I expected to be sad and mixed up during this healing process. What I did not expect is to feel like a legitimately crazy person.
RBS is my funny way of trying to sum up how I feel, but it feels more important than an Etsy shop here or a road trip there. Instead, I feel polarized at the moment. My entire adult life, I have had two very distinct sides pulling at my personality.
There’s the side that most of y’all know… the crafting/blogging/DIY/pony loving seeker of a stable, secure life. This Lauren had a back up plan for the back up plan. It was the reason I got an English teaching degree instead of a straight up creative writing. It has led to lots of other choices in my life as well. Safety Lauren is the main voice of this blog.
My other side, artsy Lauren, still shows up here from time to time… much more lately than before. This is the person who ran rampant during my college years when money and responsibility were just a threat in the future versus an actual reality. Travel, creative writing, reading and the arts dominated my life then. Of course there were ponies too (always ponies), but it was more something I loved and did than something that drove me forward.
Artsy Lauren’s heroes were writers, teachers and professors from college. I put those folks on a pedestal.
I used to fill entire pages of notebooks with song lyrics and poetry from memory. I wrote two lines of writing per 1 college rule. I read all the time, and everything I could get my hands on. I wrote half as much as I read.
The plan was to be the Bohemian english teacher that everyone looked up to – total Dead Poets Society style. I would teach high school English for a few years, get an advanced English degree of some kind and eventually propel myself up to the level of writer that I wanted to be. Easy peasy.
Working in high schools though, was not like I thought it would be. I should have expected the children to be bratty and self absorbed (most were), but I didn’t expect that so many teachers would behave as if they were in high school themselves. I had to follow a dress code, watch the way I talked and what I said and bring a bagged lunch to school every day. It felt like I would be perpetually stuck in high school for the rest of my life.
I loved high school when I was a teenager, but I didn’t want to build a life there. Even though I finished out my degree in college, I never got my teaching certification and took my 1st job as a web designer… never looking back.
Artsy Lauren began to be shut into a box. It happened slowly, but after I graduated I abruptly stopped reading for a few years. I watched TV a lot (really, really stupid TV). I worked and hung out with my soon to be husband and friends. We moved to Massachusetts, and I slipped even further away from my creative self. I stopped blogging/writing entirely, and worried about work performance and job titles and promotions.
We moved to Texas, and I started riding horses again. Career became necessary for me to pay for the nerd horse and his accompaniments. We bought a house, and I wanted it to look nice. The writing itch came back, so I started blogging. It allowed me a little bit of time every day to allow myself to write and be somewhat creative.
I don’t regret any of the choices that safety Lauren pursued. This path that I’ve chosen is a part of me now, and despite being super mixed up… I like myself. But I’ve made the safe choice my entire life, and it did not save me from tragedy.
My first inclination was to ditch all the safe choices and go after the dreams I was too scared of in my youth with a wreckless abandon. I believe that would be doing myself a disservice though, because despite my desire to be spontaneous… I am a planner. I need security. I need some of those safe choices in my life.
Surely there has to be a way to balance this all out?
Now I just have to figure out where to go.