“Happy Tears” Club

I’m a whirlwind of emotion the last few days as my project is rounding up. My ongoing analogy to running a marathon feels more poignant than ever as I pass mile 25.98 and I imagine runners in the last mile operating on another dimension; not unlike the super strength you exhibit when your kid is stuck under a car and you lift it. 

I’m not a runner, but I’m over-tired; not from the physical writing or from coming up with ideas; that part was easy. (I still have 100 of the original ideas I came up with which I never ended up writing about.) I’m exhausted from the feeling of having to do something every single day; it’s a daily deadline with no break. 

Each day, until I wrote my piece, the stories brewed in my mind (and my stomach), a constant hovering to-do overhead. Even if I accomplished my writing earlier in the day, my mind continued spinning, prepping for tomorrow. I spent countless hours over-scrutinizing my progress, contemplating future endeavors, and managing real income projects. I’m also emotionally drained of engaging in a repetitive devil’s advocate debate in my mind; the “This is the greatest idea ever” versus “What a waste of a fucking year.” I’ve learned how perfection paralysis and analysis paralysis leads to inactivity and rather than providing insight, they serve as little beyond anti-productive procrastination tactics.

Throughout this complicated year, filled with copy-inspiring events, I have prioritized my writing above socialization. Dinners cancelled, parties skipped, playdates avoided – there just wasn’t enough time in the day to spend with my own family and survive my everyday life. I didn’t acknowledge the heft of the load I was carrying for 365 days and I’m fucking ready to set it down.

There’s a reason the cliche “everything in moderation” is a recommendation which can be applied to everything. Even a droplet of water every day will make a hole in a rock (or something like that).

In the last few days, whenever anyone has said, “your project is almost finished,” my eyes have welled up and I can’t understand why. They don’t feel like tears of joy or accomplishment; they feel like tears of confusion – or at least they do for now. Upon reflection, I hope to see they are tears of pride. I’ve never set out to do something so colossal and accomplished it. Part of me feels modest, hearing imaginary judgments, instinctively wanting to downplay the whole achievement. Yet, another part of me wants to scream it from a rooftop: I WROTE AN ESSAY EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR A YEAR. [Over 250,000 words!]

Part of my victory feels anti-climactic. There is no pomp and circumstances nor an official finish line to cross. No one will give me my time, wrap me in a mylar blanket, or hang a medal around my neck. My resolution is less tangible and I imagine, with time and distance, will only grow in value until I’ll easily recognize these tears were the happiest of all.

7 thoughts on ““Happy Tears” Club

  1. I think only by not doing this every day, by stepping back from it, will you see what you have achieved. It is something to be proud of.

  2. Having not done this year-long writing challenge, I can only imagine it feels similar to emerging into the “real world” from the more or less insulated tunnel that goes elementary school to middle school to high school to college (and similar variations). There’s this weird “now what” feeling that takes a while to go away, because everything up until that point had been building up to the next thing. Day one builds up to day two, and so on until day three hundred and sixty-six drops you off… somewhere. And there’s no more built-in next step. Still, everyone figures out what to do next.

    Are you going to throw yourself a “graduation” party?

  3. I have big plans for no party and just a bit of brain rest. I am going to compile the stories, though, add a bunch more and am pitch it for publication, so I’ll still be in the Life Clubs world until I have real closure. After that, fiction! It has felt very one-sided and after this diligent daily dedication, I am also going to break down a bit of the imaginary blogging 4th wall and be more of a community member rather than just orator.

    Happy new year and thank you for reading and writing.

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