Thursday, May 16, 2013


I really adore Pink.  The singer, the artist - and she is an artist because she writes most, if not all of her own songs.  She is a poet of lyrics.  Beyond her phenomenal voice and her talent in stringing words together to mean something very real, she's a badass.  And I like that in people.  I respect it. 

I'm a badass too and I always have been.  Life taught me lessons from a very young age and I learned them well.  But the thing is, and something I've only recently realized - sometimes, it's okay not to be tough.  We have to be exposed and vulnerable, even fragile at times.  We have to reach out for help.  That's a foreign concept to me - asking for help.

It seems that at 42 years of age, I'm learning many new things.  This belief I had that I knew myself, this life I live, inside and out, no longer holds true.  People change until they die.  Life is fluid and so are we.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Should I Write The Book

I'm trying really hard to finish writing this piece on.. well, I don't know how to explain it yet.   It was inspired by a book - Fly Away, by Kristin Hannah.  For any of you who have never read her books, I highly recommend that you do.  I cannot say enough good about them.

Fly Away is the sequel to Firefly Lane; books that traverse a friendship between two women from childhood to middle age.  One of the women, Kate, is dying of cancer at the end of book one and book two is what happens after she passes away.  How her husband, children and best friend, Tully, handle it. 

I began writing my own thoughts inspired by the books a few weeks ago and then stopped, meaning to come back to it later that day or the next.  I do that too often, begin writing and then not finishing because I get busy with life and lose the moment - being tapped into that introspective and creative place.

I have a hard time taking a break and coming back to write something because of that feeling of having disconnected.  Like I hung up the phone, waited a month, called myself back and tried to resume the depth of a conversation.  The flip side of that is that some of the things I write are so emotional that it takes a lot out of me.  I end up feeling drained by the process of putting heart, mind and soul into words and on the black screen of my text editor.  A break is sometimes needed to recenter myself.

Just like remembering painful memories and having to relive them in a sense, so goes writing what you think and feel.  It's a constant state of self-exploration and analyzation.  It's work.  You write, you go back and read later, you know that this word or that word, this phrase or that one, isn't quite right in its explanation.  It's back to the drawing board of your mind to find what you really meant to say and how it needs to be said.

Finally, this morning, I took the time to sit at my desk and read what I had written weeks ago.   I cried.  Not a lot of tears but I felt this intake of breath, a gasp that was barely audible and then the slow spread of emotional pain until I had to wrap my arms around myself, rock backwards in the chair and look up at the ceiling for a moment.

But in those few seconds, I also realized how good the piece is.  One of my best.  I rarely have those times of feeling pride in my writing.  Of being able to look at it from outside of the box, like I'm a stranger reading it and thinking - Wow, that's good.

Today I did.  I read it and I could finally see what people have said to me - "I can feel you, feel what you're feeling, in the words."  I realized this could be a book.  It could be the beginning or part of a book on so many things:

Being a middle aged woman; a wife and mother that has given up too much of herself over the years.  That woman who is trying to reclaim some of those parts. 

What it's like to love a man for over 20 years and question it all.

A woman who is sick - what living with that is all about.  The many facets of illness and disease on those levels - physical, mental, emotional. 

A woman who has a best friend, a love that is not her husband; who listens and hears and comforts, takes the journey with her.

A woman who has to let go of her adult children and how sad and frightening that can be.  It's like giving up this huge part of your identity.  You want to reclaim your own name and everything that came along with it.  Find new parts of yourself too.  But letting go of what has been your identity for so long - mother - is terrifying at times.

Maybe that doesn't make sense.  I know I'll always be their mom but it's different now.  It's been different for a while.  My son moved out less than a year ago so the feelings of 'letting go' linger and my adult daughter lives at home so it's a delicate balance of letting go and still being there for her when asked.

I'm pissed off about this specific time of my life.

Most women my age struggle with these same issues.  They watch their children go off to college or move out and go to work and they struggle with the full scope of that.

Most women my age deal with a long term marriage that sometimes feels like it's not enough - they're taken for granted, they don't feel as if they can be all of themselves - only what's come to be expected of them through countless years, by their spouse.

Most women my age realize that they have provided their own happiness solely through their spouse and children - not themselves.  They forgot gifts and talents, hobbies and joys of their own person and fulfilled themselves only by being a good wife and mother.

They realize that nobody is responsible for their happiness, for their fulfillment but themselves.  That they have to reach out and grab for what they want, their happiness.  They have to find themselves - and that is such a Dr. Phil statement that I'd like to vomit on it.  But, cliche as it is, it's also true. 

So for women my age, there is work to be done to begin the next chapter of their lives.  For some, it's an easier transition.  Some women don't get in their own head as much as others do.  Some women don't analyze the areas of their own unhappiness.  They think - this is my life - and let it be that.  And that's fine but I'm not one of those women.

What I'm pissed off about is this:  I have those very normal middle aged woman issues to sort through, to find answers to.  But I also have to do it sick.  Having a disease permeates every area and it definitely changes and shifts some of the 'normal' perspectives of this time in life.   I'm trying to sort through and find acceptance of my life with fibromyalgia, all of the adaptations it enforces and there are so many.  It overwhelms me often.

This piece could be a book about all of it.  Or maybe four or five books to tell the whole story.  I'm nervous now about continuing it because I realize that if given the chance, I won't finish it for months.  Will I give it the chance to be the story instead of the summary?