I texted a friend this morning and said that I didn’t feel like posting this morning. It didn’t feel right. My reason for not wanting to post is more layered and multi-faceted than I can hope my book will be. It all comes down to chiacchiera.
Chiacchiera (very loosely, it is pronounced something like K-ya-K-yeh-ra) is one of my favourite Italian words. I love how hard it is to pronounce – to get your tongue around the mix of consonants and vowels and consonants pretending to be vowels. My sister and I were trying to pronounce it properly – in a public place no less – and we sounded ridiculous.
It basically means chatter. Someone who is a chatter box is a chiacchierona. To sit down for a good gab session is to have “una bella chiacchierata”. For me, the expression evokes an image of catching up with an old friend, giggling over coffee and feeling better about the world.
But chatter can also take over your head and distract you – it can stop you in your tracks. It’s what anxiety feeds on.
In the last few weeks, I have been applying myself to writing and researching like I’ve never before. I’ve been so pleased with the results, achieving a few goals and really feeling good about my direction. And then the chatter started. Some of it challenged my technical ability. I could fight that with more research. The other stuff was much harder. It involved some of my worst fears. It was made up of the thoughts that, if I listened to it for too long, I would curl up in the fetal position, preferably while hiding under the bed.
Luckily, I’m married to a smart guy (although hearing him try to pronounce chiacchierata is hysterical). He’s someone I can tell my biggest fear to, and although he may be thinking it, he won’t say “Well, I always suspected you were a little crazy.” Instead he pointed out that when our challenges are the loudest, we are likely on the verge of a break through.
So instead of taking up drinking, I will hold on to my pen. Instead of watching TV this week, I will read and and add to the long list questions and pieces I need to research.I won’t pack up the multiple notebooks and I will only procrastinate for a short time as I try to find my favourite pen. It starts with this act of defiance against the chatter – writing a post even when it doesn’t feel right and when it appears that all is wrong with the world.
Today, I’m heading to my mom and dad’s. In the midst of the labour my dad has intended for me and the eating, I’m looking forward to a long chiacchierata and hopefully inspiration for next week’s post.