Saturday, October 12, 2013

No Ignorant Asses Here

I had decided I wasn't going to blog again until I had something really great to share.  Like a finished book in my hands, or a chapter of my novel I felt good enough about sharing with you.  But yesterday, something happened that rocked my world a little, and I need to write about it.

First, a little catch-up.  Two weeks ago, I quit my job.

I know.  I loved it, and it was a very difficult decision.  But I know that if I want to make this writing thing happen, I have to devote myself to it as if it is my job.

A job that may never pay anything and has no benefits.  I guess that's not entirely true -- the benefits are that I can make my schedule, have unlimited sick days and can vacation whenever I want.

Of course, this is all possible because I am married to a sugar daddy who brings home the bacon, carries the health benefits and loves me so much he doesn't fuss about my crazy schemes.  Much.

Chuck's book, the first tangible fruits of my labor, should be in our hands any day now.  When I told Chuck that I had always dreamed of being a writer and holding my own book in my hands, he said, "Girl, do it.  You are a wordsmith.  The queen of words!  Do it now!"  When an 83-year-old veteran who you respect the heck out of tells you do to something, you should do it.  So I am.

I have been re-arranging the toy room into a guest room/writing room.  I always thought I would write in my workroom, but it is far too distracting in here -- too many little kitschy cutsie items, plus, my sewing machine, art supplies and yarn stash are only an arm's length away.  I'm repainting -- so long vivid, happy purple, hello soft grey.  I moved a desk in front of the window, which overlooks our backyard, the creek and the cornfields beyond.

My plan is to write 3 days a week, at least.  One day a week will be for community service, and one day for artsy crafty endeavors.

I hope it works.  I am not the most self-motivated person in the world, but I have so many friends and family encouraging me -- I hate to disappoint people, and want to give them something to read, and soon.

But yesterday, I almost bagged it all.  It's all OK now, and I sort of want to kick myself in the ass for being discouraged.  Here's the story:

My cousin, Elisa, reads my blog.  I don't see her very often, but we have re-connected through facebook, and that's been terrific.  Yesterday, she asked me about a post I wrote a couple of years ago about Komen and funding of breast cancer research.  (Here, if you're interested.)  I sent her the link and she shared in on her fb page.  That post really pissed off one of her friends.  I mean REALLY PISSED OFF.  Her friend wrote that I was an ass, was ignorant, had no compassion for poor underprivileged women and didn't understand the Catholic Church.  (Of course, on that last one, she's right. I've been working on that one for 30 years.)

Well, if you know me at all, you know I cried a little.  OK, a lot.  Then I decided that I would never blog, facebook or write again, if my words were so weak that they could be completely misconstrued.

Oh, it was a sad afternoon.  I moped around, Eyeore-like, convinced that I had really screwed up by leaving a job I loved for a job I had no business attempting.  I did laundry, sorted and packed for our upcoming vacation and did a little shopping, all the while wondering what in the world I would do with myself after our return from the Happiest Place on Earth.  A job offer I had last week, which I have decided would be a terrible move for me, was starting to look not-quite-so-terrible.

But then Sugar Daddy got home.  He immediately knew something was wrong, as I have a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve and my emotions all over my face.  He dragged me out of the darkened living room and out to dinner.  Over some much-needed alcohol, he gave me the figurative (but loving) butt-kicking I have come to depend upon him for.  He said he was sorry I was sad, but reminded me that anyone who puts anything out there into the big, opinionated world is bound to be criticized.  We talked and laughed and when we left the restaurant, I was ready to go write something spectacular.

Except that tequila makes me sleepy.

When I woke up this morning, I had a most beautiful thought -- that friend of Elisa's had done me a great favor.  You see, one of the stories I am currently working on is about two cousins who were very close growing up -- almost like twins.  Then, in junior high, one said something horrible to the other, in an attempt to look cool in front of the popular girls.  That hurtful moment tore their beautiful friendship apart until ...  well, I'll let you read that in a few weeks.

Those comments yesterday helped me to remember how awful words can make you feel.  You know -- sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart.  I think my story is going to be much better for this experience.

I'm not quitting.  I'm growing.  With a little help from Clay and a woman I don't even know (who did apologize and remove her original post.)  Many thanks to you both.


PS:  Because I can't let things go very easily, I directed Elisa's friend to two other blog posts about my mom, pink ribbons and breast cancer, here and here.  Because I really, really needed her to know I'm not an ignorant ass.  What's wrong with me?

Another PS:  Although I had first considered deleting the blog post that started all this (or at least re-writing it), I still stand behind it 100%.  I'm never afraid to admit when I am wrong, but this time, I'm not.