Surprise!

shutterstock_112860445I just surprised the hell out of myself, so I thought I’d share. In case someone else out there is working up to the same epiphany, maybe a little unexpected support will push them over the edge.

I don’t want to delay my plans to edit the witch story until tomorrow just because today will be partly sunny and tomorrow it’s supposed to rain all day.

Back up a little: I’m in Day Two of a four-day weekend. My first stretch of more than three days off since last June (I think so anyway—it sure feels like it!), and part of my birthday present to myself. Yesterday was for errands & etc., and today was supposed to be for going to Saturday Market and Powell’s and anywhere else I felt like going—just for fun.

But I’m going to crawl into the editing cave and finish. And while I’m at it, I’m going to write a couple of blog posts about this cool story. I’m still not quite sure where it came from, because it’s not like anything I’ve ever written—hey, there’s a post! 🙂

This is huge for me. I grew up being told I was lazy because I spent every free moment reading. You know, just sitting around doing nothing. So I grew up thinking I was lazy.

My home life was scary and violent when I was a child, so whenever I could I’d retreat to my room or the library or to school…anywhere but home. So another message I heard all the time was that I never finish anything, that I’m a quitter. While obviously not true, that voice is still there insisting it knows me better than I know myself, telling me—you won’t finish that, you’ll bail the moment it’s not easy.

But I’m not bailing. I’m editing. And I honestly don’t care whether it’s sunny or rainy or what’s in my bank account or how much fun I could have bopping around Portland today. Because I have a deadline, and I will meet it or beat it, but I won’t ask for an extension. Because that’s who I am. I’m a writer. Writers write. Readers read. Reading isn’t lazy, it’s amazing and wonderful, and reading just might save your life or your sanity. Maybe both.

A line from Fight Club just popped into my head: “You’re not your fucking khakis.”

I’m not the messages I heard as a child.

I’m not lazy.

If you’ve overcome a negative message from your childhood (or young adulthood, or anytime), I’d love to hear about it in the comments. We can all appreciate our current selves together! 🙂

Happy Caturday everyone!

The end text on typewriter

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You’re not alone

 I want to send out a big hug to everyone who feels left out during the holidays.

To everyone who has been disowned by their “family” for being LGBT, or having a criminal record or a mental illness, or any “reason”.

To everyone who doesn’t have anything “extra” in their budget to spend on gifts or a tree or a big fancy dinner.

To everyone who grew up dreading December because it shone a bright light on all the ways you were different, on all the things you didn’t have, or just because it was the most dangerous month of the year.

I’d hug every one of you if I could, just so you’d know you’re not alone. Because I get it. I grew up being teased because The Salvation Army brought my presents in a truck while I was in school.

I get it. I spent most of my adult life volunteering for any and every holiday shift and saying it was to help co-workers who had plans to travel out of state or do special things with their kids, when I really needed the money to turn on my heater.

I get it. I took a lot of shit for being bisexual. My “family” kicked me out of their little club after my daughter came out as trans.

Don’t let the holidays get you down if you can help it. Do something that makes you happy and join me in resisting the urge to compare our private lives to the public lives of others…as much as possible, anyway. Down that path lies a world of hurt, and besides, most people—especially on social media—take great care to show only their best side. You probably don’t show most of your struggle and pain in public, and most people are the same way.

If the whole deal seems to be too much, reach out. Someone will be there to help you through the next minute, or the next hour, or the next day, until things feel manageable again. Because they will. I’ve been there and back enough times to say that with confidence.

Check out my Resources page for a worldwide collection of hotlines and websites just waiting for you to reach out or use your Google-fu and find a new one.

Hang in there. *hugs*

tilted rose

pictures 1-4 taken by Charley Descoteaux.