I've had a rough go of it lately.
It turns out I had a cracked and infected tooth for the past 4 months. I had gone to the dentist several time complaining of jaw pain and tooth pain but we both thought it was from a recent crown. About five days ago the pain worsened but still I carried on, because that's what I do. A few days ago I was on the floor in more pain than I've experienced in a long time.
I've had tooth pain before but not like this. This was out of control. No dull aching here. Nope, this was a sharp, stabbing pain that wouldn't cease. I couldn't even scream or cry or moan or do much of anything. I couldn't drive or walk. It was the first day in my entire career as a health care practitioner that I called/texted and canceled all my patients. I've even gone into work twice in the past with migraines. There's a point to all of this - I'm getting there :)
In the end I went to the dentist and got it taken care of, or at least diagnosed and am now on antibiotics and pain killers with an appointment for an extraction or root canal.
The reason I'm telling you all this is because it circles around to a very important lesson that apparently, I'm still learning and that lesson is self care. I have a long history of putting other's needs before mine and even suffering silently while I care for them. My patients (who I love), my partners, my friends, my family, even my pets. Co-dependence at its finest.
And even when I was on the floor, I called the dentist and explained that I couldn't possibly come in that day because I had to go to work. But then I looked at my new tattoo, one I got this past week, the night before this debilitating tooth pain as a matter of fact and I called the dentist back and told her I was coming in immediately.
The tattoo I got is for self care, to remind me to put myself first. It's a version of a heart I draw and it's the not so subtle - look at me Chloe, what the F are you doing right now - reminder. So YAY, it worked, it IS working and I'm learning, day by day. Tomorrow I get the tooth taken care of :)
An Unedited Piece I wrote During Rachael Herron's Amazing Writing Class in Venice Italy, 2018
When the observer becomes the observed can be looked at as a dance between two partners. Although I didn’t experience that when I was observing, I have experienced it many times in the past, as I labeled myself a people watcher in my 20’s and 30’s.
There is something haunting and beautiful about this imagery, this exchange of energy. When we observe other people we are adding narratives to their lives that don’t truly exist. They may exist for someone somewhere but not for the person or people we are watching.
What then is our story as seen and interpreted by the outsider? Who are we if we are watched, judged and juried by our peers without even a word exchanged. Am I ever seen as a magical fairy princess by a child? A martyr or spinster by a man? A mother of fifteen children by a nun? Is there something in every single one of us that carries a kernel of truth by the observed? Everyone has a story, real or imagined. Everyone has a past, full of wants, desires, suffering, joy and love. So there’s the commonality of it all. Humans trying to make sense of each other in whatever way we can. And what are the different ways each person observes? Does one look at you and think “she reminds me of my sister or my mother or a teacher I had in fifth grade.” Does another think, “I wonder what her life is like or if I could walk a day in her shoes.” Does a third have a blank slate and only see what we’re wearing and register our eyes?
What do I notice in another person? What stories do I make up? What stories do I tell? Am I looking at everyone as a potential character in a book or as a blank canvas of which to add the paint, the touches of color, the burnt sienna of their long hair, the crystalline ocean wave of their eyes, the majestic way of their carriage? Is what I notice from each person different, depending on them or dependent on myself and my mood? My thoughts of the moment? Do I see their clothes or their life? And even when we know someone, someone we’ve conversed with for as long as we can remember, do we truly know them? Or do we only know what they want to show us, what they want us to see?
This always leads me back to my father who has never truly seen me and it’s as much my fault as his. I pretended, my entire life, to be someone he would love and be proud of, yet he never did and he never was. I was a story he told and a false one at that. I was a made up caricature and it hurt me to my core.
So how am I different? Making up stories for all who surround me? For those I know and love to those I only watch while they pass. The woman and her dog? I deemed her cruel or too old to care for him. Too out of touch with his feelings. Such is life, merely a story we tell ourselves.
In my weekly newsletters I share exclusive author musings and content that I don't ever post here so if you want some fun creative writing, personal insights and every so often - a cut scene, please subscribe to the Edge!
So yes, I've been back and inundated with editing Blazing Light and also a novella, Inconceivable Origin, for a new Reverse Harem Anthology (Realms and Rebels) for a little over a month. This means I haven't been writing anything NEW and since that's my happy place, I have been challenged. The good news is that I got Inconceivable Origin finished and my editor loved it. The bad news is that I'm still editing Blazing Light and it's pretty much due tomorrow. The good news is that I get to start writing new content on Wednesday!!! THIS WEDNESDAY! I will be outlining the second book in the Chronicles of Tara Trilogy (Synergist) - the fairie RH and writing a smoking hot short for Carina Press.
During editing mode, most things fall to the wayside. This past few weeks though I've been able to edit sitting out in the sun in my "garden", edit at my standing desk, edit on my couch, keep up with the day job, take the dog for walks and watch a little mindless television. I've gone through several audio books and a few hours of therapy sessions :)
Life has proven challenging in other ways but that's always when we learn and grow the most. Even though I prefer even-keel with no drama, it can lead to stagnation. Since returning from Italy I haven't been motivated to blog much. I've journaled a lot, started a new writing class to do with productivity, meditating and finding/making time to re-group.
This summer will be filled with work but I'm trying to fit in some time to visit friends close by, go to museums, see movies and maybe even do this thing people call relaxing.
Author Chloe Adler
Here are some musings - Nothing fancy - no outline and no editor - just some stream of consciousness. If you're looking for the Journey of Rain Star (blog/story) you can find it here. If you want to read my books, please go here :)