Thank you, Adam Lambert, for giving me my title. You know the age old adage: “Good composers borrow, great composers steal.” But let’s get down to business. Today I’m hanging with Writer’s Block: and I’m ready to rip him a new one.
When I think about the universality of the human experience, I feel simultaneously connected and invisible. At times like this, the invisibility looms low, pushing me into artistic paralysis.
I don’t want my story to just get lost. And I fear that by sending it out into the world, it might do so. Each of us has a story to tell; but if each of us tells it, how will we stand out? I’ve fallen deep down this rabbit hole, and now? I’m paying the price. I’m like a guy who’s just learned he’s never made his girl orgasm: unable to perform. Have a penis and think this is DEFINITELY not you? Sorry, bro: it is.
What happens if I take something that’s important to me, put it out into the world, and receive a minor reaction? Will lack of recognition belittle my experience? Perhaps I’m emotionally dependent. Let me explain–on Tuesday night, over fried green tomatoes, my fairy godmother told me a story, a story I’ll share with you now:
Meet Steve, our hero. He’s got platinum blonde hair, dyed purple tips, a septum piercing, and a one-month chip of sobriety from AA. He also has a wife named Karen. She’s a hot piece of ass, if he does say so himself. But the thing about heroes? They have fatal flaws. Steve’s is his sobriety, or rather, lack thereof. This one-month chip is no big feat, given it’s the 11th one he’s earned. He’s been on and off the wagon for years now, and Karen’s faith has waned. He came home last week with his brand new chip, proud as a peacock on pot. But while Steve felt himself and maniacally nay-nay’ed up the walls, Karen simply shrugged and continued to water her basil. This sent Steve straight back to the bottle. Steve might be physically sober, but he’s still emotionally dependent–on Karen. I’m like Steve: I’m emotionally dependent–on my audience. And knowing this, I’m scared to write.
Dear God: I want peace. Peace with being one in a billion. How can I find it? Regina Spektor’s “The One Who Stayed and the One Who Left” comes to mind right now:
I’m just another song on a jukebox
I’m just another face in the crowd
Another fish in the sea
Something to being one in the masses
Something to being surrounded by others and not alone by yourself
All I can do to combat this is write. I simply must continue to write. You know the proverb: you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. If I write, it might suck. Or worse, it might vanish. But if I don’t write, there’s nothing. And I might as well be dead.
I lie in bed, calves quaking. Thoughts pound against my skull, unable to escape. Too many to choose from. Which one to pursue? My mind is like a gum-ball machine, bursting with bulbs which will burst into bubbles. Each a different taste, each a different color, but each one equally good. I put a quarter in the machine, and one comes out. It’s white. It’s lumpy. Are those markings…teeth? Regardless, it’s here; it rests in my palm. “Now what?” I wonder, “Do I put it in my mouth? Or do I add another quarter and await a better ball?” All balls taste more or less the same; I really can’t go wrong. But I can’t shake the feeling that the pink ball in the corner just might make bigger bubbles.
You know what else slays me? Intentions. Goals. These thoughts which are meant to aid me merely set me up for failure. Take, for instance, this blog: I began DR to chronicle my recovery, but for the past few weeks, I’ve struggled to choose a topic. I’ve tried fruitlessly to craft posts related to my eating disorder, but they simply didn’t reflect my experience. Then there’s the matter of why I write: is it for me or the audience? (Have you noticed the Fox porn I’ve drizzled throughout? That’s merely a took to keep you reading. Plus I think it’s fun.) I thought elaborating on this struggle would betray the purpose of the blog, but in reality, it’s doing the opposite. The true goal of the blog is to vocalize my truth, and by writing about my writer’s block, I’m doing just that. It’s my preconceived notion about what the blog should be that’s kept me from owning my reality.
My favorite place to write is face down on my yoga mat. It becomes an immersive experience. I’m fully in my body, and the contact with the floor turns me on. I don’t just mean sexually; it awakens my whole system, energizes me, reminds me that I’m a full person. But, yeah, it perks me up sexually too. My hips and pelvis press into the ground, and I wiggle around…you can imagine the feeling. I’ll try to keep this PG, as I’ve gotten backlash from my family about some of my diction. Apparently the line “hot piece of ass” in my show O Negative made my mother cringe. I explained to her that that’s the point, and a matter I take pride in, but alas, for the sake of good PR, I won’t tell you all that writing makes me orgasm.
I don’t like to breathe. I clench my jaw and tense my neck and speak from a tight, squeaky place that sounds like someone else. But face down on my mat, the tension disappears. My diaphragm expands and contracts against the floor. My lower body is activated and my neck and shoulders release. It’s like magic. It’s my happy place. Bella Florence’s fantasyland. I’ve been thinking lately about how I don’t have a space to call my own. I’m a bit of a germaphobe, so I never fully settled into my dorm room. I don’t like to touch the bed frame or the countertops or god forbid the floor, so I spend most of my time out and about. And here in New Orleans, I don’t feel like myself. I feel repressed, constricted. It’s tainted for me, this city; every crevice reminds me of who I was before recovery. So too do the people. That said, I don’t feel at home in my home.
My therapist says that I have a home within me, wherever I go. Never is that more true than when I’m face down on my mat. I’m connected to my body, to the earth, and to my thoughts. I can fully surrender because I know I’m safe. And the best of all? It’s portable, and relatively clean. A space to call my own. Journaling face down on my yoga mat is better than masturbation; it’s creation. I’m physically manifesting my thoughts, not just imagining them. They become tangible; they become real. My mat connects me to myself and brings me closer to self-actualization. At the end of the day, I have a mat to come back to. A mat that can bring me to my truth.
I hope the fox porn kept you engaged. If you’d like to see more, google “red fox copulation.” Do not, I repeat do NOT, google “red fox sex.” Unless you’re into role play. Then by all means, search away. Today I’m grateful for my yoga mat, for my body, for radically accepting my writer’s block, and for connecting to my truth. And I’d like to know: what connects you to yours? Leave a comment telling me your favorite place to write, and what you do to conquer writer’s block. You just might get a chance to contribute to the blog…
Happy Sunday and Happy Feels!
-Isabella Rose Florence, aka, Sexi Fox.
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