I’m always patting myself on the back too soon. A case of pride coming before a fall, I suppose.
“Look how I’ve bounced back!” I say to my mum.
Everything in the world looked peachy and, well – in a nutshell - full of babies. My sister in law had her second scan last week and revealed on the weekend I’m going to have a little nephew at Christmas. A solicitor had to rush off from work as his wife was being induced (cue a last minute sweepstake on weight and gender). Another solicitor is also due at the same time as my sister in law and is sporting a very becoming bump. We’re approaching my best friend’s baby’s first birthday.
It’s a wonderful world, as the great Louis Armstrong sang.
But in parallel, I’ve felt a growing emptiness these last few days. I needed...something. Something else creative perhaps. I searched for artistic courses in my area. Fuelled by ambition, I didn’t want any old course. I found it in the end; a nationally recognised qualification one-day per week textile design course that had my imagination run riot. I could create folksy art products to sell on-line. It could be the personal investment to change my life and, who knows, eventually accumulate the net worth of the collective investors on Dragon’s Den.
I was almost sweating with the need to reduce my hours in work to four days a week and pull it off. I justified asking for the four days by telling myself it was unlikely I’d ever need to ask for maternity leave.
I had to see reason at some point. The reason came when I was told the course was cancelled due to lack of interest. I had to face it then. I’m craving the immediate emotional fulfilment writing the first draft of my book gave me. Had my creative passion become desperation? I considered why I might be missing it. Was it the pleasure of writing it? Was it boredom or the anti-climax after a frenzied bout of creativity? I had plenty to do, and in terms of writing I still have my blog.
Anyway, if I was that desperate, there was nothing to stop me re-writing it right now. I mean, just because writing experts say you should let the first draft just ‘be’ for a few weeks, there was no actual law against not doing so. But I knew, like we always know deep down, what I was really trying to avoid. HOWARD successfully drummed into me that childless women have no social purpose. We are a worthless old bunch. The act of writing my workplace bullying book gave me the sense of social purpose I felt put me on an equal footing to everyone else.
“Hey, I’m as important and creative as the next girl!”
Yes, reader, I’ve been running around like a lunatic the last few days trying to justify my existence. Not to HOWARD though. That would be bad enough, but HOWARD is long gone. He's left me trying to justify my existence to myself.
Horrible isn’t it? But I’m going to calm down now and take a leaf out of the experts on writing book. I’m going to just ‘be’ until the first draft re-writing deadline has passed. I can live without it for another week and a half.
Creating things with purpose is a wonderful, profound thing, whether its books or babies – but we shouldn’t overlook the elemental fact that we’re already the art someone else created.
See you soon
- Bullied By The Boss
- Welcome to my blog. My pen name is Eva James. I'm an aspiring writer paying the bills working as a legal secretary. Relentlessly bullied by my former boss, I looked for another job but the recession hit. Feeling trapped, I recorded everything in this blog, which serves as a revealing insight into workplace bullying. WEEK 1 starts the story and, as the weeks progress, you'll note what starts as banter soon spirals out of control. Sadly, it's all true. Whilst along the way I've found alternative employment, my passion for blogging about workplace bullying remains. Trevor Griffiths, legendary theatre, TV and film writer said at the outset, "I like the writing a lot: smart, cool, placed. If you were prepared/able to take your prick of a boss on, you'd marmelise him."