It has been about a year since I really wrote anything. I quit calling myself a writer about a month ago. Too many rejections, too little content to display, too many months between now and the prolific college years when my days revolved around writing assignments and editing work. Now, days look like struggling to push the weighted blanket off my chest and get out of bed; look like putting on scrubs that used to be comfortable ‘yoga material’ but now feel like hard plastic; look like another hundred miles of wear on my little Subaru’s tires and engine.
On the day of her anniversary with her first husband, my coworker and I sat in the low round stools to turn on our computers. “Did you get caught in the traffic going home last night?” I asked. “It took me an hour to get home. The road was closed because a dump truck had barreled into a small car like a Honda Civic. My mom and brother saw the aftermath. We don’t think the Civic driver made it.”
“That’s what happened to my husband,” she said.
My family has a knack for bad timing.
I listened to her tell her story with such calm and peace about her. I tried to imagine the numbness of her pain, the asphalt in her knees. I couldn’t help a few tears falling down my face.
“I didn’t mean to upset you,” she said. I told her she didn’t; I felt things deeply, but I was bad at expressing them. I told her that’s why I wanted to be a writer. “One day, you will,” she said, “and your book will be great because it will be so full of emotion.”
I passed her a Kleenex and wiped away mascara with my own.
It was quiet in the office today. Only a handful of people passed our office window on their way to other appointments. “People tell me I should share my story,” my coworker said between scanning papers littered in sticky notes. “I usually put it off, but sometimes I wonder if it would help someone.”
“I think stories are meant to be shared, but…” I re-stacked the patient forms in my hands. I stared at the black box we called a scanner for another second. “I think there is a difference in sharing your story for bitterness, and sharing your story for hope and healing.”
My coworker cocked her head and nodded.
“If you ever need a ghostwriter, I’m your girl!” I spun my chair back to the colorful glowing schedule in front of me.
I’ve had to increase my exercise routine because my wedding dress isn’t fitting over my hips like it did when I bought it. I panicked at first. “When am I going to find another hour to exercise? And how am I going to lose enough weight before the wedding?” The wedding planning season has me sweating more than this Tennessee humidity.
I was reading a friend from college’s blog, one I hadn’t kept up with in a year. It felt good to dive back into the world of words where faith and writing and walking the dog all merge into one singular space. She wrote about staying creative being as much of an effort as exercise and being healthy. I had flashbacks to discussions of Anne Lamott and just writing that blankety-blank draft.
Good for the soul, and healing.