Thursday, July 21, 2016

How the garden feels after a difficult one to one session

It wasn't counselling, it was a one to one consultation with an expert about work. It wrang insecurities from the most blissful day, it exposed every rock pool of self-doubt.

So in a couple of hours before dusk, I managed to heavily prune two weigela (which I will cut down today), decided to hack out a winter honeysuckle, dragged kilometres of bindweed out of flower beds and made a plan to lop the jasmine covered sycamore. I want light in.

I chose to prioritise time over money and work a four day week. I chose to write poetry, which is generous with personal reward but mean with external affirmation. I chose not to have a career. And just as I often wake in the morning nowadays wondering if this will be the day the chickens come home to roost (all those bad choices translated into medical conditions), the consultation was a day of reckoning.

So why would you want to do that? Why not be happy with the way things are? Be 22 again and play. Feel alive. Don't wait for the space, make the space you need. 

It's taken a while for the penny to drop. To realise just how full the world of writing is of people who come to it late from successful careers, where they've learned how to be successful. They aren't afraid of wanting it all and aren't afraid of what they must do to achieve it. They aren't afraid of success and strategy.

Does success matter? In itself, no, but some kind of external validation does, certainly when you've been at it for years. I fear it is too late for me. I fear that this is what the session I went to was about. I fear the garden will feel my fear. How can I be positive? Write.