A Bloody Message

A Bloody Message

While I was getting leg surgery, the doctor, with his hands covered in my blood said, “There is nowhere to go because you’re already there.” I thought this was so profound that I laughed. Cut open and bleeding on the surgery table, I laughed. I would remember those words.

This doctor then told me about the yoga routine he does every morning led by Bryan Kest. I like yoga. When I got home and was properly healed, I looked up the yoga routine. As I did the downward-facing-dog and listened to Bryan Kest talk about his life philosophies, he said, “There is nowhere to go because you’re already there.”

It may not have been my doctor’s original thought, but it was still profound.

In my last blog, I wrote about the fear of submitting my writing. I could have been afraid of criticism, and I could have been afraid of rejection, but I wasn’t. I was mostly afraid of success. I was more afraid of being accepted than rejected. Rejection keeps me where I am, acceptance puts me in unfamiliar territory.

If they accept me, they will find me out. They’ll find out I’m a fraud. I have tricked everyone into thinking I’m better than I am.

Once there is success they will see through my facade and stamp my forehead with “con artist”. I would rather be rejected before anyone found me out. I would rather stay in the familiar territory of sameness. I would rather no one see my work, ever.

But then…..

But then…I’m not a writer at all, at least not in the sense I want to be. A real writer is read. A real writer feels like a writer. A real writer has success. So when can I say I am successful? When can I say I have arrived?

At this point, I could list all the things that would determine I have arrived, like making a living with my creative writing. Or selling a screenplay or two. But I won’t do that because there is nowhere to go, I’m already here. I am already the writer I want to be.

The only missing piece is feeling like a success instead of a failure. And since my feelings are the only things at play, I can change them. Right now. Right? I am already a writer. I have already arrived. And whatever else happens, happens. The recipe for being a successful writer is feeling like a successful writer.

There really is nowhere to go, I’m already here.

Pansy

Pansy

As I hovered the mouse over the button, my hands seized up and I was overtaken with the “devil shakes”. Shaking and freezing, I held my breath and closed my eyes and almost vomited on myself as I clicked the mouse. It sailed away, into the wild blue sky.  No take backs. I didn’t calm down for a few hours after that. I needed an electric blanket and hot tea to cure the devil shakes. And next month I would do it all over again. Saints preserve me.

This happened a few years ago when I promised myself I would submit my writing once a month to somewhere, a contest, or a magazine, or some other third thing, and by gum I did it. Yes, I did. For two whole months, I did it. So, twice. I submitted two things.

This was not the first time I submitted my writing somewhere, but part of a writer’s job description is submitting, and apparently, I had a hard time with that. Before my once-a-month goal, I had years between each submission.

Judging from my reaction, submitting was terrifying to me. But what was I afraid of? I can only speculate. I could say I was afraid of rejection, but that wasn’t it because the goal was only to hit the submit button. I didn’t really have any expectations beyond that.

I did eventually get two rejection letters from my little goal, one from each submission, and I was quite proud of them. I had never gotten a rejection letter before. They made me feel like I accomplished something. I even thought it might be cool to collect rejections, but I was so freaked out by the submission process that I soon “forgot” about my goal.

This might make me sound like a super pansy writer, and I am, but I have also worked as a journalist and a copywriter several times over. I also published a book (Roxanne in La La Land by L.A. DeVaul for the interested ones) and I currently work for a publishing company. But that is all a different kind of writing. It is writing out of necessity. When I write from my soul it changes things. I become terrified.

It is one thing to write something when someone is waiting for it, and it is another thing entirely to write something meaningful in my free time, then give it to someone who never asked for it and wouldn’t know if I died tomorrow.

At the publishing company, I read through submissions (an ironic job). And I am often struck by the bravery of the people who send in their work. Some people refer to all the other places they submit and how the rejection is getting to them, but I admire their rejections. They are submitters. I am a pansy.

While pansies are beautiful flowers, I would like to be the kind of pansy that grows through sidewalk cracks. Instead, I cave looking at the submit button. I want to be more like those submitters who have collected enough rejections to create a life-sized paper mache home. I am easing my way into the writing world with blogging. I am about to hit the publish button (not as scary as the submit button).

 

I’m happy to be here, I swear

You probably know this isn’t a perky blog. Well, today I’m feeling even less perky than usual. So the question is: What do I wear and how do I blog when I’m feeling so under the snuff?

We’re about to find out.

Despite feeling groggy and bleh today, here I am dressed and facing the world, or at least the dentist, with my very unperky energy.

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That is my numb-after-dentist face.

Maybe this blog should be called: What to wear when you want to be naked.

Leggings again, and because they are the semi-see-through ones, I wore little shorts underneath. Giant mint sweater with cowl neck. The light gray shoes connect the top and bottom of my outfit. Pale and pale. And once again, top-knot and no makeup.

So there it is, comfortable, low-maintenance and pregnancy approved. Oh, that’s right. I’m pregnant. I guess I haven’t told you yet. It’s a boy. Pregnancy makes this whole fashion thing much harder.

Next week: what to wear when you keep getting bigger. Spoiler alert! The answer probably has to do with leggings (but maybe I’ll surprise you again).

P.S. One of these days you will see me wearing makeup and looking a little happier to be here, but only if it’s genuine. This blog is about honesty and if I honestly don’t feel like wearing makeup or smiling, dadgummit! I won’t wear makeup or smile. (But I would look seriously freaky if I smiled in this picture. Dentist Face!)

P.P.S. Anyway, I guess that’s all for today. But seriously, even though I’m unperky, I am really enjoying being here. Maybe this blog soothes me. Maybe I’m healing from my desire to hide and things are really changing for me. Wow…this is kind of exciting. Maybe you will witness my chrysalis emergence, along with my swelling stomach.

Stay tuned…

Feeling Sort of Beautiful Today

Well hello, fellow philosophers; so we meet again on this fine feathered day.

Since my last post I have had a bit of a journey. Perhaps I will tell you about it, or perhaps I will begin somewhere else. There is so much to say, how do I begin? I suppose first I will start with this:

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That’s me. Today. This blog is about fashion and healing (and other stuff too). When I started this blog, I thought I would be motivated to get myself all gussied up because I would be taking a picture of myself every day. Instead, I just quit blogging.

The problem is that some days I don’t want to get all gussied up. Some days makeup feels messy instead of beautiful. Some days comfort is more important than fashion. Some days wearing clothes feels like a chore. And that is just part of the package of life.

The question is: how do I embrace these days and still go into the world without feeling like a slob?

So let me dissect my outfit for you.

I am wearing a large, loose super-comfy shirt with navy leggings and gray ballet flats. I look like my outfit took some effort, while staying one step away from pajamas. I had on a navy cardigan earlier today, but now that I’m relaxing at home, I threw on my periwinkle hoodie. Both are really comfortable and go with the outfit, one just has a more casual vibe than the other.

As for the hair, the top knot is always a low-maintenance favorite. I like to keep mine a little wild while others might like a neater, smoother bun, either one is quick and easy.

With a pair of earrings and a bracelet or two, I would look a little dressier and still not have to wear makeup. And yeah, this is my makeup free face. Some days my face just wants a wet wash cloth swept over it to feel fresh and beautiful.

So this brings me to my point:

As women, it is important for us to feel beautiful. Sometimes we think we will acheive this with more makeup, or a smaller dress size, or better clothes, or having more money, or getting more men to fall in love with us, or whatever our thing may be, when in reality, feeling beautiful is simply a feeling. We can choose it or not choose it and it doesn’t matter if anyone agrees with us or not.Beauty is a feeling that has nothing to do with what we look like.

Which brings me to my second point:

But before I get to my second point, let me tell you about a little journey I took since we last met.

I knew I wanted to feel beautiful, but that proved to be more difficult than just deciding to feel beautiful.

As I tried embracing my beauty, I found my pathway blocked by a fearful little girl. She didn’t want to be seen or noticed. Feeling beautiful meant coming out of hiding, and she wanted to stay hidden. I had to face her and hold her and ask her what she was so afraid of. I could explain this process to you but it would be tedious and dull and that’s not what I’m doing on here anyway.

The Hollywood ending to this story would be that I emerged from all of this like a phoenix from the flames, glowing like the north star. But this isn’t Hollywood, nor is this the ending. This journey has uncovered layers. I have healed myself enough to come somewhat out of hiding (hence the ability to blog again) but I haven’t cleared all the layers yet. I still don’t hold that constant feeling of beauty in my heart the way I want. But I’m working toward it.

I’ll keep you updated.

Coming Out of Hiding

Coming Out of Hiding

While I would like to pretend that these last few months we have been apart have been a beautifully relaxing sabatical of sunshine and daisies, only part of that is true. 

But before I tell you about these last few months, or even the last year, I would like to confess something I didn’t know when I took my leave of you.

As I said before, I have started and stopped many blogs over the years. Something kept me coming back but something else kept pushing me away. I always liked the idea of blogging, but not the reality of it. Why? I asked myself. What is chasing me away? Well, my friends, I just may have found the answer. 

I have spent my life hiding and blogging is visibility. But as a writer I can’t thrive without visibility. 

I could do a big cheer and say, “I’m coming out, baby! This time it’s for real. This time I’m a new woman and I’m ready to be seen.” But that might be a big lie. The consciousness is a new thing, but I’m not sure about the how or the why of hiding. All I know is I’m writing this blog now. 

It might be the first of many. It might just be the beginning of another bloggless sabatical. But I’m here now because my soul says blog. I like listening to my soul. 

We are getting to know each other lately, my soul and I, and it’s a beautiful thing. We’ve had an on and off relationship over the years. We talked a bit here and there and I always thought about stopping in and talking more, getting to know her better, but life is busy and she is not demanding, so I neglected our relationship. But things are different now, not that life is easier or my soul is louder, but through a series of events I have learned my soul knows so much more than my ego or any other part of me so I might as well listen. I’ve learned listening to my soul first instead of last saves a lot of time, because no matter how much we think we can ignore our souls they will always be heard in the end. 

So the question is, how does one hear ones soul? And when you do hear it, how do you recognize it? The answer is: I don’t know. The path is probably different for everyone. But who knows? I don’t pretend to be a teacher, I only relay my experiences and the people who hear can take it however they want. 

What I have been doing is just meditating and saying, “I am hearing my soul, I am.” After enough time I started hearing and recognizing the voice of my soul. I am still working on our relationship, but it’s definitely getting better. 

So, like I said, a lot has happened in the six/seven months we’ve had apart. Perhaps I’ll get to all of that eventually, but for now all I will say is: I have blue dread locks now. 


 

Naked Soul Sunday

Naked Soul Sunday

 

So much to say. I guess this will just be a really long post.

Here we are again, my friends. Really, I really have so much to say. Where do I start?

This blog was supposed to be about my personal healing journey and how my healing would manifest itself in my wardrobe choices, hence the picture of moi with every post. (I’m not sure if you knew that, but I’m telling you now. Fashion and healing and all that jazz.)

Anyway, I have done lots of healing since starting this blog. I have gotten lots of personal insight and made drastic changes in my life, not all of which have been documented here, but I liked the idea and the purpose of blogging and sharing my story with a big vague audience, who may or may not exist.

Has my wardrobe changed in this process? I’m not sure, I haven’t been paying much attention, and as you can see, I have looked pretty subpar in most of my photos. “Smile,” people say. Oh yeah, a smile. But it always feels strange to smile at a camera. I smile at living things, not machines.

Besides all that, I usually blog during pajama hours, so really the whole fashion thing has fallen by the wayside, but whatever. I didn’t start this blog with lofty goals in mind. I just wanted to do it, so I did. I wanted to write from a vulnerable place to a big vague audience, who may or may not exist. I probably had other purposes in mind, some conscious, some subconscious, but I can’t think of them now, and it probably doesn’t matter that much.

Perhaps I seem strange today. You might be thinking something is wrong and I cried in weepy tears over my morning bowl of oatmeal, and this blog is a vague cry for sympathy. But I don’t appreciate sympathy, so I don’t do anything with sympathy in mind.

(Seriously, please don’t give me sympathy, even if you think I deserve it. I really hate it. I don’t give it well, and I don’t take it well. Really, seriously. I mean it. No sympathy for this girl. Understanding is nice, sympathy is crap. I really hate it. I don’t think I can reiterate how much I dislike sympathy. Just. Don’t.)

So, what I was saying is that I may seem different, like something is wrong, but nothing is wrong, and I didn’t even eat oatmeal for breakfast. I ate a bratwurst with mustard, and it was delicious. So I wasn’t crying into my Wheaties like you might imagine. But I am strange today, I am feeling quiet, yet wholly myself. Which brings me to the whole purpose of this post.

I have done a lot of introspection and healing over the past three years, but most especially during the past few days.

I build things up and tear things down. Yes, I do. Yes, I do. This may seem like a terrible way to be. We build to have a finished product, then we sit on the porch drinking our iced tea, admiring our work, and feeling good that we are no longer building. But I enjoy the process of building and of tearing down. In this process I learn what is important to me. I notice my patterns and weaknesses. I see new paths open and understand which ones to follow, at least momentarily. So that is a pattern of mine.

During these past few days, I have seen my patterns more clearly than ever before, like the building up and tearing down thing. I have brought into question everything I thought I wanted in life. I have pulled all my patterns out of my backpack and set them out before me. As I look at them, I notice which ones are serving me and which ones are not.

I notice I live inside out. I have been too vulnerable to a big vague audience, who may or may not exist, and not vulnerable enough to those close to me. I have been spreading my naked soul around instead of keeping it centered and whole inside of me.

As I focus on healing more, and living with my soul centered inside of me, I realize this blog might not be serving me anymore. There, I said it, we are breaking up. I know this might be hard on you, but I have to do what is right for me, and this is right for me. I told you I was a builder up and a tearer downer, what made you think this would be any different? But with my soul centered and whole, I have no need of spreading it around on this blog. Sorry, I really did love you while it lasted. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me.

It might not actually be permanent. I’m not totally sure yet. And another thing, maybe it is time to sit on my porch with iced tea and enjoy my handy work instead of looking for the next thing to build up or tear down. Maybe it is valuable to embrace both ways; understanding that some things need to be torn down, while seeing that other things are better left standing. We shall see.

I am looking forward to seeing where all of this leads, but you, you big, vague audience who may or may not exist, you won’t be along for this journey. This is a journey of one. Naked Soul Sunday has just ended.

Thank you for coming with me thus far. I hope your own journey’s fare as beautifully as mine has.

Namaste.

The Greatest Love Story

The Greatest Love Story

Good morning from the broken hearted.

I heard someone say once that our hearts cannot actually be broken. Our hearts are invincible. But sometimes they really feel broken. Maybe it is the same principle as a germinating seed that cracks open to sprout. Maybe our hearts break open as we grow. And that breaking hurts.

In the past I have been afraid on this blog. I have been vulnerable. But today I want to create something new. I’m not sure what that means, but I’ll recognize it. We’ll see.

Now it’s time for a little story.

Several years ago my husband and I were separated. One morning as I laid alone in my twin sized bed, staring at the ceiling, I realized I had been here before.

I was living in another basement (I hated basements). I was feeling hopelessly alone, once again. And I worked at another mediocre job that paid barely enough to survive.

I had experienced all of these things too many times to ignore. Almost as though I had been living my life in a circle, going around and around. And the common denominator in this circle of life was me.

Somehow I had created this life for myself and set it on repeat. I wasn’t sure how I had created it, but I was the one in charge so I was the only one to blame. This also meant I could create something different if I paid attention to my choices.

Thus began my journey of creative intention.

You might assume I’ll get all magical here and tell you how I’m living the life of my dreams making millions while living on a steam boat off the coast of Fiji. But that is not where this story ends.

This story ends (or maybe it begins) with me waking up this morning, a little too early for these tired eyes. Staring at the ceiling of my third floor apartment, I work at a job that is actually pretty great, but I am alone, again, still. Bitterly.

Perhaps I chase men away. Perhaps I don’t really want to be with anyone. I thought I was doing things differently, but I still end up with the same thing. Feeling very sad about all this makes me want to do something about it. And the answer is the same answer it has always been, write.

Writing is the answer. Writing will save you. And yet, I run from it.

I fall into writing’s open arms, weeping, and saying it is all I’ve ever wanted. Then I chase it away, saying its not good enough, or I’m not good enough, or I lose the fire and I’m just not feeling it, or a whole host of other things.

Writing is the rocky romantic relationship I can’t get off the ground. Circles and circles. Maybe when I have a healthy relationship with my writing, healthy romance will show up for me. No matter how cruel or pathetic I am, writing always forgives me.

So I’m starting here. I want to forge a new path for us, my writing and me.

Perhaps this will become the greatest love story ever written. Perhaps. Anything is possible.

Photo on 12-21-15 at 5.17 AM #2
Exhausted but semi-hopeful, and yes, that is a cold sore of stress