Henry is at Busia’s. I haven’t finished cleaning. But I’m making a short blog entry anyway… because this thing is, in many ways, like a diary for me, and I need to write.
Today, I asked a question on FB that I’ve wrestled with for years. “How do you value your own work?” Because I’m in my late 30s, and I still don’t know.
I’m creative as hell. I write songs. I write poetry. I write blog entries. I create recipes. And yet, when I signed up for a Patreon account, one of my friends was actually like, “Patreon is really for people who make things.” I wasn’t sure whether to be offended or just laugh. So naturally, I laughed and then anxiety took over and I questioned whether or not I am actually an artist or maker or whatever. I am. This bullshit entry is undeniable proof.
It’s just weird. When I start feeling well for even a day, the first thing that pops into my head is that I’m not doing enough for my family. Nevermind if I couldn’t get out of bed because of fatigue 4 days ago. TODAY, I need to fucking capitalize on it. And that’s really how I live at this point — in the moment. Do what you can when you can. That’s why I’m blogging right now instead of washing dishes.
I’ve got people bugging me about the keto cookbook that I’ve been working on, and when another friend asked if I was going to charge for it, I actually laughed out loud — partially because I refuse to pay for recipes (They can’t even be copyrighted, y’all.) and because I hadn’t even entertained the idea of selling it. I just want people to feel better, and the idea of getting paid for something that I wanted to do anyway seems too good to be true.
It made me think about the Tao of Rae and the short amount of time when I self-published it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and how stupid I felt, having priced it as low as possible, and, yet, no one downloaded it. But worse, I felt ashamed for having tried. So, I took it off those services put it on here for free download, because, why not? I mean, I’d done every chapter on this blog anyway, and it was pretty clear no one was gonna pay to read it. Why should they?
I guess what I’m bumping up against is this sense of utter futility and pessimism. And that’s just familiar as all hell. I know how to deal with it. Ignore it and move forward.
I’ve come to view these feelings of self-doubt and sadness as a signal that I’m on the right track towards having a happier life. Like, if I’m feeling down and like I suck, I need to push harder. I know that if I just force myself to butt up against those feelings more, creation will begin. Something will come out of me. Something good? Who knows. But something real? Certainly. It might even be relateable for others.
Fighting ghosts is at least half of having PTSD. And if you don’t fight them, they get to control you. Giving up control to a cycle you’ve already lived through more than once is just bullshit. And flourishing after trauma means not allowing yourself to become your abuser.
Resilience, I’ve found, has so much less to do with letting old wounds heal and so much more to do with acknowledging that the old wounds exist — saying “I see you.” to your past self and then just making better choices than she did. Fuck, even if the choices aren’t better, at least let them be different. Figuring out how to work around emotional booby traps has so much more to do with being present in your skin in the moment than thinking about the fact that they exist.
So, now, I’m going to go be in my skin, in the kitchen, loading the dishwasher. Adam is on his way home, and I’m pretty sure I’ve maxed out my skillset on overthinking. 😉
BTW – I’ve been published on Modern Day MS a few times since my last entry. Here are links to my articles, for anyone who wants more to read!
And the Paleo Compendium, which I’ve devoted countless hours to and never made any money from, is up to nearly 3500 followers with 9000 views a month. 🙂 Another thing that fits my pattern.
I wonder what life will look like when I value my efforts.