A fantastic writer, from a fantastic newspaper, with whom I had the privilege of working with and learning from dropped an excellent gem on me one day when I was stuck writing one of the stories I’m most proud of to this day.
She said sometimes, when you write, you can’t have that perfect lede (opening sentence) right off the bat. Sometimes it comes to you midstream, sometimes you write it last.
But to get the creative process going, sometimes you have to just dump, she said. Just “barf up” whatever it is in your head, no matter what it is, and from there your work will rise.
From the madness, from the seemingly non-sensical, beauty will develop. You will be inspired.
Kind of reminds me of the “Do Something” campaign I’ve been on this year. When you feel like you can’t do anything. You can’t work out, you can’t create, you can’t save money. Just do something. You don’t have to win a marathon, you don’t have to put out a best seller, just start the process of doing something. Walk, then jog, then run.
Dump, then dumpster dive, spread out the trash and let the beauty rise.
It sounds counterintuitive, it sounds downright nasty.
Why rummage through our filth to get to the good stuff?
Sometimes that’s just what we have to do.
Has there ever been a time you lost something important? Suddenly it hits you.
You might have thrown it away.
You pray you didn’t, but you know it’s in your trash and you know you just threw out a lot of nasty stuff.
But how bad do you want that thing? That piece of paper, that ring or earring?
The trash isn’t going to hurt you, but it’s gross. You don’t want to do it.
You even feel like you are lowering yourself to do this. You don’t want anyone to see.
But when you want something bad enough, or you need it, and you know exactly where it is, vis-a-vis the trash, you just got to do what you gotta do.
You’ll clean it off and clean yourself later.
That thing is worth it to you.
We are humbled when we have to dig through our own crap.
Today’s post is a dump.
I’ve got so many random things on my mind, it isn’t funny.
A friend just told me today how impressed he was with my “journey” over the last two years.
I guess a lot has happened, including this blog. I wanted to write. I hadn’t been writing and so I just wrote one day.
And it grew, and the people following the blog began to impact me in ways I hadn’t expected.
I was getting stronger the more I wrote, and the more honest I became with myself and with the folks reading it, cheering me on, laughing with me and pumping their fists against the sky in agreement when something made me mad.
I have been on a journey. An incredible one. It hasn’t been easy.
A lot of it has been filled with pain.
Garbage. With beauty tangled someplace amid the indistinguishable mess.
I’ve been spending the better part of the last two years, digging through the garbage of my emotional and spiritual life.
It was not pretty, I had to lower myself, I had to humble myself, and I had to see the bigger picture and the greater reward for doing so.
Some of the dumpster digging has been private, and some public.
But I had to and I continue to soldier on, because somewhere in the mess, there is beauty. There is victory. There is the prize of knowing myself better than I ever had.
Beauty in the mess.
Rise, beauty, rise.
The beauty in losing something valuable in the garbage is, you know you’re a dumbass to leave it or let it be thrown away just because you couldn’t bring yourself to dig through it.
I had a friend lose a generous gift card in a gas station trash can. Lawd. That’s even worse. You are dealing with stranger garbage! But she had already said she didn’t have much money and couldn’t afford to buy another, so she had to roll up her sleeves turn that joker over, and fish it out.
Have you ever found you lost something in someone else’s trash? Yourself, your emotions? Your self-esteem?
It may be harder, and more embarrassing, but what you left in that mess is worth salvaging for yourself. You can’t leave that behind either.
I need to get back to writing my book. After living more life, having more hurts and triumphs I can finish it the way I was supposed to and add a layer of depth I couldn’t before.
I will get back to my t-shirt company. 2013 isn’t over yet!
I will continue to love myself in all of its drafts and revisions.
I will continue to have a spirit of gratitude in everything.
I will continue to give my love to others to the very best of my ability.
Am I ready for love? I don’t know.
Am I ready to truly receive it?
Do I know what it looks like?
Do I know what it feels like?
Will I recognize it right away?
Will I question its authenticity to death?
But will I have it?
Super, certainly hell yes.
Rise, beauty, rise.