Work in Progress

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

Okay, so that hiding under a blanket thing lasted a lot longer than I intended. Life’s been crazy adjusting to a new job (which I love) while raising two kids and trying to do life. I spend A LOT of time writing at work, and when I come home, I’m creatively drained. But I’d be lying if I said that’s the main reason that’s kept me away. It was the fear of being vulnerable and the ridiculous pressure I put on myself to get everything perfect *eye roll*. Its silly, really, especially after I wrote an entire blog about moving through fear. (Why is it so hard to practice what you preach?)

So, I’m forcing myself to post my original draft as a lesson to myself—everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and it’s ok to be vulnerable; there’s even strength in it:

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with something? I do. Flashback to Ms. Wilson’s fourth grade class where she heavily focused on creative writing. We would write poems and stories that she would help us fashion into books. It was instant love for me.

I can’t adequately explain why I love writing and telling stories so much. I think for the longest time it helped me deal with my emotions when I was young and didn’t quite understand what I was feeling or why. As I got older, it became an outlet for me when faced with trying situations.

When I was young, I didn’t know how to process the domestic violence I saw between my mom and dad or being sexually molested by a childhood friend. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to those in future blog posts.) Writing helped. A lot. When I go back and look at the poems I wrote when I was younger, I see a lot of anger and themes of sexual violence. I see a young woman who made allowances and excuses for being in unhealthy relationships.

Writing became a way to therapize myself, in a sense. There’s something cathartic about taking your thoughts and emotions and putting them down on paper. It’s almost like you’re letting go of them, so they can’t consume you any longer. It was also a form of expression when I felt no one heard my pain or struggles.

Here’s a snippet of my poem, Work in Progress. It isn’t my best work but is the most literal. I wrote it in 2007 but never finished it… which is why it’s called Work in Progress, lol.

Now I’ve gone through rough times
I’ve weathered the storm
I emerged from the rain
One, but not the same

See, I’ve traveled the path
Most women inevitably find themselves on
I’ve seen the light pour through the crack in that open door
I’ve seen the silhouette blocking my escape
I’ve been subjected to that everlasting doubt
That everlasting guilt
The secrecy of his identity
Only known to that young girl at the tender age of ten

I was shattered, but pushed to move on
But, a few years later I found myself in another peril
The situation where love has been lost
A home has grown cold, replaced by four walls and a trap
Quiet, smooth and mutual it was not
My mother suffered through abuse
But finally found the strength and fought
Packed up my things and left
But always the memories will be kept

Like the day that crystal ashtray hit the bathroom floor
Glass shattered into hundreds of pieces
Mirrors on each side echoing the brutality of what was considered love
Three little children huddled in the confined space of the bathroom door

Or the day when the phone was ripped from the jack
And used to assault her in the face
I remember bright red blood staining the nine on the keypad
Words beating their way into my temples, never to be forgotten
Images imprinted on my brain never to be erased
Three little children huddled in the confined space of the bedroom door

Looking back, I realize how easy it would’ve been to just talk to someone… but you try telling that to a confused young girl. Writing, alone, also wasn’t enough to adequately deal with my experiences (shout-out to my eventual therapists, who helped me navigate my unresolved issues.) Like many though, I’m still a work in progress.

  1. OMG!…. I didn’t think I would see that amazing face again! I’m sooo glad I was wrong because you are…

  2. Beautifully written, Syd. So many of us hide behind that ‘everything is perfect’ veneer when it’s anything but and we’re…

3 thoughts on “Work in Progress

  1. My dear are an inspiration to all women out there young and us oldsters like me …I’m do very glad you’re taking the path less traveled and being true to yourself and your passion for writing
    You are a beautiful woman inside and out and I applaud your decisions and your remarkable talents. Thank you for being you.


  2. It is so important to tell this story. So many of us hide behind the’ everything is ok’ façade when truth is, we we ALL are dealing with some sort of trauma. Your transparency and authenticity are your superpowers. Love you, Friend.


  3. Beautifully written, Syd. So many of us hide behind that ‘everything is perfect’ veneer when it’s anything but and we’re afraid to let people see what’s really shaped us. Those days should be long gone cause we all have ‘stuff.’ Your transparency and authenticity are your superpowers. Love you, friend.


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