I don’t want to be writing. I want to be sleeping. I want to be curled up in a blanket, with my aching body and giant yawns covered by my soft grey duvet. Yet here I am, with a frozen gluten-free pizza (courtesy of my sister-in-law, who spoils me) in the oven and my hoodie pulled over my head. My inner critic is perched in her favorite place, just out of sight on my shoulder. She’s whispering to me and you know what she’s saying.

“Why did you think you could write a new blog post every single day for a month? What are you trying to prove? You’re not giving these posts images. No one even reads this; it’s pointless. This is pointless. Just go to sleep.”

The point, Umbridge, is to sit down and write. For myself. I don’t care if anyone reads this, I don’t care if I even read it. I’m sitting here and I’m doing the work. I’m showing up. I don’t expect diamonds to fall from my fingers. I just want words to appear on the screen, one after another, for ten minutes. That’s all I’m asking of myself. I can do that.

I’ve been trying to make a choice this week. It’s one of those choices where you know the answer right away, but you have to get your gut in line with your heart and your brain doesn’t want to play either. I savor taking my time with choices, polling my friends, mulling over pros and cons. The luxury of time is something I appreciate. This is a deadline. None of the options are perfect. There’s always a compromise and I hate making compromises. I want everything to be good for everyone. Real life … isn’t like that.

Do you give up on one long-held dream to pursue another? Do you continue to lean on your partner for an unspecified amount of time, knowing that at some point, he expects you to make some money, to contribute? How do you reconcile what you want with what you think you want? How do you even recognize it?