Opportunities for growth usually suck.
Sad, but true.
Rarely do humans develop character, insight, or deepen our perspectives through pleasant experiences. No, we need trials, tribulations, and heartbreak to push us into new ways of thinking and deeper understanding of both ourselves and the world around us. Perhaps no one gets that more than writers. We know our characters have to grow and change throughout our manuscripts, and we know exactly how to accomplish that. We put them through hell.
Enter my latest personal trial – my mother’s failing health. I’m sitting in her assisted living apartment as I type this. Hospice has taken over her medical care, and they’ve told us her time left is short. I’m on FMLA leave from my teaching position and I’d hoped to lose myself in my WIP when she’s resting. It’s the perfect escape from this reality, after all. But I can’t.
I just can’t.
The image I’ve included with this post is so appropriate for me right now. See that stone heart? That’s my heart right now. It’s a cold, unbeating, weight in the middle of my chest. But I’m also no fool. I know there’s some seriously deep growth going on in me right now. The tree who is partially rooted in that stone heart is alive and soon, very soon, that stone heart will beat again. It suspect it’s going to be painful but it’s the only way to grow.
So as I sit here unable to find that part of myself that lives in another realm, I’m paying attention. I’m learning and growing and taking plenty of mental notes. This is the pain of real life. The agony of growth. And I know that in time, when my stone heart can beat again, that growth will find its way into my writing once again.
I’ll be able to write through the pain.