Not your Typical Writer…..

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I feel like a fake. Fraud. Impostor. Phony. Artificial. Bogus. I feel I am not a real writer. What is a writer? I feel stupid at times saying I am a writer because I think my art form is at best, decent. A few months ago my editor suggested joining a writers association to get to know editors, publishers,img_4001 and like-minded people. I look at her like she was crazy.

” I can’t be around real writers. I am a fake.” I said with a disgusted look on my face. ” They will take one look at me, smell the blood in the water and know I am not a real writer.”

She wanted to know what I meant. I feel in order to be a real writer you need to be published, smoke a pipe, wear tweed jackets with the patches on the elbows and be very well read…

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Not your Typical Writer…..

I feel like a fake. Fraud. Impostor. Phony. Artificial. Bogus. I feel I am not a real writer. What is a writer? I feel stupid at times saying I am a writer because I think my art form is at best, decent. A few months ago my editor suggested joining a writers association to get to know editors, publishers,img_4001 and like-minded people. I look at her like she was crazy.

” I can’t be around real writers. I am a fake.” I said with a disgusted look on my face. ” They will take one look at me, smell the blood in the water and know I am not a real writer.”

She wanted to know what I meant. I feel in order to be a real writer you need to be published, smoke a pipe, wear tweed jackets with the patches on the elbows and be very well read. I am none of those things. Since that conversation I have been published, but my with my asthma I can’t smoke a pipe. Living in Texas tweed is out. Well, I think tweed in general is out but that is beside the point. And I am still not well read.

The other night I had a similar conversation with some one about what I am expecting from my writing. Somehow the conversation went in the direction of me feeling like a fake. She wanted to know why I felt that way and she wanted a real answer. So I fessed up. I am not the typical writer that loves Hemingway, Jane Austen, or Poe. I can’t quote from age-old books, but I can quote from “Step Brothers”.  I have tried to be like the rest of the “writers” and read some classic writings. But yeah no, I am not interested. When someones asks me who I love to read, I answer Jane Green not Austen.

So I feel like a phony when I say I am a writer. I write for me. I write what I feel. It’s not a choice to write, it’s a calling that I can’t control. Its something I have to do. Many times as I write I am trying to stop myself, but I can’t. I have to get my feelings out. I have no choice. So when she asked me who my favorite author was, I took some time to think about that. This morning on my way into work it hit me. It hit me who MY favorite author/writer is. I immediately saw her dissatisfaction on her face in my mind when it came to me. I am not your typical writer. I have not gone to a fancy college. I have not  studied Shakespeare with a room full of Brit’s. I didn’t study under a famous writer. I didn’t intern at a paper or magazine. I actually didn’t go to college. I hardly graduated from high school. I was in a special reading classes all the way through high school. I write what I feel and what I see in my head. I love words. I love to read. I love sitting near books and inhaling next to them. I sleep near them. I love the way the pages feel between my fingers as I turn the page. I love coolness of a freshly opened book. I love the far away places I go when I read. I love writing. When I write I am someone else. When I write I am alive. I have been given a gift of description. That’s it. So it may not be a surprise who my favorite is, but I can tell you that I love this writer for so many reasons.

” You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose”. Dr. Seuss. 

That is right. Dr. Seuss is my favorite. If you read that quote above its explains everything. Is there anything more real than that? In a way it is all you need to know. That quote is freedom. You can actually steer your life in ANY direction you choose. But you have to choose it. YOU.  You have the brains, and the power to do whatever you want in your life. You have had it all along. 😉

Dr. Seuss has been teaching us since the beginning. Since we were able to put those magical letters together to form amazing words and then eventually sentences that changed and shaped our lives. He has been showing us through color, animation, and rhymes that we can do whatever we want if we want it bad enough. He has taught us we are good enough no matter what we look like, where we are from or who we are.  No matter where life is leading us, we have a Dr. Seuss book to turn to. We all have a favorite. When we read as kids we got one message. When we read as adults we can something totally different and better. Even as a teen mom I read my son Dr. Seuss each night. I grew up on him and my kids did was well. I have learned from his books that it is OK to be me and that its ok to like what I like with no explanation needed to anyone.

So there you have it, an uneducated writer who loves Dr. Seuss.

 

 

My Past Showed Up on that Early Morning in October…

I woke up early on Sunday morning to a slight knock at my front door. As I laid in my bed groggy with sleep still on the forefront of my mind and dreams still lingering in the back, I got up, pulled my robe on tight and walked down stairs. As I moved though my house and down to my front door, the knocking continued. When I got to the door I slightly opened it and peeked my head out to see who it was. I saw my past standing in the doorway. I said nothing. I had a shameful look on my face as I invited my past inside without a word being said. We needed to talk and I knew it. It was time.

I lead my past to the deck and my past had a seat. I went to the kitchen to prepare tea, for both of us. I filled the tea kettle with water turned on the stove and began to prepare a tea setting for two. Two tea cups, two spoons, sugar, milk, and variety of teas because I have no idea which kind of tea my past prefers. I didn’t know how long my past would be visiting so I didn’t offer any breakfast. I just knew it was time to sit down and enjoy tea. Together.

When the water was hot, and after I answered the whistle, I put our tea on a tray and took it outside. I took a seat next to my past. We sat close. We both had the same view of the still water also barely awake. I handed my past some tea, took some for myself and together with hot tea cups in hand, we sat back looking at the water and enjoying the silence and the sunrise for a just bit. As the sun began to creep up, and the coolness of the early morning air lingered, we began to talk. Before I knew it our arms were linked together and we were walking down memory lane. We visited so much. The good, the bad, the necessary and the not so necessary. We found ourselves laughing. On the verge of crying. Talking seriously and then laughing again. We walked and talked. We looked into the years of my life as if they were windows. I saw mistakes and regrets. I saw happy times and sad times. I saw my amazing kids, friends and family.

We got nostalgic. That Saturday night in late December. Sitting on the top of the Ferris Wheel waiting for other passengers to load the ride. We saw the lights of the decorated park for the holiday. The trees covered in colorful lights. The oversized ornaments hanging perfectly to tell a story. The kids laughter and parents chatting, everyone having fun. The train making its way around the property. The sights, sounds, and smells coming together to produce an amazing memory. As the ride became full and started going around and the cold New England air rushed us, we sat closer and took each other in. Friend dough and hot chocolate were to follow and they did. We bounced around that park taking pictures, happily finding our way around in a new place. We were fearless with the buds of love growing between us. My past and I were slapped awake with the reminder of our last day together. The name calling. The throwing of objects. The way I felt when it was all over. When I saw the back of his head leaving for the last time. We talked about the feelings and the memories from those years in particuliar. What I would have changed and what I would not have changed. We agreed and disagreed. And then we moved on.

My past and I have not met in a while. I tend to remember things differently than my past does. I see the good and my past helps me to see the big picture. To help remind me that yes there were good times but there were also bad times and those are the things to remember why things change and life moves on. My past shows up to remind me of how I got where I am. How long and hard I had to fight to become who I am today. My past reminds me of lessons and of love. How love feels and how it does not feel. My past reminds me of roads traveled and the roads I still need to walk. I need to walk some alone and others I can have company along with me. But my past reminds me that I can walk alone if I need to, and that’s OK.

So on that early, brisk, Sunday morning in late October, sitting outside just before sun up, I enjoyed tea with my past. My past showed up to remind me that no matter what happens life goes on and it moves forward. I am always progressing even when it seems I have been standing still for too long.

Have tea with your past. img_0802

 

 

The Wind of Change….

img_0112With the Fall air beginning to cool our surroundings, freshly picked apple crisp being baked in our ovens, Jack-O-Lanterns popping up all around, change is near and its thick in the air. Change hangs close by for the seasons and ourselves. Fall seems to be the most favored of the seasons for the people close to me. Winter bring heaps of snow, darkness, coldness, and for some misery of being cooped up in their homes for months on end. Spring is full of rain and a not so welcomed time change. And summer is fun, but kids are home, skin is burned, and we worry way too much about being bikini ready. But Fall. Oh Fall. Fall brings all that is good to the world. Color. Coolness. Sweater weather. And Pumpkin Spice everything. The Fall, for me also brings memories I would rather not have. Memories that represent bad times in my life, but they are also markers for how far I have come.

The past 6 months of me being away from my ex have been life changing. I was afraid. Afraid of being alone. I was so afraid of being alone that I hung onto someone who is not good for me. And most likely not good for anyone. Last night I was out to dinner with my friend and she had questions. She wanted to know why some women hang onto a guy that is not good for them. And I explained to her why I did it. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can assume it may be the same reasons. I explained to her that it is like learning to ride a bike. At a certain age you want to learn to ride a bike. Your mom or your dad decides you are ready and you pick out your bike. You get it home, strap on your helmet and mentally  you are ready. You are ready because someone you love and trust is behind you, holding on. As you begin, you are wonky, trying to steer and at the same time you are yelling with fear in your voice..

“Don’t let go, don’t let go”.

You don’t want them to let go because you know as long as they are holding on you can’t get hurt. No one wants to get hurt. No one wants to fall off their bike, skin their knee, or break a bone. So you beg them to not let go. Without them behind you there is a chance you will get hurt and it’s scary. Eventually they do let go, your steering is out of control at first, but as you get used to it, you even out and you are riding a bike on your own and its no longer scary. You look back on the day you were so afraid of someone letting go, and wonder why you were afraid to begin with.

I feel this is what I went though. I didn’t want him to let go because I didn’t want to fall or get hurt. But as he let go, I evened out and realized the ride is much better without him. I am in control and now I can go where ever I want. The past 6 months have been me with wonky steering. Today, with Fall crisp in the air, the colors of change all around me and amazing friends that are still there after the fog has lifted, I am a better stronger person. I am free and in the clear and I am riding “my bike” in any direction I choose, on my own and no longer afraid.

 

Never Lie to a Woman….

I have this house. This house that I come home to each night. It is mine. It is home. When I am out with my friends I make sure to not drink so I can go home to my house. My room, my bed. My friends have beautiful homes with beautiful guest rooms. But I choose to go home to my house each night. My house sits on the shore of the river. A full river. Full enough for boats, jet skis, and anything else you may want to float. I see paddle boarders out there, fisherman, canoers, and even kayakers on a regular basis. During the summer the water is full of people getting tanned, playing loud music and flipping on the wake. During the Fall, they are still out there but not as much. As the temperature begins to drop, the night falls earlier, and we are stacking wood in our fireplaces and not our fire pits, the water starts to calm. Settle. If you sit outside on the deck and close your eyes you can hear the movement of the water, the fish, the birds and everything that makes up the water life of nature, just outside my door.

Tonight I came home to my house. I opened my garage door deaf to the music on the radio in my car. I had a full bladder and tears begging to come out. I entered my house, took off my boots, dress and the skin I wore the entire day. I put on sweats and a t shirt, crawled onto my couch and let it all pour down my cheeks and land where they needed to. I let my body lay back onto my over stuffed gray couch while I pulled up my brown, warm, fuzzy blanket to my neck and crawled into myself. I crawled into myself so deep I didn’t know how to get out or even if I wanted to at all. After a while of crying and questioning everything, I got up. I milled around my house in my sweats and got some water. As I poured my cup full, I noticed the moon hanging just outside my window. Large, high, orange ish and expecting nothing. I went outside on my deck in the darkness. I sat looking at the moon and its reflection against the water. The water still, yet moving rapidly the way it can do was calming. The reflection settled me.  It was cold. The wind was blowing. Blowing gently, but enough to move my hanging lights against the window reminding me winter is near.

The past few days have been tough for me. Me, an old soul, an open book, exposed nerve, care giver and feeler of everything. It’s a blessing and a curse to feel everything. I feel and I can write, but I feel and I hurt. I hurt deeply when I am hurt. I love deeply when I love. I suffer greatly when I suffer. I laugh whole heartedly when I laugh. I feel to much. I love too hard. But I am who I am. I am not for everyone. But I do deserve respect. I do deserve to be told the truth. I feel everyone does. I can understand not wanting to hurt someones feelings. I can understand trying to protect someone, or maybe even protecting yourself. But it is wrong. Just wrong. I have been on the receiving end of lies too many times.

When a woman is hurt it changes her. It changes her in a way where she will never be the same person again. She may look the same. Her laugh may be the same. But she is forever changed. She can’t trust as easily as she once has. She can’t be honest and open her heart the same way. She can’t be vulnerable. She can’t be herself. When a woman is hurt, she sinks in. She hides. She changes. Pieces of her beauty, charm, wit, and sense of self, fall apart. She leaves these pieces in a trail away from who hurt her. She learns to walk alone.

You may think a lie is just a lie, but a lie is never just a lie. It’s the trigger of a gun. The match to a fuse. The push off a cliff. It destroys and damages. Before you set out for your own selfish needs, think. Think before you lie and damage someone who is beautiful from the inside out and who does not deserve to be treated that way. If you have to lie to someone, maybe you are not worthy of having them in your life.

At the end of the day I am happy with who I am. I am learning. I am living. I am sitting on my deck and I am in good company with the moon. img_0005

 

 

Bread crumbs….

I know people say ‘everything happens for a reason’, ‘People come into your life for a reason, a lesson or a blessing’. You get where I am going with this. But have you ever sat back and really thought about these things? Have you ever had a person come into your life  and you can pin point exactly why they are in your life? Can you name your lessons or your blessings? Have you been able to walk away from a lesson because of a blessing? I have. I can name my lesson and give you his address. I can tell you everything about him, but more importantly, I can tell you everything about my blessing.

When I first met her, she was me. Loud. Big hair. Amazing accent. I had no idea on that very day I had met one of my very best friends. I had no idea we would grow an unbreakable bond ( unless I talk smack about #87 ). My blessing has been with me though it all, in the flesh, face to face.She was yelled at and cried on. She picked me up from the dirt and cleaned me up. When my pieces fell and shattered all over the floor, she got down on the floor with me, deep in the grim, mud and muck of devastation and destruction. She hand picked the pieces she thought were salvageable and handed them to me one by one.  After we glued half of the pieces back, and I was almost whole, she helped me pick them up again after I smashed them back into smithereens. She did all of this with patience, a steady hand, unconditional love, and respect.

When I had no idea which path I should take, she lead me with her bread crumb trail. She knew me and what I would follow. She, much like B1, nudged me in the right direction. Over the years when I felt I was alone, she was always standing guard. When times got dark, she had the light and the directions to get out of the tunnel I was living in. She has been my safety net, my strength, my soft place to fall, and my friend.

I want to say thank you. Thank you for your acceptance, courage, strength and laughter. You were what I needed when I needed it. I have no idea if I even deserve you in my life, but I plan to keep you.

No matter what or who happens to us in our lives, I know we will both be OK because we have each other.

I think, no scratch that, I know you are amazing and I love you for everything you are!img_0187

ps. I wrote this without interruption.

cancer, you are too close, back up..

I began writing and then stopped. I wrote, I deleted. I turned on the tv. I shut it off again. I did this writers dance for a while. I managed to watch a show, but the entire time I kept making eye contact with my lap top. I pushed it away. I turned my back on it, but it turned out it was not the lap top, it was the words inside my head that were begging to come out. They wanted to be poured all over my keys. The words I am about to spill all over your eyes, were on my heart before they were here.

Today I got a text. A text that shut down my day. My very good friend has cancer. We found out a bit ago. I spent my 40th birthday with her in chemo class. I sat next to my friend and listened to what cancer is. What it will do to my friend. Not what it may do, what it WILL do. In 3 weeks her hair will be gone. Her energy will be gone. Her weight will be gone. But she will still be here. Weak. Frail. Brittle.  Her cancer is most likely curable, but the road to get there will be awful. Today she found out she needs a blood transfusion because her iron is low. The Dr’s need to find out why she is bleeding, so tomorrow she will be undergoing a battery of tests before she an begin the chemo process on Friday. So tonight, while we are resting in our homes, while we are chasing kids, while we are rolling our eyes at our husbands, she is in a cold room with a strangers blood being pumped into her body, alone. My heart breaks for her. My heart, selfishly breaks for me.

It’s hard to figure out what your role is as a friend when your friend gets sick. On a regular Tuesday you can find her on the other end of a text or a call talking about a guy or work. Opening up and sharing secrets. Crying over something her son said. You can find me doing the same things with her. As friends we laugh, cry, workout, gossip, and ask each other if we look fat ( we do not ). We discuss skinny jeans, Fall booties, or a night we are planning out. We are close. But when something like cancer happens, as friends we sort of slip down the totem pole. Family always comes first. So where do we go from here? I have no idea. This is the first time a friend of mine, a close friend, has cancer. Cancer got close with a friend of mine once before, but backed off.

I know I need to be strong for her. I know I need to be the one to hold the sword when it gets heavy. I know I have to be the one to take the bullet when its aiming toward her. I know I have to be the one to look under the bed for monsters, kill the spider, pick up the snake with a hoe and get rid of it. I have to be tough and strong. But I’m not, at least not all of the time. But I have to be. And I will. I can’t be mad at cancer right now. I can’t be angry. I have to keep up my strength for her right now. I will be mad a t cancer later when the time is right. But for now I have to take care of me so I can take care of her. I know I can’t cry in front of her. I left my house today and walked as far away from my house as I could and I cried, alone.

I will sit by her side. I will make jokes. I will hold her hand until this is over. I know we will both come out of this stronger, better people. Until then I will fight. img_0492

Life is short. Sometimes we don’t know how short it is until it’s over.

Having Tea with Fear Tonight….

I have not written much in the past few weeks. I guess a few things have been swirling through my head. I have been sort of afraid to write. Afraid of what may come out. Afraid of how I feel. Afraid of not being successful. Afraid of failure. Just afraid. But what do we do with fear?? Invite it to enjoy some tea with us….Lets have some tea….

img_0014Tonight I sit on my back deck. I have an amazing view of the lake. As the sun was setting, and chill in the air grew bit stronger, I held my arms and tried to warm myself up. I leaned back in my chair and looked around. All around me is beauty. The still water, the trees in their in-between stage of not so full but not so lean either phase, through the still green leaves you could see the sun going down and the landscape is simply remarkable. I closed my eyes as I leaned back and took  quick survey of my life. I surveyed my life in a matter of seconds it seemed. I have a good life. Scratch that, I have a great life. I feel its full and complete. Years ago I did not have this same opinion of my life. I never would have thought of my life as complete as a single, now 40 year old woman. I always thought in order to be complete, we had to be in two’s. Society, from an early stage has taught us that and our parents reiterated that though out our youth. By the time we are in our mid 20’s, going to a family function not linked up, you were asked all the questions as to why not. And if you had a “boyfriend” that was not good enough. Why was he not your husband. And if you had a husband, why were you childless and so on and so on. Well tonight, I am happy. I am happy I am not linked up. I love the way I am living my life lately. I have plans. I am seeing my friends. I am taking online classes for fun and I am reading history books. I am settling softly, safely, snugly into my freedom. My freedom feels good. Keeps me warm at night. Keeps me smiling. I have struggled with my freedom, and now I embrace it as it gently knocks on my door each morning. Its no longer a fear, it’s a welcomed friend.  This is something I have never imagined I would ever be so comfortable with.

I have had a front row seat, full with popcorn and beverages, to a lot of relationships lately. I quietly sit back and wait for the next episode of ” What My Stupid Husband Does Next” and I realize, I am not ready to take on the responsibility of someone else feelings, issues, problems, or sufferings, just yet. I know I am missing out on all of the great stuff as well. But as we all know, we have to be ready for the bad stuff as well as the good. And if I am not ready for the bad, how could I possibly be ready for the good?

So I am taking some much needed time to be myself and enjoy life before I can think about adding someone to my life. I am only 6 months out of my last relationship and as you already know it was not an easy relationship. So I am throwing caution to the wind, telling society and everyones grandmother to just chill out and let me be me. I look forward to what the next year brings me….