Sunday, 1 March 2015

Date night, or The blank page

Reading: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Six Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Listening to: "Stupify" by Disturbed
Outside: You need gloves. Winter just won't let go.

"Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Beginnings are the worst.

Yes. They are.

You know what I mean: the first job interview, the first time you swam in deep, wild water, your first time having sex. Your first chai latte. It's scary. You think you know what to expect and then you totally don't. You realize that, for once, you actually don't know everything. You don't know how the interview will turn out, or if there's a hungry shark nearby (or if that nudge on your foot was just a friendly fish).

For me, and probably for most writers, one of the most terrifying things in the entire world is a blank page. A blank Microsoft Word document. It's an evil, hateful thing. That tabula rasa needs to be nailed down somehow. It needs to have meaning, and I need to put it there. My urge to make dark marks on a page is equal to how blind I am as to exactly what I am going to say, and exactly how I am going to say it. A lot of it just comes down to a pure, blindfolded jump. You have to let go and leap right onto the page. One word at a time. (Or, like me, you just stare at that horrible flashing cursor and just keep staring for as long as it takes to take that leap. An hour? A day? A lifetime?)

Today this has even more significance than on other days, because today I am having a Date Night. That's right. I'm going on a date with my husband of just over two years. I know it sounds sort of redundant. I mean, we went through that job interview a long time ago.

We met online when we were little more than kids, and grew to know each other slowly over the years, tying up our parents' and then our college roommates' phone lines. The ultimate long-distance relationship. We said our I do's back in 2012 under perfect English October gray skies, and kissed under a sunset fit for Hollywood.

Sunkist: October 19, 2012
Now we pretty much know everything about each other. We've become a near-telepathic team - we just innately know what needs to happen next: our toddler needs her lunch, I can't find her shoes, say Goodbye Daddy, time to go to work, could I throw in her laundry with yours today, she's out of pajamas?

We move in a delicate household dance. Most of this revolves around our little girl, the jewel in the crown of our house, the sparkle that needs us just as much as we need her.

But now, the record's needle scratches to a stop, silencing that waltz music that has for fifteen months kept us going through the night feeds and naps, the teething and fussiness. Now it's time to spend time alone together. Uh oh, where's the music? The nappies? The silly-little-princess distraction?

How much do you really know someone? And can you get to know them again?

Of course. Tonight I will rediscover my husband over dinner at Pizza Express. We'll see a film at Doncaster Vue, and then, who knows? As scary as a blank page is, as terrifying as that first un-started conversation, here is the rush and thrill of another beginning, reminding me why they suit me right down to the ground: because life is new every day. And if you're not at least a tiny little bit scared, it's time to try that chai latte. Or that yoga class you've been avoiding.

What about you? What scares you? What will be that thing that drowns out excuses and gets you going down that road, past that sign that says BEGINNING AHEAD?

Happy Sunday, everybody!


  1. <3 this.

    Have a very lovely date night, you two!

  2. Lovely sentiments Vee. Enjoy your date night and have many more. Xx

  3. Why thank you! We sure did. We went to see Jupiter Ascending and it was brilliant. Good times!