I have not read anything by Virginia Woolf since I was in college, but reading her diary is so, for lack of a better word, comforting. Did you know that Virginia Woolf was a book reviewer? I didn't. I also didn't realize how much she struggled with balancing her review work with her creative work, with her self-confidence as an artist, and the insecurity of following a story that may just end up in the rubbish bin. Yes, she struggled with depression, but I also think she had the natural fear of the unknown that most artists inevitably struggle with.
This was one of the passages I marked, no words, just a heart to remind myself where she really hit home for me. She wrote it after a spell of bad health and upended plans.
This has rammed a big hole in my 8 weeks which were to be stuffed so full. Never mind. Arrange whatever pieces come your way. Never be unseated by the shying of that undependable brute, life, hag-ridden as she is by my own, queer, difficult nervous system. Even at 43 I don't know its workings, for I was saying to myself, all the summer, "I'm quite adamant now. I can go through a tussle of emotions peaceably that two years ago, even, would have raked me raw."
I'm turning 43 next week, and I feel like this past year has been filled with my own bad health and upended plans. I've always liked to take some quiet time on my birthday to reflect on the past year and write down my goals for the coming year. I plan to take her advice to look at what's in front of me now and "arrange whatever pieces come my way" with a little grace and lot of enthusiasm for the unknown.