Welcome to my brain
I was looking for the right time to start this newsletter. The right story. In others words, I was looking for perfection.
Welcome to my brain.
I’m not really a perfectionist, I swear (which is something I think most perfectionists say). At least if you look inside my closet and drawers, you won’t find a perfectionist. A lot of my life might be described as organized chaos. Although I don’t love that term either. It makes me sound flaky or slightly deranged, and I’m neither of those things (except when it comes to my fandom of John Mayer) (just kidding) (no I’m not).
Anyway, I’m too much of a Capricorn to be a legit mess. Like everyone I prioritize what’s most important to me. So I don’t give a shit how my clothes or toiletries are arranged. But my words and how I write? Yes, that’s everything.
It got me thinking how I believe how we write is who we are. A writer’s voice is an insight into their personality, their soul. And I guess I have this thing where if I’m going to write something publicly that’s also personal, I want it to really be something that is SO ME. Trademark Brianne. But then I started to think how that could be performative. That no matter how personal and vulnerable I might write about myself and my life, maybe there’s always some sort of distance from the real me because I’m always sort of “on.” I want to deliver. I want to prove myself. I want to make you like me.
Oh hey, it’s that perfectionist thing again mixed with some good ol’ people pleasing.
Anyway. This isn’t what I wanted to write about. Not really. I was like, Brianne, if you’re going to be real, just write without thinking and for the love of Christmas, stop explaining yourself! But I also know I should be gentle with myself too (I’m working on it).
I wanted this to be an introduction letter. So without sounding too formal, I’ll talk about my Easter weekend.
I really wanted to write. I have this book proposal I’ve been promising my editor for eons. I feel stuck. I think it might be timing — sometimes the muse knows that it’s not the right time to create no matter what the ego might say — but I also think it’s the ego keeping me safe from failure. Surprise! I have a problem with sucking (see above).
Procrastination won. I didn’t write. I felt like shit about that. Writing is the thing that connects me to me. Since forever. My very wise massage therapist — who’s as deep with her words as she is with her tissue strokes — once told me that my creativity has acted like my best friend for my entire life. So whenever I am alone, I have writing to feel less alone. As an only child who’s been mostly single for her adult life, I can attest this is true.
I was alone for most this Easter weekend. I haven’t seen my parents for three years. This is pandemic-related, yes, but also geographical. I moved to the other side of the country in April 2020 and traveling across Canada costs a small fortune.
I don’t say this for pity. God knows I hate pity. My parents and I are very close. I lived with them for many years throughout my 20s and 30s. We’re good. The space has been good. And I’m good alone. I could teach a course in it. This is both a blessing and a curse. I’m actually an ambivert - this is a fairly recent discovery of mine. I don’t LOVE being alone 24/7 but I can handle myself. I respect solitude and I cherish the opportunity to have it.
At the risk of painting a pretty grim picture of my life, let me just get on with it. I didn’t write! So I played tennis instead. I love tennis but I suck at tennis. Well, I’m probably better than I think (oh, hey, perfectionist) but I enjoy improving. Well, that’s not true. I want to be good at things right away. But I’m trying to value a “beginner’s mindset” and have fun while doing it. It’s a journey.
I played with new friends at UBC. Going back to a university campus reminded me of my university days and how, while I don’t necessarily miss them, if given the chance, I might do it differently. I was the type of young person who was desperate to have her life figured it out. I would tell her now, you’ll never have it figured out so you can relax a bit, kid.
It rained all weekend in Vancouver, so it was the ideal time to stay indoors. Rainy weekends are great because if you don’t have plans, they make you feel less bad about yourself. Although I don’t mind not having plans. It depends on my mood. Not having plans feels so spacious and luxurious sometimes. And it can also feel empty and aching. This weekend was a bit of both.
So I watched movies with my cat, Olive. On weekends like these, I don’t like to watch new movies or TV shows. I gravitate towards things I’ve watched a million times before. It’s comfort television for me. Like a warm blanket or a 10 pound cat who refuses to leave your lap so you can’t pee for an hour.
I watched the last two Mission Impossible movies and Made of Honor. It was a Michelle Monaghan double feature — totally unintentional. Made of Honor is one of those movies that we all have — it’s dumb, you know it’s dumb, AND it’s still one of your favorites for reasons that don’t make any sense but to you.
Oh, and I love Tom Cruise the MOVIE STAR. Scientology aside, of course.
This weekend I also thought of past friends. Former friendships that have vacated my life for one reason or another. Painful exits even if necessary for the betterment of both our lives. I realized I still had anger towards many of them. Anger that no longer served me. So I journaled about it. I sent my forgiveness energetically and asked for theirs. All endings are two-way streets even if you weren’t the one who wanted to drive it off the cliff.
And, probably most importantly, I forgave me. Or at least I tried to (I think I’m still working on that one too).
I now realize that I wanted to write this newsletter because I didn’t write all weekend. So here I am, typing away in my gym clothes, in need of a shower, because I so needed that connection, that release, that sense of me that completes me.
So thanks for being here, and acting like the best friend that writing is for me. There will be less chaotic emails, maybe not. I don’t know.
I’m trying to be less perfect, more me.