I hope you've survived the holidays and that your lives are settling down. Mine is at last (Hallelujah!), but it is only the calm before the storm. The semester starts Monday, so I'll be back to teaching in a heartbeat. What about you? How's life?
Now that we've played catch up, I want to tell you about my plan for the blog this year. I think I'm going to play with the design some more, maybe even move it--eep! But that sounds awfully ambitious, so let's just commit to a face lift for now.
The content will focus mostly on The Power Project. What's The Power Project you ask? Well, let me tell you! But beforewarned, I'm about to get pretty personal. I don't always share personal information about myself, but when I do...hoo boy! (Oh okay, not really. I have to save something for the memoir!)
So where it start....Well, I read the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin last month. Yes, I know this book came out in 2009 and it was all the craze. I've been a little busy okay? From 2009-2016 I was finishing my second master's degree (hell it was fun the first time! Why not get a SECOND masters?), I met the love of my life, started teaching college students how to write, was writing my own books, got engaged, bought a house and I'm planning a wedding and going back to school... I didn't have time to read about being happy!
Long story short, I really enjoyed the book. And while I was not inspired to create my own Happiness Project (I learned to self-sooth long ago, as will be revealed soon), I was inspired to develop a similar project.
Hence #ThePowerProject was born.
There were (are) many times in my life when I've felt powerless. My mother has had chronic drug, alcohol issues. She contracted Hepatitis C from a "dirty" needle. And my father is....something else. We'll come back to him.
As an adult (after lots of therapy!) I've learned that I'm not a victim, all the things that happened were super shitty but not my fault, I am not the story I create of myself, yadda yadda.
Yet still at times (this month) I would find myself tumbling into that familiar hole....let's call it Pit Hopeless. I always fall into Pit Hopeless after I come around the corner of Mount OHMYFUCKWHATJUSTHAPPENED? I've had to climb out of it more times than I can count.
When I found out that my depressingly poor mother is living with a heroin addict--I felt powerless. When I found out that my too-young sister is pregnant. AGAIN--I felt powerless.
When I found out that I can't keep eating 10 Lindt truffle balls a day because I've gained 10 pounds this month--I felt utterly hopeless and powerless, people!
It takes true will power and strength to climb out of Pit Hopeless. And it is on these climbs that I often found myself considering the nature of power: "What is power? Why do I seem to have it but my mother doesn't? Is it learned or innate? Why do some abused people pull themselves out of their hellish lives and thrive, while others absolutely crumple beneath it?"
I don't have a degree in psych so all my knowledge and experience is purely from trial and error. LOTS OF ERRORS. But the fact remained that I'm fascinated by power and the seemingly real truth that people, especially women, feel chronically powerless.
So. Instead of devoting a year to singing in the shower and dancing in my underwear and shit (sorry Gretchen, I've been doing it for years!), I want to devote a year to exploring Power. What is? Do we have it? Is it an illusion or something we can harnass? Do we control it or does it control us and so on.
I'm going to chronicle this "journey"...somewhere...on this blog or another, I'm not sure. And I welcome you to share too. But for me this journey is about answering a question that's dogged my every step since I was a kid: Do I have the strength to overcome all this? Is it enough to be just myself in a whole that seems like it needs so much more? Am I powerful? And if yes, why am I powerful?
I guess we're about to find out.
Side note: Don't panic about this blog project, Jesse fans! I promise the books will continue to come out on time. After all, Jesse Sullivan is itself an exploration of power, don't you think? It would be amiss to sideline her now ;)