Black & White

There is a challenge going around on Facebook. Seven Photos for seven days. Each day you post a black and white picture from your daily life, with no explanation. No kids, no pets.

Today I was nominated to participate. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t just do it myself… I wanted to do it, I “liked” every post that I saw (that was participating) in hopes that someone would nominate me. I think it’s kinda funny that it happened today because the writing prompt for today was identity.

I’ve struggled for a long time with the concept of identity and actually, with the concept of black and white thinking (all or nothing- either/or vs both/and) so to get both of those things on the same day… I knew I had to post.

For a few years, “photographer” was a big part of my identity. Not nearly as long as “writer” but I almost took more pride/joy in the role of photographer. As a writer, fear got in my way so much… I was afraid to write. I was afraid to submit anything anywhere. Once I finally did, when I wound up with a rejection, it was paralyzing. The worst time being, I’d quit writing for almost a year. I was miserable. With photography though, it was instant gratification. Pictures were digital, parents were happy, I felt accomplished. Plus, I met some really cool people.

And then it happened. Whatever “it” was or is. The problems with my back. And my legs. The fibromyalgia, the chronic fatigue. I couldn’t do it anymore. I don’t think I could go back to it either. Not as a job, anyway. But it was nice to go out and do something fun, snap a photo and be able to post it.

Thank God I’m back to my writing!

The “feature photograph” is the one I took and posted on Facebook. What do you think?

 

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(No) Doubt… Anymore!

via Daily Prompt: Doubt

I’m trying on the power of positivity!

This morning I was notified that it is my one year anniversary of this blog! I knew it was coming up, but not this fast… I was kind of…astounded. A whole year? Granted, this year has both flown by and drug on and on and on.

I’m posting under today’s word of the day, doubt because honestly? I doubted I’d stay with it this long. I’ve started several blogs, four, I think. I never posted more than once or twice before I either deleted my account or just abandoned it all together.

When I started WerdyNerdyNDirty, I had a vision of a simple extension of my somewhat offbeat, quirky personality and life. It was a good two months. Full of drive and deadlines (I’d given myself but still…) I found that instead of dreading my blog, I was more creative, less inhibited and basically “got over” my need for every word to be perfect. I used to be so caught up, thinking it had to come out organically inspirational or funny. There wasn’t room for editing. “Go big or go home” right? Not that there is anything wrong with going home, I was just tired of it. Tired of my rigid expectations…

It was mainly thanks to my writing teacher, Roxanne Sadovsky and our Friday morning groups that helped me to get over myself. Learn it’s ok to be raw, or even just be.

I couldn’t very well call myself a writer if I wasn’t writing. And I longed to write. I missed it. I’ve had a lot of fun writing for you and I know that I’ll be able to get better, the more I do it and it’ll be fun to look back in a few years to see how I’ve developed as a writer. I’m sure there’ll be quite a difference.

I been writing for this blog for a month and a half when I lost Noah. Blogging help me through it. As painful as it was to share and process, I’m sure it was an integral part of my process. A month and a half after that, we lost my sister Natalie.

Typing that last sentence still brings the sting of the tears. It’s so fitting that she LOVED the movie Alice in Wonderland (she even got married on the date printed on the Mad Hatters hat, 10/6!) because I feel like I’ve been free falling down the rabbit hole since May 19th. Prior to her death, the most devastating loss had been my grandma on Christmas Eve, 2009. Oh my God, I didn’t think I’d ever get over that. It took me years before I stopped having that dream where she was just on vacation. It was all a mistake. She was going to be so upset when she came home to find it had been sold while she was away…

I don’t really want to compare the two losses, there’s not really even a way. I never expected to lose my sister. My little sister. The light and the joy of so many people’s lives. Even knowing she’d relapsed, being the one telling her she was going to die if she didn’t cut it out… there was no way to prepare. A lot of days, it still feels like a brand new shock. Realizing it’s coming up on a year, it feels like a brand new level of Hell. Time is passing, life is going on, for others but somehow…I’m stuck. It’s still so fresh. People tell me “it gets better”, some tell me “it never gets easier” or “you’ll find a new normal”… I sure as shit hope “this” isn’t the new normal.

At least I think people have stopped telling me, for the most part, that “she’s in any pain. She’s in a better place” etc because hopefully they realized by telling me this, it made me think “I don’t want to be in pain. I want to be in a better place. I want to join her.” And then a timely quote literally fell into my lap. I dropped my phone and when I picked it up, it said “suicide doesn’t end the pain, it just gives it to someone else”. I don’t wish this kind of pain on anyone. So I write. And I cry. And I listen to her music. I try to take one day at a time, careful not to sleep through too many in a row and miss out on all the beauty that still surrounds us.

Wow, as we say in our family “that took a turn”. Meant to write about self-doubt and creativity… I guess this all applies. It’s given me purpose and direction. I hear that it helps other people too which is just icing on the cake. I hear Cheryl Strayed talk about how her mother’s death, as horrible as it was to lose her, made her a better person. As much as I don’t want to be a better person because of Natalie’s death, it would be much worse to stay the same.

I want to be an advocate and help others, I’m not sure I can do that just yet or what it will look like when I do get involved but I’ll keep y’all in the loop, no doubt about it.

90% Is Showing Up

I was talking about me, not you. You can stick around if you want to but don’t expect anything brilliant… Seriously, you won’t miss anything if you don’t ready through this post and I’ll probably never even know you didn’t get through my entire near-incoherent ramblings… but if I do… Kidding. It’s late and I’m tired. And, I want to practice what I preach. Not that I go around preaching all the time to everyone anyway… Yep, this is how it’s going to be. See? Ya didn’t miss a thing.

Why am I writing when I think I have nothing to say? Because I am a writer. “A writer writes- Always”. Success and it’s weight/measure of worth is often a matter of opinion and an abstract concept. Tayla wants to be a writer but she is scared she won’t do it right, so she does nothing. It took me a good 20 years to realize there is no right or wrong way… I guess, if you want to get all technical, I suppose there is a wrong way but the wrong-est way to write, is not at all. Sure you’ll write badly. I just did. (Wrongest?) We can’t all write all right all the time (did I lose any of you there?) I tell her it takes practice. It’s a discipline (it’s a pain in the ass). Steven King talks about showing up. Even if you just sit at your desk. You’re only allowed to write or be still. Guess who learned she gets restless, real fast? It’s rare that I’ll write because I’m bored but it has happened. Twice.

I decided I wanted to blog on Wednesdays and Sundays. It’s getting close to Thursday, but I can still sneak this in under the wire.

With Noah on the way, our family was talking about when/if/where we should move. What are we looking for? I thought we needed another bedroom but that’s not it. Then I thought “maybe we don’t need another bedroom, just the space arranged differently”, but it wasn’t more space. I really want a second bathroom but I am willing to compromise on a single. What I will not compromise on is: hardwood floors. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? It does to me and I’m the one thinking it. I’m trying to rationalize it, understand it but- it. will. not. budge.

When we started our discussion, Don & I weren’t even light years near each other. He wants to stay in the suburbs, I want to move back to Minneapolis. He doesn’t care if we have a deck, patio or lawn- I NEED at least one of those. I’d like a yard (and maybe a dog!).He says we can afford this price bracket, I thought something a little different. Eventually, I started to cry. Not to win an argument but (and hopefully a lot of this is the hormones talking) because I felt trapped. We’re never going to move, we’re stuck here forever. I understood why he wanted to stay in the area, school, work, to piss me off… but I knew he didn’t understand why I wanted to leave.

Living in Minneapolis was one of the best experiences of my life. It was while living in Mpls. that I met Don and we moved into our first place together. It’s where we lived when our daughter was born. I remember spending hours in the bedroom window, listening to the street traffic, the drunks speaking several volumes above what they needed to be heard, all that music… I watched the lights. They skyline. That one building, I still don’t know which one it is but the top of it was rainbow colored and changed as if the wind were moving the lights along.

It’s the epitome of hip. (Shit. Did I just use the word hip in a non-medical way? Fuck.)

It’s great for people watching, story writing and cultivating an appreciation for what’s around you… I mean, that’s what it was for me. I felt alive! Vibrant! Empowered. I want Tayla to have that same experience. She’s all about it, btw.

And what does any of this have to do with the price of tea in China? Every place I lived in Minneapolis, had hardwood floors. Just by seeing hardwood floors or a couple of archways  brings me right back. I feel younger. Healthier. More creative. If I could find that in the suburbs, I could stay. I need that though. That connection is like my umbilical cord. One toward what I considered my best self. After realizing how much time I currently spend at home and knowing I’ll soon be here/there even more? I’d better LOVE it!

Hey, I did it! I did write a post today. Nice. If you’ve read this far, thanks! If I could ask a favor? Does anyone know what the other 10% of success is? And who has my cupcake?