The rain was coming and going all day. It was muggy and the sky grew light and dark. I woke up feeling rested and famished. I wanted to eat the world. I went down stairs and devoured a bagel, it was not enough so I ate another half. I have not been so hungry in long time. Suddenly for no visible reason, I felt myself grow insecure. What am I doing with my life? That question comes up for me so much. No matter how great I am doing in something, I get that question. The question is debilitating. The real question is am I good enough? The pain is the answer, it is always no. On other days I can count my blessings but the inner weather changes without a warning.
All I want is validation, I thought. I just want for someone to call me and tell me that what I am doing is good. I want them to say you are good, keep doing what you are doing, but that would not help today. All I want is to feel good again, to be inspired. I paced around getting ready for work, I did my therapy noises. Screaming on the bed, letting the feeling pour out, calling them out one by one and feeling them. Still gray, I walked out the house.
At the same time, the neighbors next door were leaving their stoop. We made small talk about the flowers I planted in the front yard. She told me that it does not have enough sun for what I planted. I am hoping that I prove her wrong. The butterfly garden mix of seeds looked powerful in the little paper package. I was forced to smile at them, it is involuntary when I am around strangers. I feel impolite if I do not smile during a conversation taking place outside my own home. Everybody thinks I am so happy all the time. My family knows that it’s not true. Smiling for me is like blinking for other people. No one blinks because they are happy.
But something changed after that smiley discourse about nothing. My mood. I was fine.
Am I good enough? For what, I laugh at the question now. My favorite mother-in-law asked tonight, “When will you know that you are a writer?” “Good question,” I said. When I write my novel, or my show, or my movie or my blog? When I write, period. When I know I am good enough. Good enough for what? To be read. To be liked. To be admired. To be loved?
I thought about it longer. I know I am a writer when I change the world with my words. It could just be one person who feels deeply from my words. Who is inspired to be themselves deeper and stronger. It is not a selfless act, what I get from it is magnified. I am the one who is digging up everyday of this life. My writing teacher called us “blind cats trying to get out of the bag.” It changed my world instantly. I don’t feel so bad anymore for feeling like a blind cat in the bag today. Thank you. I did not know it was common knowledge. I thought everyone is happy on rainy days.