Wednesday, September 30, 2015

If You Could Change One Thing

One of the 589 things that I adore about Autumnal weather is being outside.

Walking, running, watching the leaves fall, sipping coffee on a porch swing, pushing a stroller through the park and accompanying my children on their walk home from school...all bring such joy to my heart.

So it was yesterday that the three kiddos and I were chatting it up on the school/home journey and this question presented itself:

"If you had the power to change just one thing in the world...big or small...what would you choose?"

To which my son, Sam responded with...I think I'd make it so that we always had summer.  That way, we could swim, ride our bikes, not have to worry about homework, camp outside and never be cold.

Kate, my middle daughter busted in with...I would take out all of the bees and replace them with fairies who sprinkle glitter instead of stings all over the world.

And finally my four-year old Claire Bear shouted out Disney Land.  To which I said, you would remove Disney Land?  No...mama..we would go to Disney Land every day.  In fact, the world would be Disney Land.

Very quickly, Kate piped in with, but we can't do that, we're not magicians or Fairy Godmothers.  And her comment reminded me of a quote I once heard credited to Pablo Picasso which is that all children are born artists until they're told that they're not.

I think it's true about our lives.  We are entitled to have everything that our heart desires until we decide that we can't.  To be fair, maybe we can't have everything at the same time or in exactly the way that we envisioned it.  But the desires of our souls are powerful and there for a reason. 

When Sam talks about wanting summer all year long, he yearns for freedom from obligation and more time to play.  Kate wants a world free of bees that represent sting and pain and heartache in favor of fairies who are magical and whimsical.  And Claire wants Disney because for her it connotes laughter, fun, pure joy and time with people you love.

As we were rounding the bend heading up the hill to our house, Sam said...what about you?  If you could change one thing, big or small, what would be your wish?  For a brief moment, I thought, I'd love the power of prophesy to know that it's all going to be okay.  That these varying decisions I've made along the way, largely grounded in faith and hope will all pan out.  But instead of trying to explain that to him...I told him that I'd like to replace dinner with chocolate ice cream. 

He liked that idea.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Call For Passion

I don't know what age it starts to happen.

I'm sure it's different for everyone.

And probably happens many times over the course of a lifetime.

But it's that point where you find yourself going round and round, over and over, again and again wondering how you'll differentiate this day from the next.  Even if the purpose behind the mundane rituals and routines makes sense, the conflict emerges when your being is tired of making the same concessions.

I remember first experiencing this feeling when I was 21...working in downtown Chicago at a prestigious public relations firm.  It was a fantastic internship on paper with great opportunity for full-time employment post college and upwardly mobile connections to people in a city that I longed to live in for sometime.  The problem, I suppose was that the work was boring as hell and so one day, I told my supervisor that I wanted to write and not just to assemble media which she very kindly said, "sorry...that's not part of the job."  It was eye-opening.  Because there were other really wonderful ancillary perks like tickets to sporting events, hobnobbing with industry gurus and of course having nice lunches and Starbucks coffee while in a suit.  But, at the end of the day, it was not full-filling.  And so, I counted my blessings to have the resume filler, but I knew that I wasn't passionate about the "work."

I felt disillusioned, but I suppose my idealistic philosophy-degreed self was optimistic and so I carried on...searching this time for passion in places that weren't connected to my employment.  Sometimes, I found it in really good friendships, intimate relationships, poetry, prose, my graduate program and eventually in marriage and motherhood.

But every self-help book will tell you that now more than in any period in the history of both marriage and parenthood, we require more of our unions than was ever expected before.  We yearn for economic security, an intellectual equal, amazing hot monkey sex, safety and the promise that our partner will always be the only one to truly know us and to make us happy.  Simultaneously, we want a family.  Children that different than even one generation ago, we will know fully and completely.  That we will be unconditionally devoted to and present for every step of the way.

And all of this coupled with organic, yoga filled, cross-fit crazed healthy living, continuous volunteering in the community and care for our parents who are living longer makes the concept of wanting to have passion in your life...well, just another thing and a frivolous one to tend at that.

But when you check your social media feeds, the posts that generate the greatest amount of traffic and volume of popularity skew towards the inspirational.  The quotes like this one from the late Nelson Mandela...

"There is no passion to be found playing small-
in settling for a life that is less than the one
you are capable of living."

And that is because whether you are 21, 35, 60 or want to feel something beyond responsibility, obligation, duty and the like.  You want to viscerally feel alive.  You want to know that you're living your purpose and that the opportunity to recourse or engage in something that makes you feel not only needed but that you desperately desire is possible.

This is passion.  It's just that it's hard to jive it with the mundane...but if you're able for a split second or a brief window to grab it, harness it and fly with it...well, you feel like all of the rest is doable.

The question do you grab a hold of passion and still keep the bills paid, the family needs attended to and the world happy with what you've given?

I think this is a question that I profoundly knew 20 some years ago and over time did what we all do which is to settle for the good of the cause until somewhere between the peanut butter sandwiches and the laundry, I started to yearn for the visceral feeling again.

Vincent Van Gogh said that he would rather die of passion than of boredom.  While Albert Einstein said that he had no special talents only to be passionately curious about the world around him.

And so maybe that is the key, to recognize that life is filled with seasons...cycles of mundane, boredom and obligation that turn our hearts toward longing and ask us to ask ourselves, what am I curious about and how can I make space for the exploration in my daily routines...because the truth is a life lived without passion really is as Mandela said, no life at all.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Send Me An Angel

Next Saturday, I'm running a 76-mile relay race with seven friends.

We're taking the day to trek from Omaha to Lincoln, Nebraska by way of shoving one person out of the car at a time to run 3-5 mile legs that slowly but surely get us to the finish line in roughly 10 hours.  It's a super fun experience traversing the landscape, taking in the sites, cheering your team mates on, laughing your ass off at the creative costumes and car decorations and then of course, the thrill of earning your free beer and band time at the end.

My contribution to the mix will be 11.7 miles and so, dutifully for the last several Saturdays, I've been running 10 miles to keep me in the game.

This morning was my last long distance training run and let's just say that it wasn't my favorite.

If we're being honest with each other...running is mother fucking hard.  Every runner knows that the battle resides in your head, not in your legs or feet.  You win or lose based on how you choose to keep pushing yourself mentally long after your body has decided that you're a fucking deusche for putting it through 10-miles of misery.

And after having done this for a bit, I've learned a few things about myself.  I don't like running in any form of heat.  My ideal run temp is 50-55 degrees.  I prefer cloudy or overcast weather and I play the shit out of my tunes. I wave at passer-byers, but overall, I try to drown out the world and sink into my own as I tackle the mileage.

This morning, I did everything wrong.  I slept in and didn't leave the house until after 10am.  I didn't eat enough.  I didn't drink enough.  I didn't hydrate from the wine I consumed the night before.  And after a long week, my body had nothing left to give.  But I refused to give up.  This was to be my last God damned long run before the race.

Until I thought, oh shit, I'm going to hurl up this hill.  I was literally half way up trying not to stare directly into the blinding fucking sunlight fiercely wiping the salty sweat out of my eyeballs, thinking please, please, please dear God...I can not do this...and then, I saw this old guy.

At first I was totally confused because this was blaring at gazadly loud decibals in my ears...

Then I realized that the dude was screaming at me...not a random behind me.  And I pulled an ear bud out of my left ear to hear...

"Let's go...Come on...Get after it...

You got it...Push it...Push it...

Don't stop...You're almost..."

And then I was, there.  I'd arrived.  To him.  At the top of the hill.  And he had a huge smile on his face.  And I don't know why he did it.  I got choked up because I really needed it and appreciated it more than he knew.  But also because he stopped and did something that no one does and made a difference.  He made an average, semi-shitty run, a positive experience for a crazy ass girl that he'll never see again...all because on a Saturday morning he decided to spread his contagious joy to me.

The rest of the run, I started thinking about how important it is to be an angel or at the very least a beacon of kindness for another.  It's so easy to do it for friends and family....but I think it means more when you do it for someone who will never repay you.  It's the deepest form of generosity.

And so today, in the middle of my Bieber bitch of a run...I got an angel in the form of an elderly man coaching my tired 40-year old ass to get the fuck up the hill because at the end of the day, both he and I knew I could do it, if I just believed.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Good Girl

Say please and thank you.

Don't make a fuss.

Be on your best behavior.

Go with the flow.

Do what you're told, when you're told to do it.

Speak when spoken to. 

Be a good little girl.

For as long as I can remember, there's always been a prize for being the good girl.  The one who doesn't ruffle tail feathers, who makes due, obeys and in general, makes life easy for those around her, particularly, those in control.

Don't get me wrong, being kind, abiding by good manners and not being a jack ass just because you can are important attributes and ones we should applaud.

The problem is when bit by bit, gradually, before you know it's even happening, you trade your voice, opinions, hopes, desires for the good of the cause, eventually, at any cost.

It's too easy, really. 

It starts to happen with the little things.  Like, when you really don't want to do something but it would make it so much easier if you just sucked it up and did it.  And that's life, right?  The constant negotiation of when you're going to put your foot down and fight for your rights versus when after some exasperation, you just decide to take one for the team.

But what happens when you've been taking one for the team long enough that you forget to ask yourself if you want to be on the team anymore or if you like your position or if you want your role to change or be modified?

I think these are worthy questions that need to be asked in relationships at home, work, with our family and friends and in general...

When does it behoove you not to accommodate or play nice?  What would it look like if they didn't immediately think of you as the nice girl or the one who can always be counted on?  At the end of the day, I'm slowly becoming more comfortable with the idea that respect for another as far more admirable than liking them.  And the people I admire most are those who've decided that this is their one and only life and that maybe it's time to speak up, not tow the line and honor their truth, even if it doesn't groove with the dominant voice.

And to that, I say it's okay not to be the good girl.  It doesn't immediately imply that you have to be the bitch...although, sometimes, that's called for.

Rather, it means that your voice matters, always.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Live the Shit Out of Life

Yesterday, my very dear friend lost her very dear friend to cancer.

We've been praying for her for a long time.

She has three children the ages of my mine.

My heart is broken.

From the moment that I received the message, I've been asking myself why.  It's beyond tragic. Not one ounce of it makes sense.

She was in the prime of her life, smack dab in the middle of mothering, sharing her journey with an amazing partner, surrounded by an incredible circle of friends and now...a huge hole has been left.  This morning they woke up and she wasn't there.

I woke up, did my typical morning exercise coffee regimen and listened to Stevie Wonder before meeting my dear friend for coffee...because this is what we do.  Slowly, somehow, someway, we learn to go on.

And I have to believe that this is what they would want.

In fact, because of their early departure, they would want us to live the shit out of our lives, in every honor them not by simply existing or surviving...but by thriving and inspiring others.

Start by giving yourself permission to laugh those big awkward, guttural, feel it with every fiber of your being giggle fests,

then scream at the top of your lungs, FUUUCCCCKKKK because it just feels really, really good and sometimes, it's the only word that makes sense,

go on that trip even though you have work that needs to get done around the house or you're really tired or you're not totally caught up at the office or the money should go toward some random bill....

call your mom back and listen to her go on and on because hearing the sound of her voice and her hearing the sound of yours matters...someday, it may be the only voice you're longing to hear...

tell her that you're sorry and that you miss her and that you wish things were different...

give him a hug and say that you're proud not because of the goal he scored or the grades on the report card but just because he's here and you're here and you will always love him, no matter what...

let go of that one stupid thing you said that one time that no one can remember and has long been forgotten and show up to that one event that you're worried'll be glad you did...

find a song that you love and belt it out the car window or in the shower or better yet, naked in your kitchen...for me, it was this...this morning...

And when you remember the one you've lost, maybe too soon, know that you're still here and in some way, you owe that amazing person your willingness to live with gusto, with heart, sometimes with abandon, and always with love....

Here's to those that have left us too soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Power of Memoir

For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by story.

The way that the tale unfolds is just as riveting to me as the delivery of the story teller.

I'm enamored by their facial expressions, physical gestures, pausing and intonation of the language.

If I'm reading, I'm suspended in my own imagination wondering what the characters look like, who they are to each other and ultimately, what will happen.

And then, probably annoyingly to some, if I am hearing a story face-to-face, I can't help but probe.  When I'm sitting next to a stranger at a park or on a plane or even in line at the grocery store, I ask questions about their lives long after I've concocted my own stories about who they are and what their plans are for the day.

Almost everyone I talk to indulges me and that's because I'm certain that everyone has a story to tell.

But rarely do I stop there, most of the time, I continue to share my own stories and traditionally, the farther removed the person is from my life, I'm likely to engage on a deeper level.  It feels less risky and bizarrely, more cathartic.

And that is why I had been desperate for yesterday to come...when the brilliant Mary Karr's amazing new piece, "The Art of Memoir" was released.  I kept checking my phone for the text from Amazon indicating that it was in my mailbox.

If you don't know her, you need to.  She's written three genius memoirs of her own, "The Liar's Club," "Cherry," and "Lit," all chronicaling her fucked up, unbelievably off-the-charts life.  Her newest book is about not only the inner workings of memoir as literature but the power behind this relatively new genre.

It's only been in the last 20 years that concepts like reality television, over sharing, blogging, social media and 24/7 access have been household terms.  As a culture, we've shifted the ways that we expect to know people....whether after information saturation, we want to or not.

And since the advent of my own blogging, three years ago, I've experienced a healthy dose of people criticizing me for airing my dirty laundry, giving away pieces of mine and my family's privacy and creating a landscape that will make my re-entry into the legit workforce wonky when my future employers Google "Kelly's Hot Mess" and my blog emerges.

And I suppose there's some truth to the concerns that reside in those remarks.  But for the most part, I say, poppycock.

Anything that has ever really been worth my time or gripped my heart has come from reading or connecting with the rawness of another.  And likewise, when I share ugly, cruel, painful, beautiful, scary windows into my own soul, I am almost always greeted with gratitude.

And so it is that as I'm on this journey of writing, I find that Memoir speaks now, and always has to every fiber of my being.  The trickiest parts are finding a way to write about those whom you love or have loved, who are alive or gone, in a way that maintains some level of respect and privacy.  And of course, the legitimacy of one's own memory.  How clear is my memory?  How do I remember something versus the cast of characters that were also in the kitchen or the bar or the bedroom?  The good news, according to Mary Karr is that the memoirist is not a reporter seeking objective accuracy of events...rather, she's giving you the window into her head and heart as she lives her life.

As I've been writing, these two quotes continue to permeate me:

"The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then, stop."
Mark Twain

"Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he cannot distinguish the truth within him or around him, and so loses respect for himself. And having no respect, he ceases to love."
Fyodor Dostoevsky

On the journey to wrangle fear while seeking curiosity, I'm eager to see what it means to try this kind of writing on...although, if I'm honest with myself, it's really the only writing I've ever done...all in the name of sharing bits of me, while connecting with you, for the good of the story.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Navigating the Waters of September

I don't know what September looks like at your house...but here's what's been going on at mine.

From the moment that we round the bend on our walk home from school, my fifth grader, third grader and preschooler, kick off their shoes, grab a snack and immediately start prioritizing which homework needs to be tackled first; assessing which tests have to be studied for; analyzing the best window to sneak time in on that Social Studies project in the midst of shuffling off to football practice, ballet, swim team and music.

And we're all tired.

Because the truth is, it takes a while to get adjusted to a new homework regimen, teacher expectations, extra curricular involvement and what it means to stay focused on school work long after you've left the building.  And with each new grade comes a progression of information that requires all of us to try and breathe and trust that with time, routines will morph, the brain will absorb, the will power will rise up and the yelling will dissipate.

But I forget and so do they...

And so in the midst of the management or lack there of, we get short with each other, we say things we don't mean, we project our stress and we fizzle out.

If I had to guess, I'd predict that the whole deal has been the hardest with Sam because as the oldest, he and we, right or wrong, hold him to a really high standard.

He is hard working, extremely bright, bears the weight of the world on his shoulders and is as interested in pleasing his parents as he is in learning the material and having a general curiosity about the what the hell is going on in fifth grade.

And man, the boy has a shit ton of homework.

So when I watched him walk out of the doors of school this afternoon, I could see so much of me in his eyes and in the back pack strap he clipped around his waist for extra support.  It's just a lot.

And I'm conflicted because academics have always been extraordinarily important to me.  A love of learning and a strong work ethic is honestly, a bare minimum.  But in the same breath, I'm also trying to remember that he's 10.

As we continue to navigate this push pull relationship of working harder than we have in the past and letting go of the reigns to teach him how to be more accountable for his success as a student, I say, here's to time on our knees as parents.  I've prayed so much in these last few weeks for grace, for peace, for trust that he won't need extensive therapy because I've jacked him up.

And here's to our little ones just trying to do the best they can while maybe getting time to throw the football or the frisbee or to build in Minecraft or to ride their bike or to lay in the grass and stare up at the sun before it's dark by 5:30pm.

Here's to all of us making it through September.

Monday, September 14, 2015

In Search of Peace Via a Camel and a Balloon

I woke up this morning greeted by my favorite monthly visitor.

Oh hello, it's you again.

And to be fair, we are friends, kinda sorta.

She knows that I'm all done actively giving birth to children and so I reluctantly, but gratefully take the cramps, bitchy attitude and extra pounds she lovingly gives me in exchange for her willingness to keep my womb on moratorium.

Wanting to curl up in the fetal position and stuff my face with chocolate covered anything, I made the decision to gather up my 4-year old and head to the yoga studio to try to stretch this not-so-happy body out and to get right with my head and my heart.

Upon arriving, I could tell that people were worn out.  Shuffling off shoes, laying out their mats, yawning, swigging water from the one was talking to each other except telepathically, as if to say, it's good I'm here, I know, but really, I wish I was taking a nap.

After multiple positions and an active regimen, the instructor guided us to gently move into Camel pose.  Have you done this before?  It looks like this...,550x550,075,f.u2.jpg

For me, it's the most vulnerable pose in the practice.  Holding onto the back of your feet while you thrust your chest, heart and pelvic area to the world, your eyes remain closed and you breathe deeply while trying to endure.  It's scary because you're literally letting the world see all that is harbored deep in your heart space.

Once the practice was done, I left feeling drained in a good way.

Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, my daughter and I found our way to the park, where I struck up an amazing conversation with a woman who was in need of a mediator in her life.  Talking about my background in Conflict Resolution, we discussed the origin of the conflict, the players, her hopes and the process.  For a few brief moments, I felt extraordinarily useful and extremely hopeful that she and her family would one day find some peace.

While we were driving home, I started to hear huge sobs coming from the backseat.

"Mama, got a hole in it and all of the air is coming out of it."

This is the pink balloon that my daughter has been carrying around for over a week.  The worst part is that the hole must be a pin prick, so the slow leak is causing her extra agony as every time she looks at it, the balloon is less and less of it's former self.

Taking a quick break to make lunch, it struck me that we're all sort of walking around in Camel pose with our hearts on our sleeve like leaky balloons searching for bits of peace.

While I told my daughter that we can always buy and blow up a new balloon, she lamented that it wouldn't be the same.  She wanted the old balloon and she couldn't stop crying until the answer was that I could fix it and give her back the original pink circle that she remembered.

But this is how it goes, right?  We're living life because whether we're on our period or not, we're still parents with jobs and responsibilities and somewhere in the mix, we bump into other people who are just trying to get by too and between sand castles and slides, we learn that their hearts are heavy with slow leaks, searching for how to make amends or to bring a sense of contentment or order back into their every day.

And as much as we want to say that it's no big deal that our balloon is deflating or that we're not quite right, we know every time that we outstretch ourselves to the world, that it does matter and that it does show.

The best part about seeing those yogis at the studio and that fellow mother at the park is that hopefully, we all remember that we're not alone in our quest.  And while there are no guarantees that you'll get as good of a balloon as you had before, the truth is that you'll be okay.  Hope, I think, I pray abounds when we just keep trying, we just keep believing and we just keep being there for each other at the park or on the yoga mat or in the car while another cries in search of peace.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Last Year of Preschool for the Gerings

I can't believe it, but here you are...

ready and jumping for joy for the first day of your last year of preschool!

And I do literally mean jumping and fist pumping and screaming and squealing and running and thrilled beyond belief that you like your big brother and sister have your very own classroom filled with friends and opportunity.

And here we are...
And here's daddy...

We both felt a little sad and more than hopeful that your new year would bring exactly what you wanted...FUN and LOVE!

So before you got situated to greet your new classmates and spend time with your teachers, I gave you your blessing:

May God bless your mind so you can learn
Your ears to be a good listener
Your mouth to speak kind words
And your heart to feel love.

As you embark upon this final year of preschool, I'm praying that we can both be great explorers seeking out curiosity especially in the face of fear knowing that we'll have each other at the end of the day to share our journeys with.

Love to you (with a double fist pump), Claire Bear...xoxo

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Letter of Response

Dear Fear and Curiosity, Respectively:

I want to begin by saying thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.  It means a great deal.

And as such, I've really been pondering our that's spanned 40 years which feels like a lifetime.

I can not imagine knowing one of you without the other and even though you both exist arm in arm, you remind me of siblings who hate one another in one breath and can't bear to be apart in the next.

I vividly recall milestone moments in my life when I was on the precipice of change, whether or not I wanted to be.  Staring down an opportunity to do or behave or try something different; I intimately see the both of you on either of my shoulders...guiding and not so subtly directing me to where you think my energies should turn next.

And so it is in this moment that I am particularly mindful of our relationship.  Tomorrow, I send my youngest daughter to her last year of preschool and as such, four mornings a week, I will be sans children and I suppose free to create the experiences that I want.  While there's no doubt that I'll be doing my fair share of dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, bed making, toilet cleaning, jewelry selling and running...I am desperate to write.

And here's the deal, I'm really, really tired of wanting this want so badly for so long.  I'm done feeling medium shitty.  And while putting these thoughts in my journals for years or on my blog has served as a conduit to get parts of me onto the page.  I'm ready to share me, the intriguing, the boring, the ridiculous, the mesmerizing, the shallow, the colorful and the monotone with the world.  Come what may.

And so to that end, and I will part for a bit.  At least when it comes to initially typing words on the paper.  I fully expect you to show up as I constantly critique them and worry that the world thinks I'm a nobody, a less-than, a bore.  And I fully expect you to tell me that you told me so when I cry remembering that you were only trying to protect me in the first place.

But the sheltered part of our relationship must end.  Because the truth keep me small, you keep me thin skinned, you keep me fragile.  And if 40-years of life experience has taught me anything it is that I am anything but.  I don't wilt easily.  And if I do, well, history has shown that I rise up again. 

And to you, Curiosity.  Well, goodness.  I feel like our relationship is whimsical, shallow and lovely at best.  I delight in you and I know you when you come around.  I want to spend deeper, longer moments reveling in you, but when you take my hand, I disappear because what if you show me something that is more than I can bear?  And so, I ask you to grip me.  Hold on when I cannot bear to hold on to you.  Show me that while it is new, it can be beautiful and exactly what my soul is searching for.  Remind me, that I can do it, when I recoil and recant.

If there's anything I know, it is that the three of us are on a life-long that is fraught with pain and beauty and wonder and exhaustion.  Integrally bound, we'll never be apart, but we do need to be in check.  Each of us has a role to play.  The hope is that as we navigate the waters, we'll steer clear of each other when it starts to get suffocating and we'll guide when the other is weak and ultimately, we'll remember that life is for the living especially when we're scared and hopeful all in the same breath.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Letter from Fear & Curiosity

Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's Magic Lessons podcast...

I found myself standing over the sink pushing the gray sponge into the soapy water and heard her say, "Go on...stop what you're doing and write a letter to yourself from Fear and Curiosity.  Animate the concepts into people or beasts and see what those voices would say to you if they could.  Then, carefully, kindly and systematically write a letter back.  Here's my stab...

My Dearest Kelly,

I'll begin by saying that I've been meaning to write for sometime.  It seems as though I'm always dying to share something that's literally on the tip of my tongue.  But you'll forgive me for being delayed in my formal correspondence, for some reason of which I think you're intimately familiar, I feel as though, I live right inside of you, even when I don't make myself officially known.

That said, I love you.  You know that.  I protect you from all that wants to harm you and believe me, there are many creatures out there vying for a piece of you.  They're wicked and ruthless if you ask me.  So, thank goodness I'll always be reminding you of the limitations that really only serve in your best interest.

Do you remember when I convinced you not to apply to that one dream college...yeah, you remember?  Have you seen how much debt those poor bastards are saddled with and for what...the prestige of saying that they graduated from some fancy schmancy institution for the ridiculously smart and practically foolish?  Or what about when in your dorm room, we had that heart to heart and I told you how law school was for the birds and that you'd never find yourself a real Atticus Finch instead you'd be destitute and broke paying off your student loans while finalizing old ladies' estates.  Thank God we had that chat.  I'm still kicking myself that you flew in the face of rationale and backpacked through Greece and Turkey pursuing a Philosophy degree.  You're damn lucky you didn't starve during that food strike or lose more than your lunch when you drank too many Amstels. 

The world is a dangerous place, my pet.  I'm not trying to convince you to live in a bubble, but for the love of God, there's a million viruses that come up on the radar every year and do you really want to put your kids in childcare just so you can become a slave to the corporate cog again and buy the same SUV that everyone else owns?  I mean, they're only little once.  Think about what a good mother does.

And let's talk about this writing thing.  I love you to pieces but it's exhausting.  Do it or don't do it but pull the plug on the waffling deal.  We're all kind of sick of it.  Actually, let's be real.  If you were a writer, you'd have probably done it by now, right?  I'm just giving you the tough love talk.

Lest you think I'm too critical, I'm the one who convinced you not to go on that ridiculous sky diving trip or to spend the money to travel for your down the toilet if you ask me.

I know that we don't always see eye to eye, but I promise I'll never leave you and when you want me to take a sabbatical, I'll give you that gentle nudge in your stomach that makes you want to throw up just to remind you that I'm here to stay.

You have my word, my heart, my guard forever,


Hey...Hey...Hey you,

It's me.  Me.  Over here.  Where are you?  Come on.  Grab me.  It's okay.  I'll guide you.

I know.  It's beautiful isn't it.  Aren't the reds, the blues and the yellows amazing?

What is it?  I don't know.  I've been trying to find you so that you could help me shape it into something.  I tried to do it myself, but they said you were the one.

Oh wait...don't go.  You're the one with the hands and the heart and the eyes and oh, the smile...everyone loves your smile.

It's just that there's nothing in the world like it yet.  Others have tried, but they haven't gotten it quite right.  I think you're the missing link.

It's okay that you're gone for a little bit.  They know that you love them.  You'll come back.

They'll be better if you make this detour.

Just for a little bit.

Take a look.  Okay, now close your eyes....

What do you feel?  What do you hear?

What do you think it could be?

Yes...that's it.

I always knew you were amazing,



I haven't figured out how to write back yet...they both feel compelling.