Peace In A Tin Can

Peace In A Tin Can

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lines, Lines, Everywhere Lines

I started this blog when I was removed from a job that I loved very much.  The blog was a way to fill the time and replace the ugly thoughts in my head with something more positive.  As I learned more and more about blogging, I even thought I could do this full time and make some money in the process.  Problems solved.

Or so I thought.  I can't make money with my blog, at least not yet.  As much as I appreciate those of you who keep reading, the 50 or so "hits" I get a day do not attract advertisers or sponsors.  A successful blogger needs to get about 50,000 "hits" a day.  I am not sure that many people will ever want to read what I write!  Unless I am willing to take a frightening financial leap with lots of risk, and completely change my life, and possibly negatively affect my family, I cannot write full time.

Last summer when the loss of my job was still fresh, my husband allowed me to indulge in my two passions; camping and writing.  I had this exciting, grand idea that I could travel around often in my tin can, meet people, hear their wonderful stories and share them with an audience who would be as captivated as I about people and nature.

But this year, my husband wants to see a return on my indulgence.  He is having a hard time supporting me investing in a future that is seriously unsure, and on an intellectual level, I agree with him.  So I am struggling to keep writing while getting on with the responsibilities of life.  Aside from the fact that I don't have much opportunity to write at home, I have no material with which to work.  Said simply, what in the hell can I write about?  I never go anywhere or do much, and my life is a bit dull these days.

As usual, my family comes through for me.  This morning I was driving in the car with my youngest daughter, The Wise One, and I expressed my frustration to her.  She gave me a rather demeaning eye-roll and said,

"Mom, you're making this too hard.  You can write about anything, look around.  Write about lines.  There are lines on the road, lines overhead, lines in the sky and lines in the car.  Every day, we stay in the lines, we go over the lines, under them, around them.  Write about that."

Okay.  I can do that.

Lines really are everywhere.  There are the lines on our faces and lines in the mirror.  There are parallel lines and lines that intersect.  Sometimes we put one line against another to form an angle to our own advantage.  There are lines we cross, and lines we blur.  Some lines are drawn for us, like the yellow line in the middle of the road.  It keeps us on a narrow path, telling us how to get where we are going.  If we cross that line at the wrong time, we could be in serious trouble.  I like those clear-cut lines, I follow them.  If I am driving on a rainy night and those lines are blurred, I get uneasy.  I do not like blurry lines, I like them defined and easy to see. (That's the OCD talking).

Then there are the lines we draw for ourselves.  For these, we use rulers and sharpies, at least I do, because I have OCD, and these lines are permanent and straight.  We do not cross them, that would be messy.

I have spent the better part of my life walking a line.  I balance responsibility with dreams, staying on the fine line between being what I need to be for others, and what I need to be for myself.  I have taken the safe route, the one that's been drawn for me, because it's easier.  But in all this time of walking that line, I always saw, in my peripheral vision, the wide open spaces on either side of the line.  I think the time is coming when I step off the line, take a turn, and wander into the wide open spaces with no direction, no boundaries, and endless possibilities.

It took an off-hand comment from a twelve-year-old child to make me realize that I am tired of the lines in front of me.  I have stayed in the lines, waited in lines, gone under the lines, and followed the lines for too long, without ever really crossing them.  I soon may find myself drawing my own line, with a straight edge and a colorful sharpie, and hoping others will follow it.

When I started writing this post, I had no idea where I was going with it.  The Wise One tossed me the topic, I thought it had possibilities, so I just started writing.  I never thought it would lead me to this conclusion;  I can write my own lines, I can change my story.  (My OCD just kicked into overdrive).  I don't have to have everything planned, my life doesn't have to keep following the same line.  I can change my course (hyperventilating now) and see where it goes.

I know that the day I can step off the line and take those first few steps away from the hurt and anger over losing my job, the day I can turn away from the people who don't believe I'm worth something more, will be the day I become something more.

I can keep writing.  I haven't even begun to take it seriously, but maybe if I do, I can learn to be a better writer and let my blog take a new direction, not be limited to stories from the tin can.  In the words of The Wise One, I can write about anything.

I mean, c'mon, I just wrote an entire post about lines.  I'd say it's a good start.