It’s been pretty quiet over here at Flights of Fancy over the last few months, and for good reason. For me, 2012 was a blur of deadlines and responsibilities, punctuated by my Big Move over the summer from Santa Barbara to San Francisco, and the transition to living with my parents once again.
I finished my MA thesis and earned my long-awaited degree at the beginning of March, switched dissertation topics at the end of May and hustled like crazy to write all the papers necessary to advance to doctoral candidacy by mid-September, packed up all my worldly possessions and moved at the beginning of July, and spent the last three months of the year collecting data for my dissertation.
Oh, and I won CampNaNo back in August and NaNoWriMo in November, started working on my physical health, somehow squeezed in time to have a semblance of a social life, and rediscovered my love for writing poetry.
It’s not a bad list of accomplishments, to be honest, even if the day job did take precedence over my blogging life, and even if I still haven’t gotten around to finishing any of my WIPs. But as I look at this list, I know that the successes I made in 2012 were weighed down by the horrible encroaching monster of negativity that has been slowly taking over my life.
Tangling With the Doubt Monster
(Or, How I Am My Own Worst Enemy)
I am, as most of you are probably aware, a perfectionist. I’m a Type-A personality, and I’ve been speeding along the racetrack for academic success for as long as I can remember. My life has been one long series of coursework and papers and extracurricular activities and, these days, research and teaching. And I love this. I am good at it. But I’d be a helluva lot better at it if my head wasn’t filled with all sorts of crazy bullshit that tells me that I am an utter failure.
I used to laugh my little Doubt Monster off. Y’know, because feeling like a failure in the midst of a life filled with success and a lot of blessings seems absolutely ridiculous. But if I’m being honest with myself, I have to admit that I spent most of 2012 (and 2011, and 2010…) trapped in a horrible paralyzing world of grey, where fear and anxiety leeched away the excitement I should feel for life, leaving me with a mess of despair and a tangle of emotions.
But it is a new year, and I have decided that I’m through with living this way. I could accomplish so much more, and be so much happier, if I kicked my Doubt Monster to the curb and ditched all the crazy that has taken hold of my life.
With that in mind, I leave you with my intentions for 2013, summed up in poetic form. Here’s to a safe, healthy, and wonderfully creative new year for us all!
“Poem for a New Year”
2012 has been a painful lesson
that the way I live–
all smiles on the outside
shattered and broken on the inside–
cannot be allowed to continue.
This last year taught me
that I can’t keep living in the grey world
where I self-mutilitate
not with razor blade and substances
but with words weighed down with negativity
words that pollute and poison
till everything that lives in my soul is mutated, ugly–
foul-looking with missing eyes and extra limbs
savage mockeries of all that was once beautiful and clean and real.
In my brief moments of sanity
where perfectionism and the hideous monster of not-good-enough are silenced
I know my worth,
see the shadow of the woman I know I could become
if I stopped the cray,
banished the negative,
trashed my doubts,
and stepped into the light.
I want a soul free from toxic waste
returned to its former glory
all shiny and sparkly and spangled with glitter
riotous with color, suffused with the glow of a million gems–
a soul that can breathe, one that can create,
one filled with all the glorious dreams I’ve allowed
to fall by the wayside.
And so 2013 is my time
a chance to seize back my life
return to a place where prayer and creation are
where my wings have strength to soar off on new adventures
and my fingers are able to seize hold of new opportunities.
I rejoice in this new beginning
revel in the promise of days to come.
“Strength, courage, and wisdom” is my mantra;
transformation is my goal.