When I was in labor, fourteen years ago, I almost bit my husband’s neck. We were trying that “dancing” technique that sounds so sweet in Lamaze class—my arms around his shoulders, his arms around my giant waist, rocking back and forth. But I involuntarily added another move: my teeth were bared and slowly sinking into his neck. He still thanks me for not actually biting down, but I was this close. I was in transition—that in between time when you go from pain to HELLO PAIN!
Transition. Such a nice word to describe agony.
Life is full of transitions—moving, changing jobs, going from unmarried to married, married to single, kids in the nest to kids out of the nest—lots of transitions. Some big. Some small. Some that seem insurmountable.
So this past week I was kind of cranky. I’m trying to finish my latest novel manuscript and as much as I love writing, writing is work. My husband mentioned I hadn’t blogged in awhile. I should blog, he said. I didn’t respond very nicely, but I didn’t bite his neck either. He kept bugging me to turn over my manuscript so he can read it. I know this is all good, his being supportive and kind of wonderful actually, but this encouraging from the sidelines reminded me of being in labor. The other day I blurted out, “I’m the one who’s doing the work! You’re not the one doing the work so just be quiet and let me do the work!”
And then it hit me. I’m in transition. With my story. It’s almost done, but not quite. Symbolism is surfacing, slowly, but… not quite. I feel like all my energy is focused on finishing and I can’t get my head out of the story. I sleep fitfully and wake up realizing that saunter on page 167 should be meander. And even though I’m nearing the finish line (I think. At least the first finish line…) the whole thing suddenly seems impossible and self-doubt is thick and pervasive and poised to sabotage.
Maybe you’re smack dab in the middle of your own life change or overwhelming project. Maybe you’re thinking what in the world have I gotten myself into? Maybe it’s just (ha ha “just”…) transition.
To quote from Frozen, hang in there, Joan. Or whatever your name may be. Persevere. Push through. And try not to bite the necks of those you love.