On toddlers, time travel and taking risks

Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 | 3 comments

My two year old keeps claiming she is “stuck” even though she’s currently sitting all alone. On the floor. In the middle of an open room.

Now, I am admittedly the world’s WORST baby book filler-outer, so I’m counting on all you good mothers out there to set me straight: Does a standard baby book come with a page for “Baby’s First Existential Crisis,” or is that more of a special order refill? You know, like “Baby’s First Chinese Symbol Tattoo” or “Baby’s First Simon and Garfunkel Reunion Tour?”

I need to know pronto, because in case you didn’t hear me the first time–my child is STUCK. This is serious business, folks. And rather complicated to handle, considering I have no idea how to extricate my child from the vast sea of NOTHINGNESS around her. And yet, as I sit here, staring at the blank page in front of me, I think I know exactly how she feels.

So, let’s say we all get it out in the open and address the elephant in the room, shall we?
Why yes, it has been months since I’ve written! Thank you for noticing!

Truth is, we moved into an awesome new house and things got really busy. Then, after all that time spent being busy, I just couldn’t figure out how to get started back up again. (And would you believe spending my free time browsing the Facebook photo albums of a girl I think I remember from high school and watching viral videos of dancing animals didn’t help me get my groove back?)

Whenever I feel stuck, I can’t help but think of the book Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. The story’s main character, Billy Pilgrim, becomes “unstuck” in time and through a satirical exploration of free will versus fatalism, begins experiencing his past and future life events out of sequence. Over and over again. He knows when and how he will die, but his life goes on rewinding and fast-forwarding even after his “death.” Pretty trippy, right?

Yes. But hey, at least no bad surprises for ol’ Billy Boy.

For some crazy reason Billy’s story always makes me reflect on just how comforting it is to know there are certain absolutes in life. After all, isn’t it really the restrictions that challenge us to think big and work creatively within their constrains? To carve out a space for ourselves in the world that is so different from any other, just by recognizing its potential and pushing it to shine? Basically, this is pretty much why I love writing prompts but hate staring down a blank page.

It seems counterintuitive, but I’m finding that sometimes it is when we are the most available, the most exposed, the most open to possibilities that we also feel the most “stuck.” Funny how that works. When the world isn’t telling us what to do or who to be, we impose restrictions on ourselves because it feels safer that way: “I can’t possibly apply for that job… move that far away… pursue that career.” The list goes on and on.

And yet, in those moments we’re rendered no choice in the matter? That’s right, we’re all stepping on each other to be the first one out of the box.

A fickle bunch we are, no?

So I decided to test myself and make a date with the blank page today.
Guess what? I showed up!

Which means I’ll be back sharing my silly stories and ridiculous experiences as frequently as my two year old (and busy Facebook stalking schedule) will allow. So, please join me on this next step of my journey, affectionately referred to as: Stop Being A Baby Already and Write Something. Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Blank Page.

I hope you find your stay most comfortable.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to unwedge my toddler from the abyss.

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Welcome back to the blogosphere! And good luck un-sticking that little one. (By the way, are you sure she didn’t smear her rear with superglue before plopping down in the middle of the room? Her existential crisis might be actually be a literal crisis!)

    If you need help getting un-stuck with blogging, I recommend http://www.quickblogtips.com/ and http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/
    (sorry, no dancing animals here)

  2. I love your thoughts about how we gravitate towards the absolute when opportunities of mystery are set in front of us! So well said. I’ve reflected on that same issue and how we’ve been lured away from our internal, creative natures. We now seem almost terrified of those unknown places where our souls sail in the mists. Our conditioned mind keeps pointing us in the direction of the solid, external world. It woes us with tales of safety and certainty. But I’m convinced that the mists contain the excitement and joy that we truly crave.

  3. I am SO glad you made that date with the blank page because you churn out wonders and such hilarious writing, I’m so sad when I get to the end but excited to know there will be just another amazing post waiting in the wings tomorrow. Yay for peek-a-berry…thanks for unwedging yourself from your stuck-ness!

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