I always say a birthday starts when you think about it, and ends
when you forget you have one. Can be a day, or a month.
Not having friends close in community here,
the moment I opened this b’day gift of honey was special.
Saturday was my birthday. I’m four years away from one of the Big 0 birthdays, and feeling the pinch to get on with things undone. To move into my Ideal Life. Because I changed as I’ve gotten older, and want to slow down, take life easier, let go of the go-go and guilt. The thing is I’ve been telling the story of my life for a long time a certain way. Fitting it to meet standards for outcomes or expectations. Face-to-face trusts. Business trusts. None a lie or fabricated, but I feel fractured. I’m an artist archetype. A natural empath, sensitive to energies, noise, and non-verbals. Everything else you see I taught myself or learned out of necessity. And now, when I want to choose the story I tell, I have this urge to tell you the stuff I don’t typically share. Say, I get it.
Last weekend I flew coast to coast for a three-day seminar experience about online business. My trip prompted by a strong intuitive hit as I watched yet another webinar. It made no sense if you balanced costs with what might be called realities. Right off the bat I stretched to show up. It called for business casual. I’m sitting in my jammies as I write this now! I let go, assembled outfits from my closet I liked, felt put together in. Found the perfect designer jacket with distinctive, artsy lines in the perfect color, exactly Me, at the consignment store. By the time I took off, I held my original intention of clarifying my niche and market lightly. A new one received the day before from my medium-psychic hair stylist (go figure, right?). Listen, he said, repeating the word twice more. Listen. And I did.
I did not volunteer for laser coaching tho I wanted it badly, or raise my hand when shares from the group were solicited. I went second when we pared off. Stepped to first only when four of us sat, others hesitating as the clock ticked. I listened to feedback, did what I do well, saw patterns. Style, my smile across the room, you belong with professionals. Asked why when I got a generic ‘you’re fun’ from someone I hadn’t met before. Understood I stood out, was seen, and it was okay. Realized I no longer want words like amazing, great, awesome, smart. Tell me how or why you think it. Give me something to hold on to. Saying my words speak to you counts. So does saying I’m a blessing.
I’ve been taking inventory since I returned. Two days ago I wondered what it would feel like to come out, tell you all the things I’ve experienced that make me a good writer. That prompted high-powered New York editor Marjorie Braman to say with her rejection that I have “a gift with character,” continue with it’s “something I’ve always thought took true talent because it’s not easily learned. I felt that I knew her characters and sympathized with them, even in their less sympathetic moments.” Because what I wish I could’ve told her is that it is learned. From life experience. From listening to your gut. Caring about why people who are different think and feel the way they do. From taking time to listen, see, accept stories without judging.
I’ve felt absolutely naked writing this blog since I started. I didn’t have a clue what I’d say when I sat down that first day last March, a year ago. Others actually told me what I was doing. Creating small journeys, sharing so others see how they might navigate life, too.
I long to take off the rest of my clothes, tell you more after you read this, which is all true. More, like I’ve experienced heartbreaking divorce, am married thirty years now and it’s not easy or perfect. I was a single parent for nine years, moved a lot as a child, was repeatedly abandoned by my mother. That I’ve cared for a younger sibling, and a husband who’d been run down by a car. I’ve been flat broke with no job more than once, and once accepted food stamps. Been cheated on and cheated, lied to and lied, done drugs and drank too much, had a season of promiscuity. I’ve been physically battered for years, carried myself calmly to the edge of suicide, been saved by a mystical experience with Jesus. I’ve had mystical experiences with Buddha and whales, too. I feel the world, see and hear colors, and things some would say are not there. I’ve had a boss from hell, been fired from jobs, disinvited from a group, and was once kicked out of a business I helped build & a partnership I loved. I’ve broken or sprained limbs 11 times, had 5 surgeries, barf everything but advil or tylenol, walk with an artificial joint. I’ve had my house catch on fire. Been stalked. Watched a home remodel go $150,000 over budget, landed us back on our feet afterwards. I walked away from an abusive relationship with no help or assistance, cured myself of an extreme phobia of spiders, faced fears that stole my breath and made my legs cramp for hours. I’ve stopped habits at will when they cost me what I wanted, and at times when I realized I no longer wanted them. I got my bachelor’s degree with a 3.99GPA on the 5th try, and created miracles others said were impossible. Found my passion while sitting two years in a writing group, facing mute response to my words, years after the half dozen psychics I’d seen ALL said I’d write. One seeing me at a golden desk with a golden pen. Another asking for my autograph.
In the end, I’m the heroine of my life. I sat with my father as he died. Held space for my sister when she lost her best friend of a husband. Have coached friends, family, and colleagues. That to the truth I’ve only begun traveling like I want, and could be judged, I believe we’ve probably experienced much the same, even with our different stories.
Now, will you have tea with me?
One day we will see everybody….
Another small journey. Getting to Wise.
A Writer’s Life.
A secret: It’s weird with no poem here, but it’s weird standing naked, too.
A favorite: Birthdays