My writing teacher, Valley, said that someone once told her that unless you feel like you are going to throw-up at least one time every day, you are not challenging yourself.  Well, I don’t relish the feeling of being nauseous for the next 6 weeks during this Six Weeks of Raw Writing project, but I do want to face the challenge.  Right now, I can feel the tension building in my head as my heart quickens at the thought of what I have committed to do.  This is a feeling all too familiar to me – anxiety!

I keep thinking, lately, that my daughter is just me turned inside-out.  My family sometimes asks how we ended-up with a child so outspoken and loud.  My girl is quite the little personality, at least when she is at home.  Like me, she struggles with anxiety on a daily basis and yet, she doesn’t let it get in the way of her sassiness.  I say that with much endearment.  Just like me, my girl seems quiet and angelic when she is in a group situation, especially at school or at church, but when she is really at home with herself, she lets it all hang-out.  If she is unsure of something and wants reassurance, she will ask for reassurance over and over again.  My equivalent of that is to check my e-mail for comments, obsessively, after writing a post.  It’s as if until someone validates my thoughts, my writing, my thoughts don’t exist.  This need for approval is something I want to get past.  I want to just enjoy writing without needing the feedback.  I so admire one of my favorite writers, Anne Voskamp, for actually turning the comment section off on her blog.  Seeing how she has now written a book, One Thousand Gifts, that has been on the NY Times bestseller list for over a year now, I suspect she has received plenty of feedback, but I know that she is not writing to receive pats on the back.  She writes what is on her heart, what God puts on her heart, and by golly, she is changing the world with her words!

My girl is obsessed with picking the scabs from all the bug-bites on her legs – another way that she lets her anxiety hang-out for everyone to see.  Her legs look like battle fields right now and complete strangers will stop and ask what happened to them.  We just sigh and say, “She likes to pick her scabs!”  What else can you say?  It doesn’t seem to bother my girl though.  She just keeps on picking.  Or I guess her need to pick outweighs the need to have scarless legs.  Do I do this on the inside?  Pick at my wounded places over and over?  Revisiting the things that cause me to feel anxious?  Maybe my girl has the right idea.  If you are going to be nervous, just let everyone see.  Then there is nothing to hide.  The worst is already out there.