Category Archives: 100 days – 2016

On being no more, and no less… (#99)

 

 

When I was a child, my father instilled two major lessons in my siblings and I:

1.) Always try to do the right thing (which included getting good grades, doing our chores, and NEVER EVER walking around the house barefoot),

2.) To remember to always “put the shoe on the foot” when faced with almost any life problem.

The platitude of considering other’s perspectives became an attribute so steeped within me that it almost became an otherworldly gift I possessed.  With time, my father’s directive to always see myself in other people, felt like equal parts quest and calling.  So in the 3rd grade, when I became friends with a girl who would become my best friend for many years, I tried hard to understand why our lives looked so differently.

Technically, I didn’t do anything but be born and I wasn’t even as good of a student as her, so trying to wrap my mind around why her family had to struggle financially and mine did not never made sense in my young mind.  As a result, the idea was born that nothing I received in life could be solely attributed to my own effort.  In fact, as I became older, it was easier to speculate that divine luck was on my side rather than to believe that I deserved anything over anyone else.

It wasn’t until recently (and by recently I mean last week) that I realized that the problem with always believing that I was no better than anyone else was that I couldn’t depart from that narrative over the years that it felt like my life suddenly began to go apesh*t. (Sorry mom.)

During the many years where it felt like nothing was working for me remained the thinking that my difficulties and challenges were happening because I truly was no better than anyone else.  My way of understanding myself in relation to others had become cancerous.

For a time longer than I would like to admit, disappointment began to make a certain sense.  Of course things would happen to them and not me, I would unconsciously believe.

Because: Me = Unworthy and underserving

My poor understanding of God and humility almost sent me to the pity party of no return.

Even though I am far from my roughest days, it wasn’t until recently that I came to understand how and why my well-intentioned thinking had led me so off track.  By only believing that I wasn’t worthy of the good things in my life, I subjugated God to the role of an arbitrary hoarder and unreasonable warden of good will and blessings.  By failing to also understand that I am also no less worthy of any good thing, I made it more difficult to trust God to be who he is, the bearer and boundless receptacle of all good things, who gives willingly in his perfect and ordained time.

So while I still believe that I am no better than anyone, I certainly more clearly understand that I am no less than anyone else either.  And as long as I am no less than than anyone else, that means that I am JUST as worthy as anyone else and afforded the same possibility (and probability) of seeing miracles happen in my life, getting free Starbucks on any given day, or being discovered by Shonda Rhimes as anyone else. 

Hello, it’s me! (#100)

 

 

HELLO!

I’ve been trying to figure out if writing, as a craft, is more like riding a bike, having sex (sorry Mom), or cooking pasta.  Maybe it’s a little bit like all three, maybe it’s like none of the above.  Or maybe, just maybe, writing is really like riding a bike a night, with zombies chasing you…with prosciutto meatballs tied around your neck.

For the first nine months of 2015, I wrote consistently: late in the evenings, in the mornings, while my kids were begging for cookies and chocolate milk, even during drives to family barbecues.  Adamant to not allow another year pass without having a finished book, my computer stayed planted in my lap — warranting secret fears that I was going to get leg cancer (if there is such a thing) and that my children were somewhere eating detergent or putting knives in electrical sockets (which IS a “thing” in my house, unfortunately).  Then “Lotus” was released, and after two months I could finally believe that (other than the hate mail I received about the ending) that most people didn’t hate the book.  I could finally exhale, go back to remembering to feed my children dinner every evening.  After years of writing many, many pieces of disparate copy, I finally felt like a writer.  And since I was finally a real-live-breathing writer, I believed that I would be able to get back to writing whenever I so chose to do so.

 

nolanandroman
(Me, being a good mommy and a bad writer.)

 

But life has had different plans…

When working (or trying to create work) from home…while mothering…there is a tendency to mother first and be (insert whatever profession) second.  So most days, when I think of something REALLY- REALLY-REALLY excellent to write, I don’t get a chance to jot it down until after my kids are clean, dressed, fed, after wiping oatmeal off of the floor and walls, after sending BOY #1 to school, after going through BOY #2’s ABCs and sight word flash cards and colored truck exercises and number songs out of fear and guilt that BOY#2 will fall behind on his pre-pre-pre-pre school academics. After BOY #2 has gotten fed up with learning and has thrown his flashcards on the floor (and kicked them), after BOY #2’s tumbling and/or music class, after picking BOY #1 up from school and taking him to his music lesson, after coming home and cooking dinner, after feeding the kids again, and then after giving my husband a five second hug to show that I love him even though I don’t want one more person grabbing my boobs or squeezing my butt and thinking that it’s funny.

(As you can see, BOY #2 is VERY good at being two years old.)

nolan4 Nolan nolan3

And one more picture for effect:

nolan again

So days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months.  As much as I love my family, deep down, I didn’t want to allow myself to drown into the vortex of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Bumble Bee Violin, Jacking Jacks Tumbling classes and Wednesday night pasta.

romanandnolan
But why?

            

Tapping into my inner Deepak Chopra, I wondered why it became SO hard to write.  The ideas struggled to come, the time to write seemed not to exist, BOY #2 would even shout “NO” and close my laptop whenever I would open it.  So for a while, I stopped resisting the natural flow of where my life was taking me.  I focused solely on my family, and while things grew easier, I could feel that the same spirit which keeps leading me to write was simply allowing me a moment to rest, while simultaneously assuring me that the moment wouldn’t last forever.

When the time came for me to start writing again, I could feel it like an alarm vibrating through my body every single day.  And with each day that passed that I didn’t write, the alarm within me, sounded more loud and urgent.  Feeling like a writing virgin, I spent a full day asking myself…

Do I still know how to write?

Can I still connect with my writing voice?

Should I just become a flight attendent and travel the world in search of the most perfect baklava and macaroons?

Will I ever fully get rid of this bra back fat?

I wasn’t sure how to answer any of these questions, but I decided it was time to get back to writing anyway.  Because the truth is that writing for me is no different than being a mother or trying to be a good wife:  You get naked and something just might pop out of you…it might be perfect or it might have flaws, but either way, you commit yourself to nurture it everyday.