I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. One of the things she says she does in order to attract creativity is to say to inspiration, “I’m here.” It has taken me ages to write this first post on this blog. Ages. Part of the reason is because this blog is part of a bigger plan, my plan to have a website containing all my creative endeavors. This particular space is meant to be a place to think out loud. Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, discusses the various forms that resistance can take in the creative process. Resistance takes the form in my life of fear and perfectionism. Wanting everything to be perfect before launching and fearful of being delusional when it comes to calling myself a “writer,” has kept me in stasis. Here but not here, writing in my head but not on the page. I decided, as most people do when they finally take the plunge into a new career, to just go for it. There will never be a perfect time or the perfect environment or a perfect set up. Life is messy and more than willing to provide endless excuses for inaction. So, I am here. I want to tell you a little about who I am and who I am not. Let me introduce myself.
I am a writer. It has taken years to acknowledge this fact of who I am, but it is true. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I first decided I wanted to pen the “great American novel” after reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in my junior year of high school. I have never written that novel though I have filled many pages with stories. I have come, over the years, to realize it’s important to recognize what lies within your wheelhouse and the “great American novel” does not lie within mine. I get easily bored and lose focus. That is the sad reality. A lot of the stories I write are short. I have written some children’s stories that someday might become picture books. I also like to write for blogs. This is actually my fourth blog. The first three were more like on-line diaries and therapy, a way to document my children’s lives or a way for me to process many of life’s triumphs and tragedies.
Speaking of children, I am a mother. My four children are probably the single most important reason I am in any way a decent human being. Each one of my children has taught me something about myself whether it be a strength or a character flaw needing correction or refinement. My children became mine not through the accident of birth but through the choice of adoption. “Born in my heart” as the saying goes in the adoption community. I think this happenstance gives me the unique privilege of being able to remark on their beauty, bravery, intelligence and athleticism etc. because my DNA has had absolutely nothing to do with it, so therefore it’s not really self-interested bragging. I am not a mommy blogger. I don’t claim to have it all figured out and in fact I am so far from being a perfect parent that I should, by rights, be saving in a fund for my children’s therapy when they grow up. I hope there will never be any sanctimonious posts about how great a parent I am, how I only feed my children the most perfect, wholesome, real foods out there and nary a Cheetos ever crosses the threshold of my house. Chik-fil-A and it’s hoard of yoga pant wearing, Mothers of Preschoolers crowd, is my weeknight go-to more often than I care to admit out loud. Lord have mercy!
I am Catholic. I am not a good Catholic or a bad Catholic. I am not sure most days I want to be on speaking terms with God. I have a lot gripes I take up regularly against God. I happen to believe, though, that he is big enough to take my petty wrath. My kids always know when I am on the brink of losing it because they hear me intone “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.” It’s my mantra, my form of meditation and about the limit of my ability to meditate on most days lately. I am not a “rad trad” but I am not what you would call a “cafeteria Catholic” either. My belief in my faith is solid, my practice of it is not so very much. I believe in God, I just get very pissed off at him about life’s perceived injustices. So don’t expect perfectly practiced and articulated faith here because that is not in my wheelhouse either.
Lastly, I am a widow. It sucks. However, I would not be the woman I am today were I not walking this particular journey. Losing my husband, My Love, to cancer has taught me more about who I am and what I am capable of, than any other experience I have had, even more than becoming a mother. Grief is so life altering. I literally believe my brain chemistry has been at best semi-permanently altered, and probably permanently altered. Grief is not ever present as it was in the first year but it still lingers on the fringes of life.
I am a jack-of-all-trades, master of none, in blogging terms. All of who I am is what I write about. I write my truth, my authenticity, and if that makes you uncomfortable or if you think only sugar-coated, pretty, white-washed tales should be shared, then this is not a blog you want to follow. I am not a Mommy blogger, a Food blogger, a Catholic blogger, or any other category out there. I am a writer and I write my life.