An incredible feast spread before you, much like Thanksgiving. Bowls brimming with delectable dishes prepared with love. Platters heaped with moist piles that make your mouth water. The smell of desert wandering from the kitchen.
I definitely over ate this Thanksgiving. I ate so much I was in pain until I finally drifted into a fitful sleep long after I laid down. This was also our first holiday away from family. A therapist would probably say that I was eating to fill a void. Perhaps, he’d be right.
Despite it being an incredible Thanksgiving with just my son and I, I spent the day missing my family and friends, which is unfortunately nothing new.
You are what you eat and too often in our lives, we eat negativity. I’m not talking chocolate, but the negative things that we’ve heard others speak, either through their actions or their words, as well as our own prepared dishes of self-loathing and doubt. We eat negativity in memories, anger, and fears that come from rejections, put downs, and sometimes, even just a look of disgust from the popular kid in junior high that has lodged itself in our subconscious. We perpetuate these negativities with songs and movies that tears us apart.
I’ve got my own collection of sad songs when the mood arises. Days when, for some strange reason, I want to hurt. Sounds odd, but don’t lie. I’m not the only one. If I were, these songs wouldn’t exist.
What does this have to do with writing? Someone asked me what my NaNoNovel is about. Now, you have the answer. “Itsy’s Ugly” is about the negativity we carry illustrated in a beautiful story. Generational ugly, familial ugly, societal ugly, and personal ugly.
I’ve begun to battle my own case of the uglies as I started a journal, writing them down. One cannot battle the unknown. I’ve been using Janet Conner’s book, “Writing Down Your Soul” as a guide. The need to do this came to me as I’m trying to navigate the mourning I’ve experienced since moving away. There are times, mainly at night, when I question that choice. I knew who I was in Watertown. I had a persona between theatre, karaoke, friends, family, and my job. I left that all behind, along with a man.
No story is complete without a love story, right.
As I battle my own sense of loss and emptiness while I try to rediscover who I am, I find Itsy crawling through the same battle. And believe me, crawling is the right word. Her story is not mine, yet all stories boil down to themes that we’ve all experienced. Finding that similarity as you write is the key to making a story real.
Fortunately, we’ve both hit the breaking point when we’re ready to fight back. Stop eating from the feast of negativity and find a diet of passion that will carry us through the years. Because people will be happy to point out our imperfections. Ask my ex. I have plenty. Only through will power can we avoid the succulent dessert that gives us a stomach ache to keep us up all night. Especially as writers fighting for rare chance at publication. Self-doubt reigns.
You are what you eat. What did you eat today?