Falling off the horse

After taking a break from writing these past few months, it’s been a difficult horse to climb back onto. Falling out of the routine and finding my groove again has been difficult, especially when there’s an 80,000-word manuscript waiting for my attention, and all I want to do is see the back of it.

I’ve had a number of false starts, climbing back into the saddle, getting spooked, and jumping off again. The stubborn side of me refuses to let this project go. The same side that pushed me to finish the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand when I prayed injury would force me to quit in the first few weeks. But last night, when I opened chapter one of draft six to rework the opening paragraphs, an hour later, I wanted to hit delete on the entire manuscript.

Why did I decide to write a book in the first place? I’ve always enjoyed writing and have often dreamed of having a book to my name. The book gave me purpose, and allowed me to relive, process, and put to bed so many of the events that happened on the trail in 2013. For those who followed my Mexico to Canada blog, you know there was a lot happening behind the scenes that didn’t make it to the page. I wanted to fill in those gaps and tell the full story, but the book lacks the essence of the blog, the innocence of seeing, experiencing, and feeling those emotions for the first time. The blog was unique because of its followers and the community it created. It did the journey justice in a way the book in its current form does not.

The year of 2019 has been a remaking of Rozanne. Rozanne 2.0, as my dear friend Patou would describe, is learning to reconnect to her thoughts, feelings, and intuitions, trust her own judgement and have the confidence to follow her own path. Instead of writing, I’ve rekindled my love for theatre, studied mindfulness, social psychology, and compassionate communication. I’ve reconnected with friends, immersed myself in nature, spent hours in my kayak, slowed life down, and taken stock of these beautiful 37 years of life. It’s been a remarkable journey, and there’s only one thing that’s been missing.

After rekindling my passion for theatre this year, following almost twenty years of dormancy, I wondered what kind of an actor I’d be now if I ignored all the rejections and continued living that passion. I gave away acting after a miserable audition into Sydney’s largest theatre company, and being rejected from Australia’s best-known acting school at the end of high school. I followed a path behind the camera and studied TV production instead, which seems like a ludicrous decision now. But after receiving some pretty harsh feedback on my manuscript earlier this year, I realise how sensitive I can be to criticism, and I’ll be making the same mistake again if I give up on my writing now.

Book or no book, I need to get back on the horse and just write for the love of it. I may never have a memoir to my name, but in 20 years, when I’m version 3.0 or even 4, instead of wondering what kind of writer I would have been if I just kept at it, I’ll know.

16 thoughts on “Falling off the horse”

  1. Hey Roz,
    Always good to hear from you. Life is a process isn’t it? A process of self-measurement against our own self-goals. But remember life is like the tides, there will always be high and low tides. Perhaps useful and perhaps not to use that simile. But that is life. Not that we’re closely connected but I have found you to be someone that I like and I wish you a heart-felt life full of delight. But like the tides we get delight and pain. I must be getting older, sheesh. Been through all the tide cycles.
    Take care,
    Jack Jensen

    1. Thanks Jack… I like your tide analogy. The constant ebb and flow of life is all part of the journey. I’m not waiting to arrive somewhere anymore… I’m already exactly where I need to be. 🙂

  2. I haven’t seen your drafts, but the thing that kept me coming back on your PCT blog was the honesty with your viewers about your current emotional state at the time. When on trail, as you know, your emotions are very raw. This comes through on the videos. You need to put experiences in the narrative that may make you feel a little uncomfortable expressing them now, where you may not have given it a second thought while on trail.

    I really enjoyed following your journey. It has inspired me to get on the trail. Cookie and I, after several years of planning will be starting at the southern terminus and heading north this spring.

    Muk Muk, as always it is a pleasure following your personal journey.


    1. Thank you Kemo for such thoughtful words. I am so pleased to hear you’ll be walking the trail in the Spring and creating your own memory bank of experiences and emotions. Thank you for your support and happiest trails to you!!

  3. Muk Muk, your writing and posts from your PCT blog reignited a spark in us that has never left (PCT – a 15 year dream). Your writing is beautiful, full of raw emotions and so much truth of yourself and compassion for others. I can only imagine what your book will be like. Please know we can’t wait to read it and share it with others. When you were near the end of the PCT and UB had just left, we were in awe of your inner strength and that you kept going (and we were on pins and needles because of the conditions). I share this because many of your “followers” like us deeply care about you even though we have never met. You represent the part in most of us that we want to unleash. Thank you for sharing your life with us through your writing.

    On a side note, we plan to retire in 2020 and hike the PCT (SOBO), thinking of you along the way and hoping like hell we don’t run into a mountain lion.
    Cindy and Bill

    1. I’m soaking up this message with a deep breath. Ahhhhh… thank you so much for your supportive and encouraging words! Hmmm… just delightful to read. Sometimes I get chills thinking about the end of the trail too. I am so excited that you’ll be starting your own SOBO journey next year. How magnificent!! I’m sure the mountain lions will keep their distance… just carry an incy-wincy pocket knife with you and you’ll be fine! Much love and happy trails, Muk 💕

  4. Rozanne Girlio, so good to hear more your “her”story….I sure understand your feelings about “trying to get back on the horse”…. I have been having a really difficult time to finish my writing of my past…It has been really hard to write down my memories of my painful upbringing…As I move along in my life adventures, I have had to face a couple “never has happen to me before” experiences…living alone has been a hard place for me as I am a people-person…It is a place, that I live in, that is extremely isolated…loneliness…has been especially awful…I keep having to say to myself, “Barbie, be thankful for a place to live, a bed and food.” I have a friend that I met in a class that I am taking, that is homeless…he wondered where he would sleep because a heavy rainstorm was due overnight and for three more days…I wished I could take him in to my tiny place, but knew that I couldn’t, besides the fact, he is so proud that he wouldn’t do it anyway…I think that the most difficult thing I had happened was that my adult children think that I wasn’t a good mother…I felt terribly heartbroken…still do…I had no mother, abandoned by her, so I had no understanding about mothering, but I remember that I had such a fear that they could have the same things that happened to me happen to them that I tried my very best to be a good mom…I loved them with all my heart. I did a lot of fun things with them, camping, backpacking, surfing…but that didn’t seem like good mothering to them…I am trying my best to get passed that hurt…again, talking to Barbie, telling her that she did the best she could….So this is a deeply painful thing for me to hear and a deeply painful experience for my four children…No therapy at this time of my life (had six years dealing with the trauma of my little girl who lives inside me. in fact, that’s how I started calling myself Barbie instead of Barbara). Well, again, I understand about getting new insights in life and, as I have said to you before, I keep learning. I have determined that for the short time I have in this world that love will be my aim, inclusive of all people..LOVE is the answer for this old world…accepting myself and loving myself has been such a difficult thing…especially now that I have grown old and I am not the beautiful, young woman anymore…I am doing better about that…in fact, the thing that that Jesus man of history said, “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself.”…. Pretty profound, right! I have written a long dissertation…and it is time to say, I love you with all my heart, from your old friend in San Diego, California, Barbie!!!!

    1. Thank you Barbie… as people grow older opinions and relationships change… I truly hope you can find peace and connectedness in the relationships with your children. You have been such a great supporter and cheerleader of mine. I am so grateful for your words and wisdom! Xo

  5. Please don’t give up! I loved your blog and look forward to some of the holes being filled in. Even if you self publish, there are so many of us out there that support you on this current trail. Remember, one foot in front of another. Don’t get overwhelmed by the entire project and take it one chapter at a time. Sending virtual hugs!

    1. Thank you Lynn!! It’s such a gift to receive comments like yours! One step and one chapter at a time… great advice!!! 🙂

  6. Yeah, this really resonates with me. It’s so easy to let a passion die because you are overly sensitive about not being the most successful at it. So important to step back and try to find the joy in it in the moment.

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