I’m struggling. The truth is I’ve been struggling ever since I finished my book.
This book took so much of me, from me, every single day -for so long. For the last 18 months I was getting up at 4:30 am to start working on it. I would already have a full day’s work by 11am. It consumed me.
But now that it’s out of me and its no longer sitting inside my ribcage, rocking back and forth, begging me to bring it out from underneath the waters and into the crisp air, I miss it. I miss the way it made me come to the table every single day, my inner-compass beckoning my complete presence. I miss the discipline. The focus. I even miss the weight it bared down on me as I walked through the aisles of the grocery store, the way it called me when I washed the dishes after dinner and how it woke me up in the middle of the night with a single word or phrase. I felt like I was working on the biggest project in the world. It was all mine. A secret world that I alone was bringing to life.
Now, I sit here with these stories completely on the outside of my body, the weight no longer pinning me. I walk around the grasses light footed, unsure, and with a hollow chest. I don’t feel the way I thought I would. I thought I would feel free. Closer to peace. Happier. I’m none of these things. I’m a ten year old child nervous for her first day of grade 4. Hopeful, anxious and hesitant about the new year. And my best friend has just moved away.
I never thought finishing something I worked on for so long that hurt so much would be this difficult to let go. But it is.
I never read this in any of the how-to books. The part where you feel like you lost the best part of yourself after you finish spilling your guts and blood and heart onto the blank page. The part where you now have to take a step forward and pay attention to what’s calling you ahead. A tiny spark. A thread to another world. A gentle hand trying to lead you onward, where another story is yearning to be told. The part where you have to say good-bye.