Fancy meeting you here. I expected the inspiration for May’s blog to come naturally, considering so many exciting events on the near horizon. My third book, Now I Lay Me Down, is set to be released this summer and I turn forty in a little over an hour from this moment. But somehow this entry proved the most challenging of the year. I hoped I’d be able to share a long list of lessons learned, but in truth I don’t feel much more confident than I did at age 12.
I have a diamond cut memory. Maybe things would be easier if I didn’t remember the details so well. All these years have been a series of plans and equally as many broken plans. I can say with 100% certainty that I never planned to be “here” when I “grew up”. As a child I told everyone I would someday be an archaeologist or a marine biologist. They didn’t doubt me. I felt sure that I would grow up, make a lot of money and take care of my family. The whole time I was reading like a madwoman and writing with fervor.
I started off so well on that success track. Grades, scholarships, law school admission … that had nothing to do with the goals of my childhood, but still I felt like I was moving toward my idea of success. After I achieved everything I wanted professionally I still felt like something was left undone. I kept writing.
One day I found myself working for an abusive, morally bankrupt man and I had to ask myself what amount of money it would take to spend my life at his service. The answer came to me like a lightning strike: NO AMOUNT
That was the moment I went off the rails and shed the dreams of my youth. I went after a new dream I never even believed possible. Book writers seemed like Mick Jagger to me. Who knew I could be one of them? My loyal friends sensed my passion and encouraged a seemingly impossible new path. As I move into my fifth decade on this planet I realize that loyalty like this in relationships is precious, rare and more valuable than jewels. I wouldn’t trade the Loyals in my life for all the paper in the Treasury.
Today I watched Serena playing strong in her catsuit and it made me feel proud. I have zero knowledge about tennis, but it felt good to witness that power. There on display was a woman in her own culmination of determination, hard work, preparedness and confidence. That’s the same essence I’m after in my work as I move forward. The thing that strikes me more than anything else at this moment is my existence as a woman. My insecurities, my strengths, my vanity, my pride, my humiliations. Forty makes no difference at all, it’s just another day in the life of a mist that appears for a while and then vanishes. But that is what I am. Today I heard Tina Turner sing You Better Be Good To Me on the radio and I said to myself, “Damn Straight.”
I’m with friends right now but I am working. I’m right here working toward what I never even dreamed as a girl I could do. I’m writing books. My failed plans became my wildest dreams. So I’m going to go ahead and take the rest of my mist and work it out like Tina Turner … hard and fast, strong through the pain, passionate and pure. I have a diamond cut memory and I’m forty. You better be good to me.