that is used to form the shell. This ultimately forms a pearl."

So perhaps it's not the world that is your oyster after all. It is YOU that is that proverbial oyster.

Maybe by withdrawing into my shell like I've done for what now seems like an eternity, I am in the process of creating.

It's time to embrace that irritant that I have concealed to protect myself. And ultimately start creating that pearl.