There has been a smell pervading my life recently.
Please don’t log off it’s not B.O. I promise. I have showered and scrubbed my skin, massaged the sweetest smelling shampoo into my scalp and used foot scrubs. But still it’s there, lurking in the background.
I try to catch it out by turning suddenly and sniffing the air like a wild animal on heat but I can’t quite catch up with it. You see I realise now I am the only one that is sensing it.
I close my eyes and visualise it instantly as fog. It wafts across the horizon lazily, It’s thin and fluid but it dances in front of my eyes menacingly. It has power, I can sense it. The smell of it is faint and it wafts in and out of my consciousness as do the tendrils of fog. It is not a sharp pungent smell, more a lingering subtle essence, it hints at decay but then it is gone.
This week I have written a submission for a magazine, the theme given is ‘how to stay sane in this chaotic 24/7 world’. It may not be accepted but the point is I have written it and in it was during its writing that I recognised that smell for what it was and how to deal with it.
Perhaps I had better name this smell for you to better understand it, for it has a name that you will know.
It is defeat.
It has crept into my life just like the tendrils of fog that slither across our vision and temporarily blind us.
My wonderful creation that is my NANO novel, the one that was to be my pride and joy, has reached 90 plus thousand words and yet it is wrong. It has lost its way and needs a complete re-write. Not edit, re-write.
This knowledge has been hidden in my soul and I have not shared this crisis with any of my wonderful friends and mentors. By keeping this secret I have allowed it to fuel the smell of defeat and the fog has completely masked my vision. Ever since I acknowledged the truth about my novel to myself I retreated into the pervading smell and failed to write a single word except for my last blog entry.
As I write this and admit my failure to the world I see whole layers of the defeat fog dissipate and waft away out of my life. As it lifts I can see that not one word of what I have so far written is wasted, every word has a purpose and will help me formulate the re-write. Everything in life improves with practice and so it will be with my novel.
Sensing triumph over the smell that appears as a fog, I shall continue.
My wonderful house of memories is not selling. The “market” or “economic crisis” is conspiring to singularly deny one person the chance to move on and find a new life. That person is me. I have let that disappointment swamp me and it is here that the smell is strongest.
Yet there is an antidote to this malaise, one that can keep me sane whilst I wait out the market trends and await that magical right person to find my home. My plans for the future, my knowledge that I have chosen a new path for myself that is both exciting and inspiring. But this private knowledge is not enough I need to vocalise and share my dream freely.
When I sell my wonderful house of memories I shall travel to East Africa where I shall spend between six months and two years volunteering to work with children whose lives are tainted by disease and poverty. My desire to follow this path is so absolute and complete that it hurts. I know this is right for me and I am impatient to be off.
Recently that smell has somehow obscured this purpose, it had hidden my passion to follow this new path and robbed me of hope and belief. It has been a powerful smell but as I declare my purpose to the world at large and metaphorically shout it from the highest point, I can sense it’s withdrawal and see the fog lifting to reveal a beautiful, frightening but sunny future.
This week I have changed jobs and rejoined fat club, another area where that smell had been at its strongest. No more diving into a packet of biscuits or crisps because life hasn’t delivered what I want when I want it. I shall regain my pride in myself, the smell took that too.
I hope you will continue to join me on this rocky and troublesome route that is my journey to be published, it deviates from the theme a lot I know, but bear with me, because – I will get there. Xxx