Upon Reflection, I Probably Shouldn’t Have Done That

23 Jun

A friend of mine recently asked me if I was still writing, and I thought, “of course, writing is always a part of my life,” but his question made me realize that lately I have only been writing for myself.  However, I have also been working on a series of essays entitled, UPON REFLECTION, I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE THAT, which seems to be the theme of my 20s.

While this book has not yet been bought by a publishing house, nor is close to finished (so the title is subject to change), the first title that came to mind was THINGS YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE REALLY SAD because many of my stories, especially the funny ones, occurred because I was trying to avoid feeling the negative emotions of sadness.

Things like being a date with a man who was dressed in a festival of stripes, or leaving my work laptop at a bar and then pretending my college laptop from 2002 was my work computer, or getting locked in a convenience store all occurred because I was sad and acting out to escape that sadness, which of course created more problems.

The reason that I’m sharing this is almost always our first reaction to any kind of discomfort or sadness is to flee; that fight or flight is deep within us and our first line of defense.

I was inspired by the first title because I wanted to show how close humor and sadness really are, how laughter also causes tears, and that attempting to flee sadness is laughable; it will just feed itself on the dramas that you create in your attempts to escape.

Though once I crowned my set of essays with THINGS YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE REALLY SAD, I saw that approach made my story a constant reproach to me; that negativity is a reduction, and therefore I was reduced in my stories.  That isn’t what I want to share with others.

Of course I want to make people laugh and feel, but I want them to see how to survive with humor, how openness is both good and bad, how mistakes are universal, and that if we take a moment to pause a lot of trouble or drama can probably be avoided.

In Yoga, instructors always recommend to linger in the space in-between the breaths, they say that this is where the essence, the highest self is found; it is the pause in-between the beginning and after.

For me it is the telling of the stories UPON REFLECTION; that now that I’ve learned to take a breath and pause what’s left behind to share?

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