Joy In The Journey And Other Things I Don’t Believe

12 Aug

I have never found joy in the journey.

What’s that?

Even things I eventually find joy in, say decorating Baby’s room, I find stressful and difficult as I navigate. Which color white for the walls?? It nearly destroys me. It throws me into a panic. Rob attempts to gently tell me that the shade of white doesn’t really matter which just makes it worse.


(Benjamin Moore, Simply White.)

Each piece of furniture, each decoration is thought out and analyzed and bled over, bled on. My blood is all over that room.

This is taking a turn.

The thing is, though, when it’s done I love it. That room brings me so much joy. It is colorful. It looks like a Midwest grandma could live there. It has just enough of a gender neutral vibe. I had no idea I was a gender neutral person! I learned things about myself through the blood, blood, and blood.

Blood being mostly metaphorical here.

Every time I walk in Baby’s room I am happy. I am glad I invested that blood. How many more times will I say blood?

People say the key to happiness is joy in the journey.

Gosh, I might even say that. It sounds really nice. The concept is certainly appealing. 

It embraces the idea that no matter the outcome, you can still find meaning and happiness on the way there. And life is all journeys. We can’t always control where they go, but gosh darn it we can find joy in the white paint!

I don’t, though.

I prefer the product to the process.

I find joy in the finished room. That manic episode surrounding the paint? It was an obstacle on my way to the true reward.

Does this come back to writing?

I find almost no joy in the process of writing a book. Most days sitting down to do it takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline and self-deception. There is a pit in my stomach knowing that I won’t finish today, or tomorrow, or maybe ever. Each time I try again, invest my soul into a new book, I am devoting at least four years of my life.

A friend once said she wouldn’t wish writing a book on her worst enemy.

Good thing I’m my own worst enemy.

I like writing in general. I like to scribble journal entries or pen silly blog posts. I find the turn of phrase and the choice of just the perfect word to be a puzzle and often a delight.

But I yearn for more.

I yearn for that book in print. For that career as an author.

For the validation that I am, in fact, a talented writer who deserves that space on the printing press. I want to know I am not actually delusional. That this goal I’ve had since I was a tiny girl is one that I can accomplish, is one that I have earned.

And so I write.

I set timers and I put horrible words to the page that I know I will delete. I anxiously check my due date against the chapters left to edit. 

Can I get there? 

I feel a ticking as I carefully mix three different colors of yellow for the Baby’s dresser and curate that Midwest Grandma’s room. 

I think the thing I’m most scared about with this baby is that I won’t be able to do it all. I have to work full time. I have to be a mother.

Writing is the thing that will fall through the cracks. It always is.

And even though it doesn’t bring me joy right now, I’m counting on it to be like that Simply White room.

I’m counting on holding that book in my hands one day and finding the joy that was missing in the journey.

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