“My doubts stand in a circle around every word, I see them before I see the word, but what then! I do not see the word at all, I invent it. Of course, that wouldn’t be the greatest misfortune, only I ought to be able to invent words capable of blowing the odour of corpses in a direction other than straight into mine and the reader’s face. When I sit down at the desk I feel no better than someone who falls and breaks both legs in the middle of the traffic of the Place de I’Opera. All the carriages, despite their noise, press silently from all directions in all directions, but that man’s pain keeps better order than the police, it closes his eyes and empties the Place and the streets without the carriages having to turn about. The great commotion hurts him, for he is really an obstruction to traffic, but the emptiness is no less sad, for it unshackles his real pain.” Franz Kafka, Diaries, December 15, 1910
Pain. Be authentic. Happy. Be authentic. Encouraging. Be authentic. Hopeful. Be authentic. Afraid. Be authentic. Courageous. Be authentic. This selection from Kafka’s diary says to me as a writer that I am like an injured person who feels pain, but the effect of physical pain involuntarily escapes. There is no hiding it. Writing about pain can be too revealing. I know how to wallow in my hurts, but sharing them is abandoning my aegis. When we experience emotional pain, it is much harder to sit and to put it down on paper. All of the doubts and fears surface, then we become afraid to release them. When I awakened this morning, I was filled with pain, fear, doubt and anxiety. What am I doing? What am I doing here? What is my purpose? I know what I want, but I am seeking a higher calling in some way, but also a practical calling in the sense that I must survive like everyone else. I need an income. I am also learning what my strengths and my gifts are and how they line up with my purpose. Someone asked me what is my mission here in New York? What are my plans? This caused me great anxiety, but I am so grateful for the question. Why? Because it made me stop and reevaluate what my mission is. I want to write. I want to inspire. I want to entertain. I want to get all of these ideas out of my head. I want; I need to put them on paper. It is as if I don’t, I will explode. Writing makes me feel calm. Like I can breathe slowly. It makes me feel chill. The pain I have been feeling today is not the pain of being emotionally hurt. It is the pain of fear. Fear of not understanding what my purpose is. Last night in my 12 Step meeting one of the speakers summed up what I am focusing on today. When I get out the way and allow something bigger than myself be in control, my life will be better than I could ever imagine or create. Today my mission is to continue the path I am on and focus on the gifts that are being given to me and be grateful in the process. Be authentic. Be courageous. Trust. Keep moving, but as you do pay attention to the signs along the way.