Do you know those days where you have been feeling off-balance, and you don't know why? You list all the good things in your life, and sternly remind yourself that you have no reason whatsoever to feel down, yet you do anyway. Which makes you feel ungrateful, and slightly worried, because maybe your depression is showing up again, and you thought you were past all that shit.
And you sit down in front of your computer, because that's what you do, clicking around aimlessly, looking for something, anything, to take your mind off your bleak thoughts. And then you find it! Words that couldn't have come at a better, more needed time, words that make you smile, lift your spirits, and make you believe in the magic of life again.
Anne Lamott lifted me up this morning, and I hope she will lift you up, too. She writes in a way that makes me ache, in the best way possible. To be able to write like this! It's a desire that springs up every time I encounter her words, that gives me a deep yearning to pursue a creative, messy, truthful life. To ignore all the silly, seemingly-so-important-yet-not-at-all work dramas, and to stop listening to the doom- and gloom-proclaimers.
I found this wonderful article where Anne shares "everything she knows", and I'm sharing a couple of my favourite quotes here:
"Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared, even the people who seem to have it more or less together. They are much more like you than you would believe. So try not to compare your insides to their outsides."
"Families: hard, hard, hard, no matter how cherished and astonishing they may also be. At family gatherings where you may suddenly feel homicidal or suicidal, remember that in half of all cases, it's a miracle that this annoying person even lived. Earth is Forgiveness School. You might as well start at the dinner table."
"Writing: shitty drafts first. Butt in chair. Just do it. You own everything that happened to you. You are going to feel like hell if you never write the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves in your heart - your stories, visions, memories, songs: your truth, your version of things, in your voice. That is really all you have to offer us, and it's why you were born."
(Stuff that was tugging on the sleeves of my heart can be found here).
I woke up in a dispirited manner, and now I feel invigorated, understood, and inspired.
Now that's good writing.