Monthly Archives: July 2015

Tell The Truth

Last night I began to write about him. I’m not altogether ashamed to admit that there are many hims who could be written about. This particular him, though, is the one who could have been my fate had I so chosen. Instead, he is a page in a book, not even a full chapter. Just a page. But a rather important page.

Perhaps one of my favorite things about my husband is that he knows of and accepts each previous page. I’m tempted to say that he loves me anyway, but what I really believe to be true is that he loves me because of my true-life story. He loves who I am and understands that every letter, every word, every paragraph before has mattered, they have shaped my beliefs and actions, they brought me to him, they are the foundation for the story as it is right this moment.

The first thing I favorited about my husband was that he promised – and I believed – that I could in no way bring him harm. In our friendship, before it turned from admiration and good company to lust and finally to love, I confessed all of the ways in which I had delivered hurt to those who loved me. These confessions were, in fact, simply my magnified perception. I felt as though I was a wrecking ball, that everything that had ever gone “wrong” in previous relationships was my fault, that I was a purveyor of heartache backed by a lifetime guarantee.

I didn’t realize then that you cannot make someone feel a certain way. Everyone chooses their feelings, whether subconsciously or with full intent. On some level, you alone decide if you will feel hurt or happiness, ambivalence or sympathy, love or hate. Even if the chemical imbalance in your brain or nervous system is contributing to your emotion, it’s still your brain. Your nervous system. It’s still you.

I had never before in my life known that. I thought I had such power. Psh.

He set me straight in a hurry, this man who would become my husband. And so I write with freedom now. I write knowing that my words will not hurt. My truth is not a game-changer. These pages are real, and they matter, and they shouldn’t be hidden.

That is not to say that it is okay to be unkind or disrespectful. I didn’t write those pages alone, you know. There were others involved, and my co-authors are not all as strong-minded and resilient as my husband. This I know. There is a line to walk there, but such a large obstacle has already been removed simply because I have been fully accepted.

It would be so lovely if we could all

tell

the

truth.

Wildly Vacillating

In one moment I feel powerful. An overwhelming sense of confidence fills me up with the knowledge that I can and will drive right to where I mean to be. I fly high in that bold moment; I look down upon my fellow man and wonder why we aren’t all flying. Come on, friends. It’s so easy. You just flip that switch in your mind – it’s better than stealing a sip of Fizzy Lifting Drink, and without penalty! Just do it.

But always, always, I come down. The next moment comes, and I am filled with self-doubt and a sense of impossibility. Fizzy Lifting Drinks aren’t real, but is there a way to make that confidence real, to bottle it, to preserve it and drink from it as needed?

Yesterday was a good day. The day before that was terrible in the morning but extremely successful as evening pressed upon us. Last night was alright, but really, I fell asleep consumed with worry over…. gasp…. money. Honestly, that one little word just feels so heavy. What I want seems so possible when I really think about it, and I believe in my heart and head that it can actually happen, but that is without factoring in the green devil. When my rational mind turns to the necessity of the paper notes that hold symbol of my value (this is sick, right?), my stomach churns and little sparks begin setting off in my brain. This worry snatches my breath away, it makes me dizzy, it makes me tired. I just want to lie down and stop thinking.

For a moment, I feel a flash of jealousy toward my friends who have loads of cash and don’t need to worry as I do. But then I remember that they worry, too. They just worry about other things. In a way, their worries are even greater than mine because so many things in life come easy for me. Relationships. Love. A sense of direction. Knowing what I want. These are things that cannot be bought, and they are things I’ve rarely had to give much thought. I don’t claim to know what my friends really worry about, but of course they worry. We all do.

I’d very much like to not worry, but I suspect that there will always be something.

Okay, all of that aside, or maybe to go along with this line of thought: it was officially proven to me this weekend that I have a terrible time focusing on one task at a time. Even right now I am answering emails, replying to texts, thinking about changing the laundry, and eating a snack – all whilst writing this blog post. This creates a problem in that I am not able to complete anything of value in a timely fashion. I am spread thin, and perhaps this is a large part of why I feel overwhelmed so often. There is so much to do, and I always, always, feel as though there is so little time in which to do it. Everything is of equal priority, but that is impossible. I set myself up to feel as though I have failed, even as I am succeeding. It’s such a strange pattern I have chosen to weave. Perhaps I should dispose of this one, burn it to the ground (the Phoenix, always it comes back to the Phoenix) so that I may start fresh.

A scary thought. But one that always works.

Matches. I need matches!

Or to just focus on one thing. To shift this pattern ever so slightly. Yes, that’s a much better plan.

The Professional

**SHORT STORY EXCERPT – FICTION**

She pushed him away, and she pushed hard.

“Get away from me. Just get away.”

She meant it, but only for a moment. Only for THAT moment. The truly terrible thing was that she knew she would push and push and push until he left – and then she would miss him so much that she would realize without a doubt that she had been wrong. But it’s a twisty mess, see? She already knew that she would later know she was wrong. But she felt so right in that moment. How does this make sense?

And people came to her for professional guidance on getting their lives together, their thoughts in order, their addictions under control.

For Sarah, love was not the answer. Methodically picking apart a problem and addressing each individual level of the issue was the only answer. A problem could not be loved away, but it could certainly be solved by rational thinking, a clear plan of attack, and dedication to the most important step: follow-through.

This was what she preached. This method had helped countless clients trudge through the depths of misery until they could see hope, make progress, and eventually become a functioning human being capable of great things – and yes, love. Healthy love. She knew it worked. She guided so many through the process and had seen the positive outcome. She had a list of names in the back of her notebook, as a matter of fact. A list that provided validation. Proof of success.

“Get away.”

She wouldn’t be adding her own name to that list anytime soon.

The Pressure

There is so much going on inside my head right now, inside my heart. All I really want to do is run away to the ocean and sit and think. No, strike that, I want to sit and NOT think. It has been four days since I worked on the novel. I am frustrated beyond frustrated with all of these other things that I have to attend to, take care of, address, fix, make work, do. I am distraught that I cannot allow my time to be filled with what makes my heart happy. Heck, I can’t even find a half hour to do what makes me happy. Well. I could find it, but I cannot allow myself to do it because I feel so God-awful GUILTY. Ew, what a hideous word. And completely self-inflicted, this guilt. No one makes me feel this way. I make me feel this way.

I cannot write because I have too much else to do that should take priority, yet I am barely able to pick away at what I’m supposed to be doing because all I can think abut is what I want to be doing. This inability to focus is prolonging each task, stretching it out, stealing my minutes. What a bloody effing copout.

This morning we talked about the pressure I put upon myself. I am the biggest obstacle in my life. I literally cannot get out of my own way – I am tripping over myself, I am standing in front of what I want to do, I am counting squirrels instead of focusing on what I need to do because I cannot do what I want to do because “guilt.” Is this human nature? To be this pissed off all the time over something that is completely within your own control if only you could get your shit together and control it?

Today’s suggestion, today’s word of advice: A systematic approach. Be systematic.

Okay, we’ll try that.

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Like-Minded

Realized something today. Actually, it was about 60 seconds ago, and I simply had to share this brilliant epiphany with you (whoever you are, dear reader).

So, just a bit ago Jack J. Binding, Writer followed my blog. It’s been a bit scary getting “followed” by various writers since I started tagging my blog entries. I’ve had a blog before, but I didn’t share it because I was, apparently, scared out of my ever-loving mind that someone would actually read it. My heavens, they would read it. I would have let my thoughts out for the world to see. I would be bare, vulnerable, PUBLIC. And – holy mother of all things holy and unholy and everything in between – I would be subject to criticism. Writing is precious. It is my baby. I didn’t want anyone telling me I have an ugly baby, alright? Keep it to yourself, thank you very much.

I don’t mean that. But I did. I used to. And okay, maybe I do still mean it just a little bit.

But here is the thing, and thank you Jack J. Binding for unintentionally alerting me to this fact: If I don’t get this all out of my head and into a place where others can read it and yes, actually INVITE readers into my space, I’m just keeping a diary. That act is not, technically, going to help me achieve my grand goal of finishing the novel and becoming a NY Times Bestselling Author.

Confession: A deep and ridiculous fear of criticism has kept me quiet for four decades. FOUR DAMN DECADES. That quiet is kind of lonely, to be truthful. And how terrifying it is to feel that you may not succeed at this one thing that has always mattered more than any other. So you just don’t speak of it. You sit with it, all alone and pondery and moody and broody. Turns out I’m really not alone at all. When you start talking, like-minded folks pipe up – not to make you feel less alone, but to say, “Hey, I see you. Do you see me?” Yes, I see you. I do. Thank you.

I’ve cut-and-pasted a particular paragraph that shouted at me just now, ripped right from the page of this blog post: Planning a Novel and Getting Wrecked

“I came to the conclusion that you have to write for yourself. If you don’t want to read the final product, then sure as shit no other fucker will. Create something you love first of all, everything after that is just a bonus.”

Create something that you love. I mean, it’s simple – but it’s brilliant.

That’s all. I just wanted to share this with you. Whoever you are.

Carry on.

p.s. I continued to read JJB’s post before I posted this just to be sure it didn’t have something horrific attached to it that I might have missed (who knows what I was worried about). Oh good Lord. He used the same “ugly baby” phrase as I did. Either I’m in love or I’ve found my people.

p.p.s. Just kidding about the in love thing, JJB. Don’t fret.
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Coffee Talk

It’s good to have someone to talk to. It can change your perception, simply having the ability to get something out of your head and into the light of day. I don’t know about anyone else, but what goes on inside my brain can be far darker than anything I project into the universe. It’s as though I feel an obligation to shine, and frankly, that’s kind of a shitty way to go through life. You aren’t obligated to smile at the world. But you darn sure better know that you’re responsible for your own happiness.

Part of the darkness that lives inside my brain is an untidy collection of what I have deemed monstrous failures. They aren’t filed neatly in little cabinets along a wall with the accomplishments that I tend to keep out of sight. No, these “failures” are piled on a corner of the desk in a terrifying, towering stack of pure yuckiness. That stack is intimidating. It’s quite tall. And it talks. It drawls creepily, “You won’t succeed. You will not accomplish your goals. Here is the proof.” Then it laughs like this “MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

So this morning during #CoffeeWithPatrick, my perception was shifted. That stack isn’t a pile of failures. Good Lord, NO! It is a manual. It’s proof of the lessons that I’ve learned. It shows I have tried, tried again, and carved a new path with each effort until I have found one that works. I am comfortable with admitting that I have been moderately successful in most everything I have attempted – I haven’t actually FAILED at anything, if I am honest with myself. Sometimes I have said things I wish I hadn’t. Sometimes I have done things I would really like to take back. Sometimes I fall, and then I get back up. If I didn’t, well, maybe that would be something I could accurately label “failure.”

Oh, and that scary voice belonging to the stack? Yeah, I’m the one who gave it that voice. I’m in control over what that pile of memories actually is – a tower of terrifying failures or a collection of things I’ve learned along the path of life. Grab hold of this: I am responsible for my own happiness, and THAT obligation means gathering these things that are hiding in the dark and bringing them out into the light so that I can see that they really aren’t all that scary.

Go have coffee with a friend. Confess what’s lurking in the dark. Look at it from a different angle. And then you can really shine.

Do not dwell on the perceived failures

Making Plans

I have plans. I have big plans. I always have big plans, but this time they are quite structured, and I am terribly excited about these plans because they mean tremendous and positive change. They aren’t dreamy and distant, these plans are real and very present. They are happening. They are beginning to happen RIGHT NOW.

But with these plans – and this change – comes a sense of apprehension. It’s normal, this apprehension, because there is the possibility of failure. I do not like failure. I have been uncomfortable with change all of my life, just like most people in the world. Change is hard, they say (correctly). And fear of failure is such a life-manipulator. How I handle this period of transition is going to speak of my character, of this I am certain.

My biggest fear right now is telling the people whose lives will also be impacted by this change. Moments like this make me realize how much we truly effect one another. My very personal decisions will alter the course of the lives of others. This change in my life will necessitate change for other actual human beings, and that is a burden that is difficult to ignore. What’s best for me is, without a doubt, going to effect a whole bunch of other people.

The truth of the matter is that I have always carved my path based on how I felt it would least disturb those around me. I have been quiet. I have tried to always be kind. I have stepped ever-so-carefully through my days so as not to piss anyone off or “upset the applecart.”

Now, though, it has become absolutely, 100% necessary to upset the applecart. As a warning: do take shelter.

But please watch. This should get interesting.

MakeSomeNoise