Date Archives April 2010

Mixing some metaphors and then beating them to death

If my life were a purse, this would be the month that it got picked up and dumped out all over the couch. It’s time to sort through all the crap I’ve been carrying around. Let’s see… what has been shoved into the deep, dark corners? What is still useful and important and just needs a good wipe down? There are crumbs everywhere… too many emergency baby snacks have been left to their own devices over the last year. My children may be the constant in my life but that doesn’t mean that I have to carry their residue everywhere… I’d rather just carry them or hold their hands and walk next to them. 

Things need to be dealt with. Even if I don’t see every object every day, things are still taking up space and weighing me down. They are affecting me. I can pretend that they’re not in my purse but at some point, I’m very likely to find a melted piece of something or other congealing in the corner – possibly dripping out, even – and making a mess of everything around it. And how did this damn purse get so heavy? What have I been putting in there? Best to do the hard work of figuring this stuff out now before I have an even bigger mess and my purse gets so heavy that I can no longer walk upright. 

Someone recently said to me that you have to clean out your proverbial closets before you can put anything new in there. I like that. But it’s not a job you can do on the fly. You need to carve out some time. You need some space to spread out so you can sort, assess and decide. You need to look at that empty closet and decide if maybe it needs a paint job before put you everything back in. Maybe what it needs is pretty polka-dot wallpaper. Maybe it needs some shelves or something to help you get organized. Maybe it’s begging for a glass door so the sun can shine inside. After all, if you let the sun in that old closet, it’s less likely to get all cluttered again – dusty, ugly things like to lurk in the dark but you’re not likely to keep them around if they’re staring you in the face everyday. Maybe you even want to put a sound system in there so you can listen to music that makes you feel good. And after you do all that, maybe you find that the closet is so nice that it doesn’t even want to be a closet anymore, but part of the room. It could happen. 

And so I begin, blogmuffins. You’re all welcome in my closet anytime.

Life is not American Idol

I am having what Oprah calls a full-circle moment.   I’m sitting in a certain coffeehouse near-ish to my home. I was writing about something else and it wasn’t going well. Then they put Jeffrey Gaines on the sound system. (Do you know him? You should…) It occurred to me that it was RIGHT HERE, one table away from where I’m sitting right now, when I saw Jeffrey Gaines perform for the first time several years ago. It’s not a big room and Jeffrey is a big, passionate guy. It was one of those shows were time and space sort of bend and the air gets thick with magic.

At the time, I was a new-ish mom. I didn’t get out much. As I sat there listening to these powerful songs about longing and truth and being who you really are, it occurred to me — more like hit me like an anvil over the head — that this life I was living didn’t quite fit me. I was stifled and lonely. I loved being a mom but I also wanted to be so much more. I needed to speak. I needed to find my voice. I really, really needed to start writing again — and not about OSHA violations.

And I found that what I was waiting for for so long was something that I had to give myself. I wanted permission. I wanted someone to say to me, “You have great potential. You were born to do this. You MUST write. The world needs it.” But things rarely happen like that in life. There’s no American Idol for most of us. We just do what we do — put in the work that we really want to do anyway. We put in the work whether anyone notices or not — because it brings joy, because it fulfills a need, because it makes us feel whole and allows us to appreciate life a little more. 

And now I sit here in the same place, listening to the same music four or five years later. I have not written the Great American Novel. But I have two great chapters that I’m really proud of that I think could someday germinate into something lovely. I’m not a columnist for a national publication. But I have this little blog here that a bunch of you read and I got a nice little bit of recognition for it recently. I’m not a size whatever. But my pants are loose and I’m learning how to be kind to my body. I’m not 22 and I’m glad about that because I’m a lot smarter now. I’m not meeting my husband at the door with lingerie on but we’re talking and being honest about what we need. My kids are cute and healthy and smart and funny. I feel like I’m on the path I’m supposed to be on even if it is extremely rocky sometimes.

For right now I feel like I’m pointed in the right direction. I’m not sure where I’m going to end up. But that’s OK. I have this step right here in front of me and when it’s time to take the next step, the direction will be clear.

So, little blogmuffins, what I have learned that’s worth sharing here? I’ve learned that you have to be honest. And that there are sometimes many layers to honesty and it takes time for them all to come up. But speaking that first truth, even if it’s hard and not very pretty, will start the ball rolling. I’ve learned that to live a good life, you  have to be authentic. You can’t be who other people “need” you to be — you have to be who you are. You can’t wait for someone to annoint you or validate you, you have to take those first steps forward. And I’ve learned that I am the only person inside my crazy, overactive brain. I better make sure that I’m good company.

Someone somewhere once said that an acorn can only be an oak tree. So don’t pretend to be another kind of tree if you’re not.

And with that, I will sign off, my dear, sweet bloggy pals. I wish you all an authentic day.

Glee: A love story

Dear Glee,

I want to fake a pregnancy and I want you to be the baby daddy. If I had a shiny, polyester track suit I would wear it today just so I could spend the entire day thinking about you. I want you to give me a slushy facial and then lick it off slowly. I want Mr. Schu to tell me to find myself by singing an OK song by an overrated band, backed by an impromptu collection of musicians who always seem to be hanging around waiting for me to break into song. I want to grease a Wok with the hair product in your overdone do. I want to slip a mystery pill into your drink so I can take photos of us in bed together. I want you to steal my set list for sectionals. I want you to threaten me so I can threaten you back and we can ride the currents of our underlying passion as we try to destroy each other.

I also want to finish watching the last 3/4 of last night’s episode….

Oh, Glee. What have you done to me?

Hey! We’re Famous!

Guess what, little blogmuffins? We got noticed! (I say “we” because I couldn’t do this without you.) According to Trish is Blogher.com’s Voice of the Week! Forgive me as I channel my inner Vicki Gunvalson for a quick “Woo hoo!” (Real Housewives of Orange County reference. If you didn’t know that, congratulations. You clearly have more of a life than I do.)

Here’s the link with the writeup:

www.blogher.com/blogher-voice-week-according-trish

I urge you to navigate around the site a little bit, too. Lots of thoughtful, interesting writing by lots of intelligent, fabulous women. Dig in!

I watched the movie so you won’t have to

Watched Nights in Rodanthe last night. Let me summarize it for you:

Her: “I am a damaged person but I am hopeful and still believe in love now that you are here with me in this windswept oceanfront house, Richard Gere.”

Him: “Yes, Diane Lane. I, too, am damaged by that woman I accidentally killed. However, now that I am the only guest in this romantic bed and breakfast that you happen to be looking after for your friend, I am strangely hopeful now, too. I will protect you from the impending hurricane by boinking you most vigorously. I hope it won’t bother you that tomorrow I must leave to tend to the sick in the third world.”

Her: “No sweat. We can write each other letters until you come back.”

LATER:
Him in a letter: “I cannot wait to start our lives together.”
Her, on a white garden bench surrounded by flowers: Sniff, sniff. Wistful smile.

LATER:
Him: SPLAT.
Her: Ummmm, shouldn’t he have arrived from the airport by now?

The end.

The worst piece of deus ex machina I have seen in a really long time. (BriJohn: Look it up.)