It’s weird writing about yourself.
On the one hand, I feel as compelled to write about the fierce opposites in my life as I did about finding a way to live with them.
When your deepest desires contradict each other, life is confusing. When you want independence and community it’s hard to know how to behave with other people. When you want devotion and decadence you teeter between repression and rebellion. When you want acceptance and power, especially as a woman, it’s easy to get lost in the layers of the cultures you are part of – your work, your family, your friends, your religion. They may say opposite things about what you must and must not do.
Learning how to accept my complex, contradictory power was hard. It took decades. That’s why I have to tell the story of how I found my way. There’s a voice inside that says, “This writing is your work in the world. Keep going.”
Alongside that voice that tells me to keep going, there’s another voice. That voice says, “No one gives a f*$k about your life. Who do you think you are? You need to stop right now.”
That voice does not like to be ignored. Sometimes, when I’m sitting at my desk writing and it’s yelling in my ear, I find myself scrunching up my shoulders, trying to push it away. I might get up and walk around a bit, take a few deep breaths and sit down again. And then I keep going . . .
One of my BFFs pointed me to Lady Gaga’s recent interview on Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. Stephani Germanotta has faced some massive obstacles. She said, “You know what Oprah, I just kept going.”
Here’s to persevering in 2020! I have no idea where I’m going or how long it will take to get there, but I will just keep going. I hope you’ll do the same.
Oh – one more thing! In October, I shared an excerpt from my essay Leaving the Bitch Behind. I wrote four completely different versions of this piece before settling on the final, which you can read here!