Sunday, August 18, 2013

Life's Eternal Improv

The troubled marriage that inspired Nora Ephron

After reading the Salon article linked above, I was reminded of how much I miss Nora Ephron.  A strong woman willing to speak openly of her struggles, comforting us, her audience, with her hilarious tales of woe.  Brave and honest and funny, funnier even because of her bravery and her honesty.

Honesty scares me sometimes, but I like it.  It heals me more wholly than denial does.  I hope Ephron felt healed by sharing her stories with us.  I know I feel better when I share my stories.

Friday I had one of the worst panic attacks of my life. I sobbed for two-and-a-half hours at a park, alone, in my car.  I didn't have access to my prescription anti-anxiety medication and I didn't know where to go.  It was horrible.  Mostly because I was isolated.  Everyone I reached out to talk to was either unavailable or unaware of how to help me.   

I'm proud to say I got through it.  Mostly by keeping my sense of humor and riding it through. 

Earlier in the day I'd been experiencing some writer's block, and I was feeling generally crappy about my writing, not too inspired to write about anything. But about half-way through my 2 1/2 hour panic attack I stopped for a moment and thought, "Hey, at least now maybe I can get some writing done.  This will make a great story!" I literally laughed out loud at how driven I am to blend my art and my emotions and my life together. And you know what?  I felt a little calmer.  Not miraculously healed, but a little better.  Like I had a plan.  Something I can control in this uncontrollable world.  Sometimes, just knowing there's a story inside waiting to come out keeps me going.

I feel like my whole life is a practice run for a play I'm a part of but I don't understand what it's about and I have no idea what role I'm in and I can't even figure out who the director is.  But some days I smell popcorn popping in the background and it smells so good, and I see the smiling faces of my husband, my kiddo, my mom, my siblings, my friends, my loves ones out there in the audience looking at me like they're thinking, "You can do it!"  

Some days it works out and I end up telling a story I didn't even know existed until the exact moment it comes out.  As if all at once when I let go of the control I seek, I become unblocked, and all the lines come to me.  Even if they're wrong.  They're right for this moment, life's eternal improv.