I just had one of those moments realizing how many talented people I know in the various arts. This includes published writers of fiction and nonfiction, actively exhibiting visual artists, musicians with a steady stream of performances, and actors who have appeared in various feature films as well as TV and theater. I know two authors in the real world whose books are now in the process of becoming motion pictures, one of them starring Will Ferrell last I heard. Each of these accomplished creatives are all active and enjoying every moment of it. Their emails and posts on Twitter and Facebook are impossible to pass by without feeling both proud for their accomplishments and a bit envious.
Here I am, sitting at home for several weeks now on medical leave from my job following brain and spinal surgery for Chiari Malformation, only recently regaining the ability to write properly. I have book and web projects lined up that I can’t even touch until I’m fully recovered, the required energy and focus alone are beyond my capabilities at the moment. This downtime has given me a lot of time to reflect and refocus my creative efforts among other important matters, particularly the health of both my wife and daughter and wellness of other family members.
Mix in the step-down process of pain medication, and it becomes a scary time for my brain to enter this space. Self-loathing is a demon looming in my periphery; I can see it grinning as it watches me, just waiting for that last barrier to drop so it can enter my mind and take over. Contemplation over those what if moments fuel that demon, like the stupid choices I made as a kid in school due to low self-esteem or career decisions I made as a young professional as my confidence in my abilities wavered. These thoughts will plague anyone who find themselves in long periods of bed rest or some other incapacitation. I’m finally ready to put a knife through their figurative hearts.
I have thought about writing this piece for a few weeks now. It’s a cathartic effort to help unburden my mind and realize it’s okay that I’m not entirely well yet; no one expects me to pull off miracles for my job and my various creative projects right now. They want me to heal.
This post and other recent ones like it have become a sort of memoir. That was never intended, it just happened. I’m usually writing reviews about books, promoting projects I’m involved in, and advising other creative professionals coming up in their careers and enduring the corporate world. I’ll get back to that soon. If you took the time to read all of this, I truly appreciate it. Now it’s time to move forward.