Posts tagged life
Technicolor Nightmares

Viginia Woolf Writers (and artists in general) have a million quotes that all basically come down to the same thing: we feel like lightning rods for the human experience, and as such, we need to find a way to redirect all that feeling, emotion, darkness, and energy somewhere else, or we'll explode. We live the life of everyone we talk to. We dream of worlds no one has seen. We take all of the invisible, intangible bits and try to give them shape.

Being a person who walks through life feeling this way is complicated and exhausting, mostly because the only people who truly understand what life feels like to us, is other people like us (and we tend to not spend enough time around those types of people!) This is why my life changed when I first set foot inside the hotel at my first RWA National Convention. It was like Dorothy walking into Oz and seeing the world in color for the first time. I didn't have to explain myself to anyone. I didn't have to make apologies for needing a few minutes to introvert. I didn't need to explain that I love socializing and being alone. These were my people. 2,000 of them all in one place. There were other people like me in the universe (a lot of them!) who geeked out over information and reading, who believed in happily ever afters and the power of transformative experiences. These were people who could talk about hair and makeup one minute and the deep underlying meaning of racism and misogyny hidden in popular literature the next.

This is why I treasure the internet. It took me over 30 years to find other writers and artists to connect with. Without the power of the internet I wouldn't have the network of people and support I've been able to gather over the last few years. The internet is amazing. Conventions where you can spend time with people who have similar interests are amazing. The world is huge and it can be very lonely, but it doesn't have to be anymore. You can find your people.

I'm writing all of this because this weekend took a dark turn. Dark. The kind where being a lightning rod became too much and I really felt like I was on the verge of exploding. Actually, it felt more like a well of sadness so deep and strong was trying to escape from my soul that the only way out was by it spilling out of my heart like a tidal wave. That if I didn't find a way to let it all out, that sadness would carry me away with it--because it had to get out and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

I don't know exactly how that much sadness winds up inside me, but I suspect it comes from me being me. I pick up emotions from everyone I meet. I absorb them and take them in. Maybe I store them up so they don't have to, or maybe I accidentally leave them lying around in a back storage room until the room is full and there's no where else for the stuff to go. I'm really not sure.

In the past I dealt with this alone, but then I became a writer and I finally had a real outlet for this stuff. I could finally redirect all the feelings and stories I collected each day into a channel that could handle it. Along with that came finding friends who understood me and I was able to build a community of support that I've never had before.

And I want everyone who feels this way to know there are people like them out there, and that taking those steps to go to that convention, or meeting, or school is the right step. It can feel overwhelming, but it is worth taking the chance. Not every attempt will work out, but you have to put yourself out there in order to find the one that will. Find your art, find your people. They are out there.

Pisaro quote

Love and Time

This weekend is my wedding anniversary. I keep forgetting which one (it's 12, by the way), and everyone thinks it's pretty funny that I can't remember. In my defense I know the date! I know what year we got married! I can do math if you give me a minute! But here's the thing: the wedding is just the beginning. (Well, a new beginning, anyway, because in our culture, we actually get to meet and fall in love and decide to be together before we get married.) My wedding was a lovely day and one I will always cherish because it was the day we made everything official, but it is only one day in a long line of days that are special in my relationship with my husband.

Like the day we met. I never forget that day or how long its been (partly because it was 2000 and that math is really, really easy!)

Or the song that was playing when he told me he loved me (I Can't Help Falling in Love--the UB40 edition)

Or the day I realized that men who wear baseball caps backwards with a little scruff and a cocky grin are quite possibly the sexiest men ever. (For those of you who can't read between the lines, that's my husband, too!)

Or the day I gave birth to both boys (They are stories in and of themselves. I have fast labor.)


Or the day I was so, so sick I didn't think it was possible to be sicker and he laid in bed next to me reading Catching Fire until I finally fell asleep.

The one thing I thought I knew (but didn't fully understand until years later) was that marriage isn't about falling in love and sticking together through thick and thin. That's the superficial catchall we all hear. Marriage is much more (and so much harder) than that.

It's really about finding a partner in life who you can stand beside for the rest of your lives, fighting together, pulling each other along, holding each other up, and holding each other accountable. Its about hating each other, but still loving each other because that's what you vowed to do.

And in the end, these are all still just words. It's really freaking hard to describe what it is to be with someone even when you hate them. To keep putting one foot in front of the other when you feel so low you didn't think it was possible to get any lower, but you do it because the other person is counting on you. It's fighting for each other even when it means fighting. It's hard and it's messy and there is no one perfect way to be married, just like there is no one way to love someone.

If you've found the right partner your love will grow and change many times over the years, just like you will.

So I usually forget how long we've been married because the length of time doesn't matter. What matters is that we promised to be partners for the rest of our lives and that we've loved each other through everything, that we have happy memories to outshine the bad ones, and that I know we'll only get stronger with each passing day.

It also helps that he's super sexy and I did, in fact, fall in love at first sight. Passion and attraction are super important, too. (As you can tell by my books!)