This business of reflecting on my life is painful but also brings about certain rewards.
I wrote the first book thinking that I had something to say and that somebody out there would find value in reading it. When the book was launched into the world, many who read it corresponded with me telling me their stories, sharing their insights. That part was good and rewarding. In fact it was the most rewarding aspect of the book. I discovered that the collective of reader’s responses had more to teach me that anything I had to contribute back. With that came something else. Something I wasn’t looking for …… my own private insight. I was forced to go into a vigorous exercise of reflecting on my life and make connections of the self destructive pattern that stream through out.
In Arabic we have a saying: “God have mercy on a person who realizes his own self-worth.” Self-realization is painful. I wish it on my worse enemies. There was a reason I wasn’t looking for insight. Self-preservation from torment is a good thing. The problem with insight is that it can’t be undone. Once you have it you have no choice but to roll up your sleeves and do the required work.
Here I am getting ready to launch a second book into the world. Once again, I have this delusion I have something interesting to say and that somebody out there will appreciate reading it. Silly, silly me. I wake up in the middle of the night trembling with fear. Reminds me of going into labour the second time. I arrived to the hospital trembling like a leaf. I was holding each forearm with the opposite hand in an attempt to stop myself from shaking. The nurse kept covering me with a variety of blankets which I kept on throwing away. Finally, in frustration the nurse said :”Tell me what I should do to keep you warm.” “I am not cold” was my reply. “Why are shaking like this then?” she was surprised by my answer. “I am afraid” I stated in a matter of fact. “Of what? the hard labour hasn’t started yet”.
“I remember what it was like the first time”
I finally get why so many writers drink themselves to death.
Unfortunately for me, I don’t enjoy alcohol. You might think it is fear of failure. But failure is a small potato. If nobody reads my book I can tell myself one of two things. Either I become arrogant and tell myself “I am ahead of my time and nobody gets me”. Or if I am more down to earth, I will tell myself “I wrote a piece of garbage that nobody cares about”. It does sting but I can make my peace with that. I am not afraid of failure nor of the possibility of success. It is the possibility of insight that sends me running to the mountain.
Please, please, please … no more insight. Whatever it is I am not seeing, about myself or about my life, I don’t want to see it. This business of reflecting on my life is hard work. I am a happy ignorant person, leave me that way. Ignorance is bliss. However, if there has to be insight this time around, let it not be a pile of sledge hammers that drop from the sky on my head all in one pile. I am still bleeding from last time. Let it be a pile of nerf hammers. Soft fluffy pretend hammers will do the job. I promise to pay attention without the pain.
It gives me hope to remember that giving birth the second time was much easier that the first. But then books don’t come out the same opening like babies do.
Here I go again!