Updated: 3 days ago
"Hey, Bixby! How do you spell Albuquerque?"
You know I have been presented with some unexpected option, some potential left turn, when I am searching for THAT word!
It's the Labour Day Long Weekend, and Monday's visit with an old acquaintance did NOT disappoint! SO many stories! And a near wrong turn at Albuquerque ...
This person and I have quite a history, one that deserves to be unpacked separately, in some other way shape or form, some other day. Today, is not that day!
I will tell you that we each submitted stories to the CBC short story contest about the same night of our lives, what brought us there, and the peace we have found since. Obviously, our stories didn't get picked up and no one noticed that two contestants entered stories from different perspectives about the same incident, or you would have heard all about it. Probably for the best! The story of how I, as a dorky 17 year old virgin, became widely known as 'Sex Kitten' to my heroes and mentors ... needed more that the allotted 2000 words to be properly unpacked.
AND, and I think people would have missed the point, which was all about reconciliation and the limitless possibility for human growth and evolution.
This is not that story, but rather a story about my own evolution and breaking patterns to create the sense of safety and connection I need, before I make any other grand leaps of faith.
I have a history of diving in head-first and going off half-cocked, following one grand plan after another in great, over-adrenalized, blind bargains with fate. I have spent my life surrounded by over-achievers, making me believe that ANYTHING is possible, and it is! But sometimes I am missing a few essential ingredients to make it all come together.
I am no lover of following recipes, and if I had actually stopped to read the list of ingredients required for some of my plans, I would have quit before I started. I am more of a leap-and-hope-the-wings-will-appear-before-I-hit-the-ground kind'a girl.
I don't necessarily recommend it. I have taken some hard falls and the toll it takes on my sleep and frazzled nervous system is a recurring issue. The reality is, most of my plans haven't quite worked out ... but I have gotten close!
This winter, when I ran off to Florida in my VW Bug 'Mable' and put my tack up for sale, I had a grand plan. A few holes in it, maybe, but essentially it was this: I would promote the podcast and course, and sell all of my horse related equipment to finance the next steps: hiring editing help and going back to school.
Like the banana, the cigar and the Olympics ... I came close.
I have toyed with my writing and storytelling and found some areas of discomfort and some things that maybe, just don't need to be rehashed. I have found much of the process and the lifestyle around writing torturous. I have found I am happier letting it take a back seat, while living a more physically active, purposeful life. Focusing on it is paralyzing and I spend my time ruminating.
I don't regret it. The rumination has brought illumination, and forced me to face difficult truths about myself and my past. But I don't think I need to be on public display for a living. At least not right now, or at least not as a full-time, full immersion gig. I'll find other ways to fulfill my desire to share my stories and my learning, while establishing safety and connection through education and belonging to something bigger than I am. Maybe as an awareness-raiser/fundraiser with a bit of a song and dance show? Who knows!
Just as I was telling my friend my very sensible plan to go back to school for a social work degree, he made me promise to look into the theatre arts program and tell my stories. I find this perplexing, coming from someone I'd have thought would have a vested interest in these stories never seeing the light of day. This is not your average human.
So, I kept my promise, and I reached out about the local theatre program, coming very close to pulling a 'typical Paige' and throwing myself into another great abyss, but for now, my priority is in investing in safety and connection, and things that align with that.
No shame in stopping to ask for directions, before deciding to hang a right or a left in Albuquerque! And you know what? You can always go back. In the roadtrip analogy, we can plan other adventures, which may be that much sweeter for the readiness, the solidity we bring with us on the next trip.
Take a chance,
** A note to add: I have been sitting on this draft (and some other unfinished writing) for some time. I am happy to say that the investment in safety and connection is paying off, and that mentorship with Tania Kindersley and Carmen Theobald has proven SOLID - the beginnings of structure and habits, and of a framework and foundation, that can withstand the winds that will inevitably blow when I tell my stories ... for we can't please them ALL. And yes, Tania, you were right! When the foundation is strong, the reasons for writing align with our core, and we create clarity and habits - the words really DO start to gallop off the page! Thank you for helping me find joy in self-expression again, and being part of my bourgeoning sense of safety and connection.
When the foundation is strong and the winds come howling at your door - THE HOUSE WILL STAND! ~ Tania Kindersley