Thursday, June 26, 2014

Publishing Pains

To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet 

I've avoided writing for the past week. 

You see, horrible events have transpired, and standing naked in the harsh light of reality, well, I felt blinded and my eyes have needed time to adjust. 

It was only last week that The San Diego Reader, a weekly local news magazine, showcased two posts, from this blog, that I submitted a little over a month ago.  

Reading my edited work on the printed page left me a sullen quivering mess. My amateur grammar, tense snafus, and - wait for it - melodramatic flourishes exposed me for the wannabe writer that I am.   

I prayed my ex wouldn't come across it, and in the same pathetic breath, I wallowed in the idea that he didn't even care enough to want to read it. 

You may be asking yourself, how would he even stumble across her work? Hasn't it been almost a year since they've seen each other? She barely started writing her blog in April. 

It's with great reluctance and shame that I admit to y'all today: the last email I sent, to the ex, had my blog's address typed underneath my name.  

Fucking shameless self promotion struck again.

Because, after I sent that email to him, lying in my bed, with the lights out, at two o'clock in the morning, in that place - you know, that place - the one where we really live - I wanted him to read my blog.

But while opening the Reader, turning to the section my blog was printed in, and reading the headline, all at once, I felt small, shriveled, and ashamed. Shamed by the desire of wanting my ex to read ANY part of my blog, coupled with the shame of my excitement about being published. 

With every edited sentence, I felt shot through with panic and embarrassment. Slashed paragraphs evoked the overwhelming urge to run away and hide. 

What cruel celestial event had conspired to destroy the suspect web, of the fantastical world, I live in?

I called a couple of my best friends, and of course, they attempted to reassure me. Bestowing all the trite cliches that are called for in a time of crisis, but, alas, their gratuitous overtures failed to suffice.   

I even reached out to one of the Reader's columnist, Barbarella. Her column, Diary of a Diva, has been an instrumental inspiration in my beginning blog stages.

She responded almost immediately. Her email was filled with compassion, suggestions and solutions that have worked for her, during her freelance journey. 

But, even then, I still felt naked and exposed. The loneliness consumed me. 

Damn you, artistic tendency roller coaster ride! You take me to moments of incredible exhilaration only to drag me through the difficulties of having to start all over again. 

I guess it's time to come clean because all that is left is for you to see me, for who I really am.

A greasy, jean and sweatshirt wearing type of girl, who hardly ever used social media, until she was dumped by her boyfriend, at the end of last year. 

Since then, when she isn't busy picking up the pieces of her broken life, she's hunched over her keyboard, with uncombed hair (hidden beneath her baseball cap) and hairy legs, eating junk food, while carefully constructing ways to publicly display the baby steps she is making in her life, on the happenstance that her ex will see her doing well and it will cause him hell; all the while, she acts as if her high school motives do not exist.

There - it's out. 

The jig is up. Once more, I've been nailed by the truth. In the depths of my latest ego deflation, I've come away with a clearer view of myself, and yet, still haven't lost heart.  

Heart remains because, while I was so busy posting and chronicling my baby steps, another life HAS emerged. My solitude is teaching me this truth. A part of me realizes that I still have a long way to go, but another half of me has witnessed the visions of vast opportunities, within me, that are waiting to be born.  

Blinking furiously, my eyes have come into focus and I'm ready - again -to face the dawn.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Sunday Summer Solstice

Morning hike with my best friend at Cowles Mountain.

Me and Ursula at the top of the mountain.

Are you ever so focused on taking pictures of the moment that you miss the actual experience you're trying to capture?  That was me this morning.

Me, after the hike.

Breakfast at the Trails Neighborhood Eatery
Egg white omelette with spinach, feta cheese, and tomatoes, fresh fruit, and a pumpkin muffin.

This place was reasonably priced. The owner is sweet and she makes it a point to greet everyone who comes in. The food was delicious. We had a great table where we could people watch and not be spotted.

And for dinner...

Shrimp tacos at El Zarape.

Today was another beautiful day in Sunny San Diego.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

25 Things To Do Before My Next Birthday

My Birthday is on September 21st.  So, I'd better get busy...

1.   Write 3 thank you notes a week
2.   Read often

4.   Edit more
5.   Practice yoga

6.   Meditate daily
7.   Write a successful grant proposal
8.   Try the CrossFit gym in my neighborhood
9.   Decorate my apartment with plants

10. Cook regularly
11. Donate clothes I don't wear

12. Visit my son, Matthew, in Massachusetts
13. Have fun w/ Matthew this summer in San Diego

14. Practice putting things away when I'm finished           with them
15. Stop the overuse of 'I'm sorry' 

16. Commit to a weekly Artist's Date 
17. Get a massage
18. Commit random acts of kindness

19. Complete 3 financial amends
20. Drink more green tea

21. Get over my ex
22. Go out on a date

23. Find a monthly volunteer commitment
24. Save money

25. Stay sober    

*My inspiration for this post came from  Thanks Erin!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Picking and Choosing

"Life knocked me off my platform."
-Ani DiFranco

Sometimes I act as if some of the rules just don't apply to me. 

Once I become comfortable in a certain situation, I begin picking and choosing which rules I want to follow, and which ones I imagine the flash of my smile and a shrug of my shoulders will permit me carte blanche to do as I please.

Last night, my cockiness was exposed.  Can you believe a bag of Smart Pop has brought me to my knees? I was at the building I live in and I was caught eating in an area where eating is not allowed. 

Warnings were drafted; dotted lines were signed.

The last few weeks I've been counting calories.  It was after ten last night, I was in a common area mindlessly devouring the ominous bag of Smart Pop when I was spotted and reprimanded. 

Little did the supervisor know, I was already berating myself for eating two hours before bed AND finishing the whole bag.  

Is this an instance that points to a self fulling prophecy?  My self condemnation now manifested, printed, signed, and filed in my permanent record?

Or maybe it's God's way of helping me remain true to my fitness goals. 

Either way,  I'm reminded,  once again, each and every rule applies to me. 

Which rules just don't apply to you?  


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Don't Go Back To Sleep*

During the last few days, I have wanted to go back to sleep.  The tremendous energy it takes to stay awake during a time of heartbreak can feel overwhelming.  The strength it has taken to face my fears in the mist of rejection have me feeling worn out.  These are the days that all the responsibilities I've taken on terrify me.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

The voices whisper, 'you can't pull off tomorrow what you've pulled off today.  Run and hide before you fail like you always do.  What if they find out who you really are?  They will see that you don't belong here.'  On the days that I entertain these guests, it isn't long until my day becomes very dark.  In the darkness, my path isn't clear.

In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself within a dark woods
Where the straight way was lost.

And yet,  I've remained awake.  And I've discovered that it is in these dark places that forgotten qualities are uncovered.

For instance, I sent in a few blog entries to The San Diego Reader, a weekly local news magazine.  Would you believe the San Diego Reader, Blog Diego, section, is going to pay me to publish two consecutive weeks showcasing six edited posts from my blog.

When you do something from your soul, 
you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

My son was the first person I told.

I haven't always been the best mom to my son.   I've made a lot of mistakes and I've caused a lot of pain, to my son, his father and myself.  Addiction, depression and selfishness tend to be consuming; they isolate me from anyone who tries to love me.  I'm sick and tired of filling my inner emptiness with drugs and unhealthy relationships.

I strongly believe that something has called me into the woods where the straight path has vanished and there is no turning back; my only way out is going through.  It's in the darkness that I am going to retrieve my hidden self.  It is in the woods where I am going to learn my lessons.  I've been broken open by addiction, heartache, and loneliness.  My time has come to turn around and face the change my soul insists upon.

In the difficult are the friendly forces,
the hands that work on us.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Remaining awake isn't only for me.  This journey is also to lay a path for my boy, when he, too, is called upon by friendly forces, to go into the dark woods.  I will share with him about the time I thought my life fell apart and all the wisdom I found in the shards of my broken identity.  I will share my stories of how I got over the bumps and detours in the road.  I will comfort him about the confusion the friendly forces bring and tell him that I, too, wanted to go back to sleep, but I remained awake so that I could, with certainty, tell him everything IS going to be okay.

*Title taken from the Rumi poem above.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Stream of Consciousness

Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.  
-  William Shakespeare, King Lear

I am part of a blog challenge at The Daily Post.  A couple of days ago we were challenged to write a stream of consciousness for fifteen  minutes and publish it.  These were my thoughts. 

Judge me if you must...

Loss. Write about it.  Lately it is all I have written about it.  A lot. 

Who knows what others are going to think if all I write about is him.  I have been stuck.  The inspiration isn't there lately because I don't want to continue to write about my ex but he is on my mind more lately than I would like to admit.  Seriously.  I have posted pictures of the activities that I still showed up for, this weekend, all the while, I was thinking about him.  3000 miles away. And why?

What will others think about me if I keep harping on this subject that is old, even for me?  But life is full of disappointments and things and people that I can not change and will not change no matter what I do.  I don't know lately; it still hurts. 

Learning that he left San Diego kicked up expectations that I didn't even realize I had.  Hidden hopes that secretly held on.

How can I get past this pain if I cannot write about it?   This blog is about showing up and I guess today I miss sharing my life with him. 

Or is this just another tale of woe that I refuse to let go of? 

Something that proves I am so unwilling to allow myself happiness unless I have some pain and dis-ease to ground my story in?

I need to be honest with myself...things ARE good.  So many exciting things are happening and I am allowing ONE interaction to discount all that?  

Is my ex boyfriend the designated pain I assign to myself in case things get too good?

Does anyone else do this?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Day in Pics

My morning elixir.

Lunch at the Gaslamp Hooters.

A walk in Horton Plaza.

A free concert by Mainly Mozart in Horton Plaza.

A quick stop at my neighborhood Ross.

Sunday is laundry day.  These photos are the view from my laundry room.