If you can explain to me why I am having such trouble writing lately I will give you a prize. It would be an ephemeral prize in the form of gratitude, but it would be a really great big mess of gratitude.
I keep starting drafts of posts and abandoning them. I have all these thoughts rolling around in my head. I write great long pieces in my head in the car on the way to work and then forget them by the time I get home at night. There's so much going on right now - a big project at work that came to fruition last week, SG starting work, new therapy and challenges with the boy, dealing with an 11 year old who by all known measures has begun her teen years early, integrating a new dog and a new kitten into the mess of insane that is our household...we really are gluttons for punishment and there's no way I know how to be any different.
I have been feeling ambivalent lately about writing about ...anything.
Autism. I feel often that I am completely out of my league when it comes to autism in general. My son, I know him. When I look at him and listen to him I don't really think about autism, I just think about him. I find myself caught up in avoiding thinking about autism entirely. I never wanted to be part of a movement of parents advocating for their kids -- I just wanted to be a parent. Some of my online network of parents blow me away on a regular basis with the articulate and passionate way they write about their children and autism. When one asks for advice on any particular matter the responses are wise and thoughtful and show just how much these moms and dads have immersed themselves in the pool of autism knowledge. I feel like I know absolute shit about autism. And even worse, there are times I just wish it would go away. I want to just enjoy my son and let him teach me the ways he needs me to help him navigate the world. On a daily basis, though, I get snapped back to reality by a phone call, a meltdown, a sensory struggle or a particular behavior. I'm ashamed of my desire to just pretend that our daily life is normal, but I'm also keenly aware that I don't want to sound like a person who is seeking attention or sympathy because of my son's autism. My son is special, not because of his nontypical brain, but because of who he is. His autism is not a terrible thing or a burden. All parents have things they do for their children, taking him to therapy or helping him when he's having a struggle is no different than any other parent taking their kid to a doctor's appointment or soothing them when they aren't coping well. Except that it is different, but I don't want to feel all special snowflake about it.
As you can see, I am conflicted about this issue. I am conflicted about a lot of things.
I'm conflicted about this project we just finished at work, the end of which is the start of something new and very wonderful but also means a lot of change and I like my life the way it is. We have spent months on this deal, weekly team meetings and conference calls and integration sessions and loads and loads of homework and writing processes and SOP's. When the doors on the box opened for the first time I felt like we - my coworkers and our business partners - had given birth, except the kind of birth where it doesn't actually hurt and there's no blood and no poop. It was a difficult pregnancy in that we had to plan for things we still couldn't yet visualize -- sort of like how you wonder which one of you your baby is going to look like. There were and still are some unknowns and some things we just have to plan around when we get there. I've gone through the gamut of fear, resentment, acceptance and finally a place of peace where I know that of all the options my company had for growth and change this was the absolute best choice. The planning part is done and now the doing part happens, and it means just as much work - if not more - but different than what we've been doing so far. Change for me is simultaneously hard and easy. I like the walls of my little box quite well, thank you. But I don't always mind if the view out of the window I cut into the side of it changes from time to time. Eventually we all must come to grips with the fact that the old box is the wrong box and we have to move into a new and improved box.
This post is a good representation of one of the main issues I have with writing. There is the voice I think I have and there is the voice that I actually have, and there is the fact that I don't want to write about any one thing all the time but there are times when the obvious thing to write doesn't want to come out of my fingers or is something I can't put out on the internet. Its not a blog about horses or parenting or relationships or autism or politics or feminism or living in the sandwich generation. Its a blog about ALL of those things. If I was actually writing to make a living the kids and I would be living in a cardboard box under the freeway, because everything I have ever heard about making a living on the internet is all about "creating your brand." I don't have a "brand," I just have stuff I feel like writing about, you know? I don't have a fancy house and I can't do crafts to save my life.
There are times when there isn't anything in my mind when I sit down to write, despite having driven home with a perfectly visualized finished piece in my mind. When it comes time to commit the words to the screen, they don't sound right or look right or I can't find the right way to start or end them.
Maybe I should get a catchy phrase to use at the end of every post. Be like Tom and Ray on Car Talk. You've wasted another perfectly good ten minutes reading my blog. Then I thank my producers and turn off the feed.