My fingers glide across the keyboard making a slight melody of words. This is the only music that I ever learned how to make. The strumming of letters and the painting of words dance around me, like they just escaped. The freedom, the airy flowing freedom makes them so much lighter that they can float and fly and I feel completely ashamed as the monster that managed their captivity. Knowing they are locked up, I just kept saying I would get to them tomorrow; or the next day or the next month. Time has always been our enemy.
I spent my morning balancing a spreadsheet, then made lunch for my kids, cleaned the kitchen, attempted laundry, picked up another kid from school then started dinner. My creativity would get buried inside the mundane, everyday life tasks. It is the list of things I have to get done before I get to spend any time with it. The pent-up creativity was starting to peak out, wanting so bad to be free. It manifests in my anxiety as I get frustrated by the smallest of things. My son is gripping tightly onto my leg asking me to hold him. “I don’t have time right now,” I exclaim, only to scoop him up in my arms of sadness and guilt. I am envious of him. He is a toddler and his emotions never have to hide. If he is upset, he lets us know. If he wants to release some creativity it is highly encouraged. Even when he and his sister painted the upstairs walls. It was shades of blue, green and purple splattered all over the landing wall and a bin of stuffed animals were freshly inked in paint. The animals really like rainbows, he explained. I should have been mad, but I was actually jealous.
Being a writer often comes after my other jobs are done. “What do you do for a living?” A stranger asks. I smile and say “That is a loaded question,” thinking about the occupation section of my tax return and I tried to come up with the accurate algorithm to describe what my time is spent doing in regards to how much money I make. I am an accountant, I start. No, a bartender. Actually, I am a full-time mom. Then out of social anxiety nerves, I start to list the things I like to do. I am a runner; a reader and I like to take long drives on empty roads, oh yeah. I am writer too, when I can find the time. Every time something minor changes in my schedule, or I am behind on a project or chore, the first thing that stops is writing. I am sensitive to guilt, so any little writing moment I almost had will be put off until later; suppressed and pent-up until I have time to release it.
What a day. What a week. What a life. Those words stood out on the pages I am trying so hard to focus on. I can’t seem to grasp what I am doing some days, I am just floating: kind of high and kind of depressed. I am going to burst with this pent-up creativity. It is going to slowly build in my heart and trickle out to my idle fingers: the ones that aren’t writing. I close my eyes, concentrating; I want to be anywhere else than where I am now. Not in my living room, not staring at the wall I really want to paint or the shelf I am proud I splurged on. The cactus sitting on top of the shelf peaks out from its overpriced vase. I can’t tell if I am a victim to trends or if the influx of houseplants is another way I subliminally set myself up for chaos. Yet another living thing that depends on me, like my dog with skin allergies, my tiny rescue kittens, the sick toddlers, the needy teenagers and (let’s be honest) the husband I started it all with. So I think about those perfect writing moments I hope to have. I can close my eyes and taste the sunshine around me as I sip on a soothing cup of tea. Not my usual coffee, used to wake my body, but a soothing cup of tea, used to wake my mind. The air is the perfect cool warmth that the state I live in is craving this time of year. That is winter in Ohio, the state I live in and the one I could leave if I so desired, or so I tell myself in the attempts to feel like I have control over freedom. I am writing myself forward into the next phase of this creative existence I so desire to make my reality; For now, I am freely trapped in this moment, and that is all I can rely on for the release of my pent up creativity and be grateful these moments exist somewhere inside the mundane ones.
Author: Kristen Taylor
Author Bio: I am a dreamer and a freelance writer, blogger, bartender, accountant and busy mother of four. I write personal essays on the highs and lows of real life and hope to one day publish a memoir.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @cassidy.marie.rose