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  • Writer's picturematilde tomat

lara croft - tpw[l] - 02

The Perfect Wor[l]d - 02

The whole point of this exercise in writing is to connect the dots. I feel I am surrounded by dots like if I were drawn on a map full of little flags: one flag for therapy, one flag for art, one flag for writing, one for North Wales, one for the sea, and so on. And I have been looking for a way and a system to connect everything. Hence, convergence [1].

What is it that connects my fascination with Mesopotamia and the Akkadian language, Lytham, a khaki waxed canvas backpack, grilled fish and Emmy vanDeurzen? Besides me, of course. I got to a point in my life when I need to change. I am tired of what I have been doing and I think that a part of my life has ended. I am a strong believer in changing every so often: to learn new things, to revamp the Self, to expand, to grow. If we have been created [and there is no theory that says otherwise, whether that being by chance or following a detailed plot] I strongly believe that we have to create. Here I am, contributing to the cause: I am writing the second instalment of a blog, creating a piece of work, moving and rearranging the energy surrounding me, and fulfilling the primordial instinct to create. Some people create babies: not me. I write, move things, fix, mend, sort, invent, plan, make, do, do it again, assemble, put together, stitch. Take down and start again. That is me. I have been doing it psychotherapeutically, philosophically and spiritually for the past 6 years with other people’s lives, and now it is the time to reinvent myself. Or to create the Me I have always been on the inside. Life is like playing with Lego: when you are bored with what you made and now look at, and other people built other stuff around you [stuff you don’t fit with anymore] you need to change. Take all the structure down, and start again. It feels, now that I am writing about it, more of the breaking of a mould revealing the inside: raw, exposed, thin-skinned, vibrating, breathing, living, expanding. Easily re-moldable? My own hands are hurting because this mould, this old and thick crust, made out of dry chunks of clay was, and in part still is, very hard to break. But inside, I was gasping for air.

I started by going back to college and by ‘officially’ studying art with teenagers. I needed a shock to the system and it wasn’t planned. I was simply walking home and I stopped at the local college only because I was looking for a toilet. I got out with a badge and a new prospect, instead. At the end of this first year, I am not so sure I have learned anything specific or from an educational perspective, but I have learned a lot about me. Of my own boundaries and the need for space and air; I have learned a form of training, a strengthening of what was already my own practice of journalling and how much this blog writing reminds me of the Morning Pages themselves. I learned about dedication and commitment. During this past year, I have defined what I have always wanted to be and the kind of life I have always wanted to lead. Talk about breaking the mould! Don’t get me wrong: it didn’t take me one single year to do that: I am coming from a three-year-long period of Chiron return and retrograde which sent me into a right funk of pain and desperation. I feel I am on the other side now of the Wounded Healer’s journey and, at the end of this academic year, I have opened my wardrobe and thrown away three large bags of clothes I bought and barely wore. Clothes I thought would have pleased my mother and her idea of style, and one or two previous partners. Their idea of their style. Not mine, not anymore. It was freeing. Liberating. Part of the clay was off. Together with clothes, off they went bags and bags of bags and shoes and underwear. I threw away years of my life. I threw away objects I still had which came with me from Italy almost 11 years ago.

Then I went shopping.

You see, it doesn’t matter if I live in foggy New York or rainy Blackburn in downtown Lancashire. I have decided that I don’t have to wait for a new life somewhere else and for a knight in shiny armour on a white horse and blue cape and fully loaded with cash to start changing my life. I have decided to start the change with me, first.

I wrote pages and pages in this past year in my journal about my ideal life. And it went something like this: I want a house by the sea, I need seawater and the smell of seaweeds. I want to write and create art and let this be my main source of income. I want to own a little laptop, dress like a combination of Lara Croft, Indiana Jones and Dr Hodgins (satchel and all), be adventurous, travel around the country and sit in nice coffee places where there are no screaming kids and they play soft acoustic ‘respectable adult’ music; and write.

And write.

Gosh, I cried filling those pages. I cried because I wanted that so much! I was craving for the realisation of every single word I wrote. So, every day I grabbed my old laptop and walked to college, or a library, or Costa and wrote about the life I wanted to live, a life of writing in Costa. Three years of walking to the nearest library / empty space / park / green bowling bench / National Trust property / Costa, in tears, because I wanted a life of writing in libraries / empty spaces / parks / green bowling benches / National Trust properties / Costa...

It never dawned on me until last month that beware what you write because you might get it. I already owned a house next to the canal, I could have bought the clothes I wanted to wear, and because I barely work after having lost my main source of income, I actually spend my time writing in libraries / empty spaces / parks / green bowling benches / National Trust properties / Costa. Already. I was already living my dream. Without a penny. The only adjustment I made was to throw away old clothes and buy new stuff in a very symbolic way. I also bought a little laptop I carry around with me all the time. And, no, it doesn’t have to be a fancy Apple to do the job: my GoogleChrome is perfect for this.

I was living my dream, to an extent. I wasn’t feeling it.

So, here I am now, in another café, sipping a flat white, exchanging some conversation with people, in my comfortable new clothes, and writing. I feel new. And proud of having the courage to apply some changes where I needed them. And grateful because I have the backing of friends and a lovely partner who all support me. What is the next step though? Because I actually got what I asked for. So, what else do I want?

If you are here, reading, you are either a good friend, someone curious, or a fellow writer who would like to know more about the process.

The question is: does sitting here, tapping away on this keyboard, sipping coffees, enough? Because for some days I thought it would. In all my journaling, this is what I described. I am now not 100% convinced anymore. Is what I am doing enough for me? It is soothing, it is relaxing, it feels cool, it feels very private, different, intellectual as if a part of me is accomplished. Don’t get me wrong, maybe if I could turn this into a money-grabbing profession, I could do it every day. At times I even thought that it is not important what I am writing about: not the topic, nor the words I choose. It is simply the idea of sitting here and typing. It is the rhythm, it is the sound. The sound of me typing and the sound of the words when I read them back to me. I can ponder hours on a sentence. I did ponder a whole day, once, on a single word. It just did not feel right. Everything else, for me, disappears. Typing, is soothing, the making of sentences by adding words one after the other one, in a sort of zen way: this is what I like. I like the act of writing, maybe not the story-telling. Still, within me, there is a compulsion to write, to use a sort of contained stream of consciousness, allowing my shadow to peek through, while I am sitting here, in a creative form of expression, to just write, or type. In a short story I wrote three years ago and which I am very fond of - The Elegance of the Equation [here] - I describe this act in detail. And somehow the same vibe of flow I was feeling then, is coming over me now, too.

This is me, this is my life.

Now my interest is to move this act further. Not to stop it though, because I believe that this is my process of working in a creative way. But to take it up a notch. To make it work for me, from a professional perspective.

How interested am I in living the writer’s life? How much do I want it? Because if I needed the money and needed to work I could go and do almost anything. There is plenty of cleaning jobs around or nights in care homes. Or going back to be a fully functioning and “professing” therapist and recovery coach [in editing mode I noticed the Freudian slip of typing professing instead of… what? Professional?] But I don’t want that.

My only desire is to be a writer, an author, and a full-time artist. I believe that I have learned enough, I have given enough, I have worked enough, I have demonstrated enough, I have cried enough, I have followed other’s suggestions and conditioning enough. I’ve drunk enough external validation. Now it is time to be me. This is the main reason behind this course in art and this writing experience / challenge of writing 4 pages of something potentially interesting about this profession and my journey through it, how I navigate through it. If I want to do it as a professional and with determination, I now know I have to start producing stuff now instead of waiting for another life to start before I get my dream of a room and studio in The Hamptons - which is not really what I want but you get the idea.

I have to write and that makes me a writer. It doesn’t matter where, or when I write, as long as I write. It doesn’t matter where I live as long as I turn whatever setting I am in, in an ideal writing situation. The best I can make and get. The one I am creating, following my own desires.

My life.

I am creating my life.

I am writing my life.

[1] convergence was, and still is, the title I gave to this project and the name of the folder on my laptop.

(c) mtomat 2019 - written on 02.07.19 - no reproduction without permission.

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