Saturday, May 3, 2014

"I'm the Kind of Girl Who . . . "

 . . . reads spoilers, but, don't worry, isn't the twerp who ruins it for others.

 . . . eats peanut butter straight out of the jar.

 . . . would rank hummus and broccoli as an all-time favorite.

 . . . fangirls like crazy. Don't get me started on Star Wars, Lewis, Tolkien, Gaiman, or Doctor Who.

 . . . in a past life, must have been an old British man with a monocle and glorious mustache.

 . . . needs gutter-rails when bowling and a major handicap when putt-putt golfing.

 . . . loves grammar more than she should.

 . . . absolutely melts in the presence of kittens.

 . . . accidentally dresses to match her husband. And vice versa.

 . . . thinks gators are scarier than sharks, so she'd rather go shark diving than swim in a murky lake.

 . . .  finds her soul deeply restored by the sea.

 . . . paints with her hands, loves the feel of the paint, revels in the mess, and doesn't paint enough any more.

 . . . wants to travel to Asia so she can play with tigers in the tiger parks and swim with whale sharks.

 . . . is trying not to waste any more time being afraid or procrastinating.

 . . . dances like a madwoman in the kitchen and freaks when the hubs sneaks up on her.

. . . gets super nervous listening to voicemails

. . . can't get nail polish to stay on her fingernails worth beans.

 . . . loves wrestling with her puppy.

 . . . takes too many pictures.

 . . . quotes too many movies, TV shows, and books.

 . . . thinks a good cup of tea is dew from heaven.

 . . . adores the color blue.

 . . . fancies walking in the rain with her face to the sky.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

They call it a "cha-cha" . . .

I don't know that I'd call myself an optimist.
I've always said I was a "realist" . . . which, to the optimist, is code for "pessimist."  Maybe that's that's true, but I feel like a fairly positive person.
I can't help it if the most logical predictions are filled with my imminent doom.
Okay, so I'm a bit dramatic . . . And, cute as that quote is, I can't dance worth a flip.
Seriously, peeps, a drunk flamingo could cha-cha better than I could.

LIGHTBULB--somebody get a flamingo to cha-cha! Youtube gold, people. Flippin GOLD.
You're welcome.

Back to the point . . .

Basically, this past year, I have learned two things:
  1. Control is an illusion
    Positive thinking gurus will preach that you control your destiny. So we obsess over it--we work out, we monitor our diet, our products, our friends, our education, our location, our career.  We make these lovely little bubbles.
    So I worked hard to build and polish my bubble so that it was the shiniest, bounciest, happiest little bubble of them all. 
    And then it got these little holes in it and started spinning on the breeze, sinking to the ground.
    I am not in control.
    And that's not a bad thing.
    In fact, it just might be good because I'm kind of a nutcase.
    So I pray and I trust and I work on my own attitude. That's all I can control, anyways, right?
  2. The future cannot be predicted
    See that bit where I discussed my certain and future demise?
    Yeah, not sure that's gonna happen.
    It might, but I really don't have a clue.
    In order to feel in control, I pull from past experiences--mine and others'--to formulate the most likely future and course of actions to prevent or ensure that particular destiny.
    It doesn't work.
    I can't know how someone is going to react or feel or think. I haven't the foggiest how one reaction will lead to another or how it will all explode, implode, or just simmer into normality.
    I can't know.
    And that's not a bad thing.
    I don't know about you, but if I knew my own future, I'd drive myself nuts trying to make everything fall into place or fall out of place.
    Why not just let it happen? Do the best with what you have, and be surprised by the adventure. 
Because, even if it's scary and painful and everything else, it's an adventure, right?
And all adventures have dark, scary spots.
That's why they're called "adventures," after all.

 Just as we began to feel settled, make plans again, we are thrown another curve-ball.
Chris's job has given us a surprise that could either be very, very good or quite unpleasant.  They've decided they just might want him back in Florida--not for a specific position, necessarily, but they're just not sure they want him here. So he has a month to decide what he wants to do--he's come up with a plan, a rather daring plan, to try to stay both in California and with the company.
Chris is the only human being I know who seems excited at the thought of unemployment. He doesn't see it as an end but as  chance for new beginnings, a chance to pursue his dreams and something new. Then again, maybe we won't be unemployed and there will still be something new . . .
It's an adventure.

Me? Chris has a friend who sent him some links to help get us started as freelance writers.
I have no control over getting anything published or making any money at all.
What do I have control over? My own fear.
The terror that squeezes my chest every time I think about writing again. The fear that I have no idea what I am doing. That I will fail again and again and again. That people will laugh. That I will be useless and unimpressive and no good at all. 
You see, I used to write because I thought I could make something of it, that I was talented.
Then I read real, beautiful, life-changing literature, and I fell down and never got back up. These humans wrote things that wriggled into my soul and planted seeds--they burrowed, blossomed, and altered the landscape.  How could I hope to create anything like that? How could I have been so arrogant to think that I could even dream of scribbling words like that? Of those living, breathing things that leapt out of ink and parchment?
And so I tossed around the phrase, "I want to be an author or a freelancer" and thought I meant it.
But I never wrote a word.
I hid behind Netflix marathons and Pinterest and did nothing at all. For eleven years.
Because I was afraid.
I'm still afraid.
Typing this makes me sick to my stomach because I know now that, if I don't, I am a liar, a coward, and a sloth (and not the cute, fuzzy kind).

So here's to new things.
Here's to the present.
Here's to the unknown.

Here's to a grand adventure.