My Own Personal Resurrection

From the back of an old barely written in journal...

From the back of an old barely written in journal…

I failed at lent this year. I am no longer religious. I am no longer a practicing Catholic but I like lent. I like the concept. Lent requires that you do something difficult- that you give something up. I was supposed to decrapify my life by getting rid of a bag of stuff every day for forty days. Stuff I don’t need or use. Stuff that clogs my mental arteries and scatters my brain by taking up space that should be empty and free. My third floor is cluttered with crap. Stuff I was going to sell, stuff I don’t use. I have overflowing shelves and too many junk drawers. And yet I didn’t let go. I only got rid of about 10 bags. Why do we cling to things that hold us back and make our vision fuzzy?

Have you ever watched the uncut version of a move? Every single time I’ve made that mistake I thought- “this sucks. Thank god for editors.” Uncut versions of movies always feel clunky. I have never once watched one and thought- “oh- they should have left that part in.”

Ironically, perhaps, this post is my first assignment for my Writing 101 class offered by WordPress. We are supposed to free write for twenty minutes and not worry about editing. Just write. Don’t edit. That is hard. That is vulnerable. But it is also essential for my own personal resurrection. Sometimes we kill parts of ourselves before they have a chance to really live. Our quest for perfection becomes a stranglehold, a creator of paralysis.

I think of this quote by Ira Glass:

by Ira Glass

by Ira Glass

I wish I had heard Ira’s quote and really embraced it 20 years ago. I wish I had determined to write everyday regardless of the quality with the knowledge that- 1) I could edit later and 2) with time I would improve. Not writing for so long when the desire to do has been one of the few constants in my life was a mini-murder, a little suicide. But this post, this unedited effort (that most definitely could be done much better) is a new beginning- a resurrection. I am back. Hello.

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  1. Posted April 6, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I would hardly call 10 bags of crap of failure. Welcome back!

    • Banana
      Posted April 6, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi Marissa, Thanks! Well- ten bags is better than nothing. I guess I fell prey to wanting to see total transformation all at once….. I really need to be more ruthless with this crap in my life!

      • Posted April 7, 2015 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        I know what you mean. I’m really bad with clothes and I just look at my closet and think to myself ‘that’s it! if I haven’t worn it last season it’s going in the trash!’ Then I start packing it into bags and about half of it goes back in my closet!

        • Banana
          Posted April 10, 2015 at 12:51 am | Permalink

          Ha! I seriously must enter a ruthless phase- all of this crap is driving me crazy! Something tells me you should probably keep those clothes though. If your rock and roll past and sassy wedding dress are any indication…. 🙂

          • Posted April 10, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            Oh, thank you! Still have the wedding dress. I got rid of a lot of rock shirts and really regret it!!

  2. Posted April 6, 2015 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    It is a bit freeing, though, isn’t it? To write and not worry about editing? To just let your thoughts go and not worry about the outcome? Good post for this exercise.

    • Banana
      Posted April 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      It is liberating. I am committing to doing some free writing everyday actually. I am going to write a post about it soon….

  3. Posted April 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I agree 10 bags is no failure. My husband keeps so much and I keep getting rid of it as we do not have room and usually do not need it.

    • Banana
      Posted April 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Hi Donna, Thanks. I am so much happier when I have less clutter. It bogs me down. It makes everything take longer. I am still determined to get rid of more.

  4. Posted April 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Ten bags is awesome! I’d celebrate the success! I liked the quote, “Sometimes we kill parts of ourselves before they have a chance to really live.” a real nugget.

    • Banana
      Posted April 6, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Nancy!

  5. Posted April 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I think you did a great job on this free write. And for me, anyway, the more crap I get rid the more into it I get. It’s like getting a ball rolling. Maybe that will happen for you.

    • Banana
      Posted April 6, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lilypup, Thank you. Excellent point about building momentum. That has happened for me in the past and I sincerely hope that it does again.

  6. Posted April 6, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing your feelings and your ten bags. Your thoughts were an encouragement to me.

  7. Posted April 6, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Great thoughts…I love love love the Ira Glass quote too. Looking forward to more from you!

    • Banana
      Posted April 7, 2015 at 12:28 am | Permalink

      Thank you!

    • Banana
      Posted April 10, 2015 at 12:55 am | Permalink

      Thank you! And the Ira quote really is great.

  8. Miriam
    Posted April 7, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been blogging for a while, and at some point I decided to not do a whole lot of editing, other than spelling and grammar. I have no interest in being a “real” writer, and I try to keep blogging as something that is purely fun for me. So I’m always mindful of the amount of time and effort I put into it, asking myself questions like “why am I doing this?” and “is this time well-spent?”.
    Only so many hours in a day, you know? Anyway, for now my conclusion is that writing regularly is time well-spent, whether it’s a private journal or a public blog.But too much editing and worrying about the audience feels like a waste of time to me. Depends on one’s goals and purpose, I suppose. I’ve had to work through lots of issues to keep on blogging, but ultimately I think it’s been good for me 🙂

    • Banana
      Posted April 10, 2015 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      Hi Miriam, Thank you for this comment. I agree completely that writing regularly is time well spent. And that also, there is only so much time in a day. So asking ourselves “why” is important. I was an English major in college and have definitely dreamt of being a “great writer.” Sometimes I think too much about things and hold myself to standards I haven’t yet earned through proper effort and that can be paralyzing and limiting. That is why I really like the Ira Glass quote in my post. I really need to, as Ira said, “do a lot of work.” As for your blog- I love it. I love your openness and honesty and I feel really appreciative of being able to read your about your journey and all the insights (as well as questions) it has given you.

  9. Posted April 10, 2015 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I wish I had not started writing when sixty-three, but had kept trying from my school days. For one thing, those nascent emotions will never come back. I will not know again first-love, or wonder at my first-child, and be able to write about the thrill of them. Also, I will never know what went through my mind when it was more flexible and, probably, more agile.

    • Banana
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      This is such a great point. I haven’t been writing or blogging at all recently. I recently signed in and started looking around again and this comment struck me. I will start again! 44 is better than never. I hope you are well!!

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  • […] live. Our quest for perfection becomes a stranglehold, a creator of paralysis. Check out her blog, “Becoming Vivid.” I love how she puts it because I hate to kill things. Seriously, her way of stating that makes me […]

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