living out loud

growth.

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I’m going to try to write flash fiction to stay in writerly mode. I can’t…focus? Long enough to sit and write a whole story, short or long. Flash fiction is drive-by storytelling, and I sense, under different life circumstances, I’d be real good at drive-bys (gangsta. i’m telling you i’d have made a good gangsta…but preferably in the 1940s, for the fashion. these 21st century gangstas think backwards hats and saggy pants make them all tough. please).

On Twitter, one thing I’ve started doing again (that I was doing last year before the stalking started) is something called Friday Phrases. If you pay attention to my Twitter page (and I hope you don’t because it’s kind of my spew area, my angry-feminist-political-WTF-ranting area…though I do try to balance with things that are really real to me, that touch me deep deep deep in my heart and also occasionally leave a dorky life observation or three) (oh, and I gently and lovingly tease dear storyteller Jason Isaacs because he and I are in cahoots about how to thwart Donald Trump’s regime and also his British humour makes me laugh sometimes and also ALSO now he and I met very very briefly and so even though I was really awkward when I met him, I still heart him and also I bet he’s put me on mute so I can say whatever I want to him now anyway), on Fridays you’ll usually see me throw out a tweet with an #FP at the end. They give you a prompt, and you write a phrase or a poem or whatever based on that prompt. In 137 characters or less. Be Concise writing challenges. I like ’em (because I need ’em).

At any rate, I also throw out poetry (BAD poetry) there as well. And, thinking about that, I decided what I’ll probably do here is re-add a poetry page, just so whatever I do there doesn’t get lost down the feed. Sometimes the poems are based on personal feelings, sometimes they’re based on other things. I think a lot of times people in my life think I’m writing about them. Maybe, maybe not. I just write about…STUFF, really. I’ve started to use real people’s real names when I write about other people in my life here, because I don’t want anymore Facebook PMs, texts, emails, etc from people I love going: Is this about me? or Is this because of that? No. No, no, no. Half the time the crap I write is just overly dramatic b.s. that I’m whining about. If you and I have a problem, I will send you a 10 page email and let you have it privately. Promise.

If I use initials, it’s because I’m trying to protect someone’s privacy, I don’t have express permission to write about whatever but I feel a need to for whatever, and/or I don’t want to get sued (and if I’m worried about being sued, I’ll probably change names/initials/details/etc…I’m a lot of things but stupid ain’t one of them).

***

I am taking this medicine stuff every day, and I do think I need it. I hate that I need it, you guys. But I do think it’s keeping me calm. It’s not stopping my feelings (phew…I was worried about that; I want to feel my feelings), but it’s keeping them from overtaking me.

Also the weather has helped. I know we need rain really really badly, because of forest fires and stuff (literally, y’all…the South is burning, yet General Sherman’s been dead a long time), but I am very grateful for the sunny days throughout October and November. This morning I woke up and it was dreary and I was all: oh. (sad little oh.) But now the sun is back out and I’m all: OH! (feeling more awake OH!). The weather and I – we have a love/hate relationship. A cautious relationship.

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Earlier today I saw somewhere on the Internet that Elizabeth Gilbert gives speeches to crowds of adoring Liz-fans about why she always asks people she meets the question: “What are you most excited about?” And so I started thinking: well, yes. What AM I most excited about?

This isn’t a question like: What are you looking forward to within the next day, week, month, year. This is a really deep, examine your life kind of question: what are you looking forward to in your LIFE.

And so I did some thinking, some hard thinking, this morning about what that might be. It can only be one thing, although because I’m a sneaky little rules breaker I’m going to make it two things:

1) Watching Miss M grow up. She’s been a real pill this morning, everybody. Not gonna lie. But as a child, it’s kind of her job. Test the boundaries…can I say/do/break this one thing here and will she let me get away with it? Last night, she was supposed to spend the night with her sweet little BFF but they both got in big trouble for making cupcakes without permission so M was sent home to C and BFF was spanked and sent to bed early. (C and I don’t spank M…the few times I’ve tried it, I’ve felt really shitty. If you have to resort to physical violence to teach a child how to behave and be in the world, then you haven’t just lost the battle {and these are all battles, these incidents that call for punishment}, you’ve lost the war. No more fear. No more hurting each other. No more. {That’s just me, who and how I am.})

I do feel bad for sweet little BFF…pretty sure it was my kid’s idea to sneak-bake the cupcakes. It’s something she’d do, at least. But you know. Lessons. Life. We’re all here to learn from each other. And I’m really excited to see what other new crazy concoctions my smart little brainiac dreams up over the next 10 or so years til I can kick her out of my house. I still sometimes sit with my head on her chest and listen to her heart beat and think, Wow…my body helped make that. So amazing, so magical. (Confession: I like to listen to the heart beats of people I love best. It’s what’s keeping them here on Earth with me, and it’s the source of their lives. I love the sound of heart beats.)

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2) Possibility. Every day is a fresh start. Some days are harder than others to start. But every day someone new can come along, something interesting can be handed to you. I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years…who I’ll be with, where I’ll be living, what I’ll be doing. I don’t think I want it to be the same as today, though. But maybe it will be, and if it is that’s because it’s supposed to be that way. But every day is a new possibility, with something new to learn and figure out. And so I’m just going to focus on being excited about that. New knowledge, new people, new love, new wishes, new experiences, new opportunities for fun and learning and growth.

I feel like that sound New Age-y and hokey. Given my past behavior, it feels New Age-y and hokey. And given some of the feelings I’m still struggling with from time to time, the sense of outraged indignation I can lie awake wrestling with at 3:00 AM while staring at my ceiling in the dark, it feels New Age-y and hokey.

But I’m still going to be excited about it. Because this is Life.

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