Truth and Recreation

I’ve written a lot lately. In fact, since my last post here I’ve written over 23,000 words–or the equivalent of approximately a month’s worth of posts, if we assume I post about twelve times a month and each of them are slightly less than two thousand words a piece. Then again, this is what I expect during NaNoWriMo: A lot of writing but not a lot of writing here. Or on school papers. I’m so glad they’re not due till December.

Lately I’ve also been hung up on saying “the truth is.” Well the truth is I don’t know why I’ve had this obsession, but I’m almost certain that the two might be related.

It’s what I like to call truth and recreation.

I had every intention of writing an encouraging and helpful post on how to write convincing characters last week. And then a very gratitude-enriched post planned for Thanksgiving. And then somewhere in the mix add in some more poetry and maybe a story or something. But then there was my 60,000 word goal hanging over me and homework assignments and scholarship applications and a window project I haven’t touched since break began and nothing, nothing is getting done.

I also bought myself the Legend of Zelda: Skyword Sword and it’s amazing. It’s addictive. I haven’t played this much on my Wii in about six months. I’m loving it.

The truth is I don’t let myself have much fun during the semester. I get so caught up in my responsibilities and my classes that enjoyment diminishes. I love learning and I love being involved on campus and I love hanging out with friends whenever I get the chance, but all of this wears me down. I get worn down just being in the presence of other people. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I’m an introvert. There’s an entire world inside me that’s always vying for attention, and let’s be honest, it has a lot more to offer than the world outside ever could–and I love it. But it’s tiring to close off my inner mind and deal with people and things around me. I can’t help that. It’s just the way I am.

So then comes November. It’s the one time during the year I allow myself to put everything else aside to do something completely and entirely for me. I do things for me throughout the year, yes, but I always feel like I give power to my family, my friends, my commitments to get in the way and distract me, to take my time and my money and turn them against me. I don’t mind. I love helping. But sometimes it means I sacrifice parts of me that I just can’t get back.

In November, that changes. For fifty thousand glorious words (and often more than that since I frequently aim higher, at a hundred thousand or eighty thousand or whatnot), I’m all for me. I’m all for my characters and my little lovelies, those moments of perpetual paranoia as I run from men in white suits, or those strange moments of the third kind when humans and aliens become telepathically entangled and the direction of my story changes forever. This month is for me. This month is for fun and insanity and I love it.

It refreshes me. And I get to revel in its enjoyment until it wears off somewhere around February or March and then I wait in anticipation for another detoxification during the next NaNoWriMo. It’s been a staple of my system for six years. It’s not going anywhere.

The irony is that November is also the busiest time of the year. Holiday shopping begins, which means casual shopping of any kind suddenly takes twice as long to do, mostly due to long lines, not longer shopping lists. And in all my classes homework begins piling up, papers become due, finals are right around the corner and all the events and such that have to be done on campus still haven’t been done and must now be done all at once.

It’s chaotic. And if chaos is order in disguise, this is an order I will never fully realize.

So when do I get to my blog? Simply stated: I don’t.

Not to my blog. Not to a lot of my homework until the last minute. Not to my household responsibilities. Not to a lot of things. In a way it’s like cutting off a finger in order to save a toe: I sacrifice something small but important to save something else that’s also small but also important. It’s a perpetual motion of give and take, push and pull, and for all the tiringness of NaNoWriMo and its associated November ails, I come out feeling refreshed, feeling like I’ve finally done something entirely for me.

The truth is I need this recreation every now and then. So I miss posting every week like I want to. So I fall further behind in homework than I should. So my papers aren’t as perfect as I would otherwise want them to be. But for one month, one special month in the entire year, I get to forget Darren the student or Darren the teacher or Darren the uncle, the brother, the son, forget Darren the leader and Darren the friend and finally focus on Darren the writer.

I don’t do that often, and trust me, the truth is it feels great.


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