Today I ponder notions of romance, anti-romance, family, the weather in Belgium and all things close to the chest. Today I think about ...
Here's the thing, readers. Contrary to my so-called pseudo popular life, I'm actually a private person. I know, I know. Unbelievable. Let's remove the "un" from that word, and you've come upon me. I'm the techno geek who surfs quirky blogs, listens to underground music and whenever possible, excites over a new advancement in video and computer technology. I savor sitting in a room and writing for twelve hour days and finishing a novel in four weeks. I read magazines backwards, listen to the music of city sirens, water droplets and wind captured in full symphony, and I don't have a problem wearing a shirt that says:
I'm a spiritual person. I don't deny it. It is something I came to as the result of quality therapy, the books Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying and A New Earth, watching the films Peaceful Warrior and What The Bleep Do We Know? and realizing that growing up with monsters doesn't mean you have to become one. I act in kindness, hope to do as little harm in the world as possible and fly out of bed to do a happy dance every morning when I wake up.
Note: My non-morning friends find the latter behavior somewhat difficult to bare.
I've been truly in love twice in my life. It isn't important with whom, but rather that I know the feeling and have had it reciprocated. Something my best friend who was killed in a car accident in 2003 never knew, and it still brings me such sadness. It has been a long and far haul from The Perks of Being A Wallflower Charlie kinda internal life I had during part of my teen years. I have been fortunate to survive a near death car accident, near death infection (Cellulitis) and near death pneumonia.
Note: I'm way beyond the over on the whole near death thing. Living rocks!
I've been homeless. I've been lost. I've been down the wrong road and now thank whatever power (s) that be for intervening with a friendship of a lifetime with Linda. S. Sanders. I've stood in front of my adopted father and didn't cower when he told me to quit writing. Even throwing me into a wall wasn't gonna stop me from scribbling.
I've been counted out more than once. I've been told to stop dreaming because you're never gonna make X happen. I've been pushed to the limit and rebounded.
I do believe in possibility.
I've traveled across America (literally this summer) and lived in Belgium and had the best brother in the world who stuck it out through the "...the best of the times (and) the worst of times."
I'm not afraid to say this thing called life is tough as tough can be and also say it can be better.
It can be different.
Knowing all these things about me one might think that I'm not a private person at all, but I am. About a lot of things. Things that I feel aren't relevant or just need to stay among the safety and kindness of friends because the are my only family. My chosen one.
I don't want to wait for life to start. I think I spent a number of years in a holding pattern. Kind of like the plane in Boston, MA that kept us up in the air for 50 minutes because of weather below. Whether it was the conditions of my life or simply thinking that I did not deserve to be in a life worth dancing in the morning for, I choose "other" and waited.
This summer has been about not waiting though. It has been about risks and chances -- immeasurable opportunities. I've faced some of my greatest fears head on and stood in front of room after room of young people asking them to be brave with me. In doing so, I feel immensely humbled and accomplished and alive. I've met with writers and filmmakers. I've sat with artist from all walks of life and taken those moments as opportunities to glean from their artistic and life experience. Of course, to laugh and celebrate a world of creativity with them as well.
I am grateful for the people who continue to show up in my regular life (and I'm gonna name a few of them because that's what you do when you are humbled):
Josh Flowers (filmmaker/educator/best kind of friend)
Margaret Coble (artist/small business owner/writer)
Karl Miller (C.A.I.N board member/a father I'd been lucky to have had)
C.G. Watson (writer/educator/)
Shirley Klock (writer/official humanitarian)
J. Don Luna (director/actor/mentor for life)
Matthew Gallagher (writer/producer/actor)
S.K. McClendon (activist/educator/camera operator)
Sally Derby (writer/a mom I'd been lucky to have had)
Galen McGriff (filmmaker/professor/writer)
Andrea Cascadi (previous literary agent)
and for a guy named Larry
See, being on the road, it is one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I'm about to do it again for nearly two months. I'm doing it because I believe that I can continue to make a difference. That I can change the world I live in and empower young people to begin to stand up and be heard. I don't have to want life to start anymore. It has started. Here and now.
I ready to see what's next in life. To dream big, live full and not wait for life to start anymore.
So here I go. Taking chances. With myself, with the teens I will continue to meet across America and the art I create!
Not too shabby, huh?