Five Minute Friday: Exhale

I’ve been holding my breath for 3 years. Ever since the word autism came in to my life.

On edge.

Tense.

Fearful.

Afraid of the next meltdown or situation I couldn’t control. Explanations are worth nothing. Rationale meaningless. Words come as little comfort. The meltdown isn’t about words. It’s about action. Change the situation. Leave. Run. The noise hurts. The crowd’s too big. The pants don’t fit right.

It wasn’t until dinner about three weeks ago that I finally exhaled. I sat teetered on the edge of my chair like a cat poised for action. Waiting for the next request or spilled cup of milk. I realized I never allowed myself to fully sit on my chair with my back against the backrest. The next request could be any minute, so why bother settling in?

But on that day, I allowed myself to sit. And enjoy my dinner. With my back against the chair.

Because the next meltdown or spilled cup of milk is going to happen whether I am comfortable in my chair or not.

So why not enjoy it while I can and exhale? 

Stop.

This post was written in response to Lisa-Jo Baker’s “Five Minute Friday” writing prompt: exhale. I had to write everything I could in five minutes. Please excuse typos, grammatical errors and general nonsense. I am a writer. I am never perfect.

Five Minute Friday: Writer… choosing real over perfect

I never called myself a writer.

I always just knew that I could write better than I could speak. My feelings were best expressed when I couldn’t see my recipient’s reaction.

A one-sided conversation of sorts.

I used to write in the backseat of our 1979 wood-paneled station wagon. I was the youngest of five kids. I never thought my opinion mattered… so I wrote it down instead.

When I met my husband, he brought the “writer” out in me. He is the best writer I know and he marveled at the hidden layer I rarely revealed to even my closest friends. It is his encouragement that brought about my blog. It is his voice I hear when I sit down and just tell myself, “write dammit!”

Writing is my best friend and my worst enemy. It brings out my worst self doubt, but also helps me release the Mommy guilt which would surely eat me alive.

My story isn’t neat. It doesn’t unfold in a linear pattern. My characters aren’t in my head, they are tugging on my pant leg right now as I type. This is real life. It’s raw and emotional. Things are often left undone. I hit “publish” and my heart is left on my sleeve every time.

I am evolving as a writer and a mother. Most days, I can’t separate the two.

My story will never be completely told.

The neat bow will never be tied.

And so I write…

This post was written in response to Lisa Jo Baker’s writing prompt “writer” for “Five Minute Friday.” I was supposed to write this blog post without worrying about perfection or typos or grammar. Perhaps you can tell. Perhaps my honesty supersedes my typos. You can check out Lisa Jo’s blog and all the other 5 minute Friday submissions here