Like some old ghost lingering behind me, trailing every step, I knew eventually one day it would return. The words. They would blind side me, open up flood gates and drown me letter by letter until the moment I would let them flow. My hunch was right and arrived as they should, and as I knew they would.
But first the backstory, the filler of where the words may have been living, dancing behind me, filtered by sunshine, serenity and wisdom. Transparent, unnoticeable to the me I am now, versus the me I once was.
I spent twelve agonizing, life-changing, glorious years in New York City. If that description seems to bring contradiction, it is meant to. In those years I was pouring out stories, screenplays and stage plays all rooted in the alternate realities that stemmed from some other hopelessly passionate, other worldly life I was living. My creative self was thriving, but as they say some of the best work comes from suffering, and I suppose that’s why the material screamed of conflict, characters painfully lost and words so steamy it could fog a window. But when you are in the midst of a world like that, somehow the thrill keeps you tied up and chained to it. To be without the angst, would to be without the creative charge to churn out the work I was producing. The words would lose their luster, my shining moments in a life I was struggling through would go dull. My only joy stripped raw. So for nearly twelve long years I allowed the pain, passion and solitude of that life to keep me supercharged. My creative superpower was literally to live a life of loneliness, desperation and misplaced attraction. In retrospect, the concept seems beyond self destructive, and it would have been if it hadn’t been for the words that saved my sanity each and every time.
Flash forward to the winding down of those conflicting years, I woke up to what my soul needed. I healed relationships, sought closure, sobered my spirit up and decided to return home to the small state where a cushion of family and old friends sat waiting. I rediscovered simple living and plain old happiness (along with room to breathe and driving a car again). It was, and has been everything my heart and mind needed after the years of suffocating in a city that never sleeps. And since the settling, there has been happiness, the embracement of true love, and the actualization of a secret dream life I hoped for since age 18, but never dear wrote a word of.
And when this happiness, this peacefulness arrived – the words no longer did. Things went quiet. The words were pushed out like an old tenant in a newly renovated building. The proverbial rent went up and the former me that drove the words, that had been living inside was pushed to the curb. I missed the words, I missed the storytelling that keep the creative part of me thriving, but I didn’t miss the source. The silence was filled in so many other ways, so I went on and lived a life I loved and still do to this day.
Nearly ten years later, after my recent realization that I am and have always been a writer on many fronts – career and creative – I decided to revisit my old writing. I unearthed many unfinished pieces. Magically, new words started a flood in my brain. I remember just weeks ago literally sucking back a breath as I tried to mentally keep up on with the tidal wave of storytelling that had returned. Tears coated my eyes, dripping from my lashes. I touched the keyboard and continued on letter by letter after what was once the hard stop to the page.
This insane fusion of what once was has now somehow made friends with what is. An agreement struck that I didn’t mediate. Since that moment, I have written literally every day, whether it is a blog piece like this, or the further word whirling of existing stories that are crying to be finished.
New York City is the revolving theme of them all, and although I have not visited the place that nearly broke me in many years, I’m learning your past can still be an active participant in a creative, happy world of now.
I won’t pretend to know how this door opened, but I’m welcoming it.