Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How I do it: Equal parts Passion, Truth, Love, and Coffee

Year of Living Authentically #2: How I do it, a quick and dirty delve into the mind of one writer and what makes her tick.

This month I thought I would talk about the question I get most often from mothers: How do you do it? How do you write and have a job and be a mom and still manage to have time for a marriage? 

I didn't have a real answer until recently. I'd joke about my blood stream being equal parts coffee and white wine, but that's just me not wanting to really figure it out, to find out the truth about what makes me tick. 

I was filling out a marriage personality test with my husband when I finally realized HOW I do everything that I do. The scores of the test suggested that I have unnatural combinations of personality traits or that I was double-masked and so distorted by my life choices I didn't know who I was. According to the world, I'm crazy. 

But the truth is: I'm an artist, and an educator, and mother, and a wife. I am The Breakfast Club personified. And here is how my brain works. 

I have a full-time job- I coordinated several student programs at a major university. It is stressful and unpredictable, and I am REALLY good at talking to people, listening to what they need, and helping them. So it increases my confidence. 

I take that confidence and I teach creative writing to adults who have stories brewing in their souls and I get to help them percolate it and I LOVE the light they get in their eyes when it clicks and their story is now out in the world connecting to others. So that increases my passion for storytelling.  

And I take that passion and I write as much as I can because writing is breathing. I have things to say and questions to ask, and pain to experience, and joy to create. I want to know the depth and breadth of love and life, so I write to explore my truth. 

And I take that truth and I express it to my daughter in any way that I can. I know when I smile at her it is out of true happiness, and when I laugh, it is real laughter. When I am with my family, I am with them 100% because I am not longing to be anywhere else but with them. Because I know the work will get done, and the chapter will get written, and it will all still be there tomorrow and who can worry about anything when a block tower must be built. 

There is my circle of life (que Lion King Theme). 

Does it get out of whack: Oh yeah. But now its easier to figure out which wheel needs to be greased. If I'm working too much, I feel it in my QT with the Bean. If I haven't written in a while, I can't concentrate on work. If i don't teach, I end up lecture my husband on Calls to Adventure. 

Does it mean I get less sleep: Oh yeah. But I am happy with my choice. My wheels are greased with coffee and white wine. I'm not denying that. Coffee is the flavor of my soul. But what fuels me is passion, and being true to myself, and family time.

So take that personality test who thinks I don't know who I am- I do. All four of me. 

Authenticity test #2: What fuels your passion? What makes you stay up late at night? When was the last time you treated yourself to it? Don't you think its about time?

Until next time YOLA!!!

Amanda Arista


1 comment:

Helen Lowe said...

Another great post, Amanda--authentic, honest, and interesting: go you!

In terms of what fuels my passion--if I look at writing I have to wonder if it isn't the passion itself. A kind of virtuous circle, perhaps, but I know I'm always in the contentment zone when I'm writing.