I’ve recently gone through a couple of what I would call bona fide meltdowns, although some just might call them temper tantrums. I have a bit of a flair for the dramatic, so when I have a meltdown it involves lots of yelling (mostly at myself) and lots of tears. It’s too bad none of them have been filmed, because I could surely win an Academy Award for these performances.
But my meltdowns are always productive. They are what I like to call my “contrasting experiences.” They are the moments when I finally give in to my anger or frustration over something, and those moments allow me to better define what I really want in my life, the things I really want to change.
I know you’re all just itching to hear about my most recent meltdowns, so here are the two that spawned great moments of clarity…
1) Several weeks ago I received contest scores back for my latest project. I had been forcing myself to continue working on this project just in case I finaled and needed to have it ready for the judge, and also so I could pitch it at Nationals. Well, my scores were not great (I even blogged about them, as some of you may remember), and I discovered that my skin was not as thick as I thought it was. So I went through a couple of days of self-loathing, wondering if I even wanted to be a writer anymore. I contacted my most trusted critique partners and told them what I was feeling – basically that I wanted to check out for a while and not write at all. Of course, they were great and told me I should focus on my baby girl and not worry so much about getting the words on the page. Whew! What a relief. With the permission of my crit partners (lol), I was going to put the writing on hold and just enjoy my life. But two of my three contest judges had suggested I try writing contemporary, and I couldn’t stop thinking about that. And out of my misery, I found that what I really wanted to do was write chicklit. For a couple weeks now I’ve been working on this new project and I could not be happier! I’m eager to work on it every morning, and even find myself running from the shower to jot down a quick scene. Ah! Renewed love is so blissful!
And then there’s scenario #2…
My baby girl turned 6 months old the other day…the same day I stepped on the scale and realized that I was only 10 lbs away from what I weighed when I was 9 months pregnant!!! Which means I’ve gained 12 since she was born. Ack! Not cool at all. Now this involved a full-on meltdown. I sat on the floor of the nursery, bawling my eyes out while Bella had some tummy time. (FYI – Bella thinks it’s hilarious when we cry, so at least someone was having a good time.) Eric came in to try to comfort me and tell me it was all okay, to which I responded, “No, it’s NOT okay! I’m FAT!!!” But once I’d calmed down I jotted off an email to my very best friend in the world who has had two babies and lost almost all of her baby weight now. She replied with an email outlining what I needed to do – all things that I already knew I needed to do, but having someone tell me to do them was the kick in the butt I needed. Well, that was a week ago, and amazingly, I’ve already lost 4lbs. The secrets to my success? 1200 calories/day. Vigorous exercise every other day and pilates/weight lifting in between. And, the piece de resistance, gobs and gobs of lemon water (about 100 oz/day).
So I’m curious. Am I the only one who has to have meltdowns to reach a point of clarity? What have you had a meltdown about that led to positive results in the end?