Thank God for The X Factor.
We’ll get to why shortly. First, where have I been? If you read this blog regularly (or even occasionally) you probably noticed that after writing every day in August (and several days the first week of September), I haven’t written a single new word in almost a month. What happened?
The short answer is I’ve been stuck. There was something I wanted that I didn’t get and for some reason it knocked me way off balance. It certainly wasn’t the first (or even the tenth) time since I’ve been sober that I didn’t get what I want. But somehow this time I couldn’t get past it. At least not all the way past it.
At first it seemed like I just wasn’t getting it now. But after a few days it became apparent that I’m not going to get it at all. But for some reason, I’ve let it take up space in my head for the entire month. And the thing about letting the idea of something that’s just not possible reside in your head is that it makes it so crowded that nothing else can get in.
So instead of having something to write about every day, like I did in August, I’ve had absolutely nothing to write about for about the last 30 days. Even as I’m writing this, it feels like I’ve got nothing. I don’t know where this is going. I’m not sure what I’m typing next. I don’t even really know if I ever had a point to begin with right now.
For someone who’s lived my life almost completely transparently for the past couple years on Facebook and my blog, it feels a little strange to not want to share exactly what I wanted that I didn’t get. All of a sudden something’s off limits? But the thing is, it’s already held me hostage for a month now. It feels like even acknowledging it in detail is giving it way more respect than it deserves. It’s certainly not the most important thing I’ve ever wanted that I didn’t get.
So why thank God for The X Factor? Well, for the last two weeks I resisted watching the audition episodes because I was so frustrated by what was going on in my head that I was afraid that watching would be too difficult. I thought that seeing people get what they wanted would make me resentful. But also, I thought watching people have their dreams shot down would be beyond depressing. So I just let the episodes sit on my Tivo, clogging that the same way my head was clogged (no room for anything new).
But I have a blog to write. So with the next phase of the competition starting this week, I figured I had to at least try to get through this backlog.
When I started watching the auditions finally this week, something surprising happened. I found that my reaction were completely opposite of what I expected. Rather than being resentful and jealous when people did well, I’ve been literally moved to tears by just about every great audition. It’s been the happiest I’ve been all month, watching these people so happy and excited.
It’s a really small thing, but knowing I can be happy for someone else in the midst of my own sadness and frustration gives me hope. Does it mean I’m unstuck? Reading over this lackluster blog post I’d have to say no. But at least I feel like I’m pointed in the right direction even if I’m not moving forward yet.
Stay tuned. Hopefully more to come.