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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I’m struggling with something. Am I special? Am I really that different from all the other wanna-be writerly types?! It’s not writer’s block that I get. It’s something worse. It’s the fear of it all being kind of pointless. I’m not saying that I write only with the goal of someday being paid for it (yes, this is ideal and it sure would be nice, but I realize that this only happens to about .01% of “writers”); I write with the goal of providing something that is worth reading. When I start to wonder if I “have what it takes,” I stop before I’ve even really begun. The more research I do, the more I feel that it really is all a bit trite and meaningless. Of course I DO get enjoyment out of it (or I wouldn’t do it), but I really don’t JUST do it for myself. I hope to provide a ‘lil somethin’ somethin’ to my fellow humanoids. BUT…

It’s all been written, thought of, said. There are already a gajillion mom-lit-type blogs out there offering the same self-deprecating humor/joie de vivre that is sometimes present round these here parts. There are already memoirs published that are funnier-slash-more-touching-slash-more-moving than mine ever would/will be. There’s even a children’s book out there that totally jacked an idea that I’ve been sitting on for twenty years. (I still have the original story that I wrote in fifth grade. I’ve never forgotten this idea. I’ve tucked it in my: when I Have Time to Write Children’s’ Books file. I’ve just started dusting the file off and WAZAMMY some stupid author – who already has plenty of books so why did he have to steal my idea?! – TOTALLY stole it! The buttface).

So, what do I have to offer that is unique? They say write what you know. What the heck do I know?! Half the time I look around like a babysitter twiddling my thumbs wondering when the real parents are going to come home and clean this house and take care of these whiney kids! Seriously, where ARE they?! I don’t know much about parenting so I really shouldn’t write about that. I do fear a little bit that any time the whole mother-parenting topic comes up, I'm way too quick (and ALWAYS) the first to start the boo-hoo, woah-is-me, this is tough-as-poop dialogue. While most do join in (maybe just to make me feel better) I do think I'm a pretty good whiner about this reoccuring theme: Why is my life so hard when isn't this exactly the life I always wanted? And: I always wanted to be a wife/mother, why the heck am I not better at it?!! Most days I feel awesome if I think MAYBE we made it through without any situations that will be brought up in therapy years down the road. Again, with the woah is me. Who wants to read someone else’s belly-achin’? We have enough belly aches of our own to work through. So, back to what I can and SHOULD write.

I have a completed middle-grade chapter novel. Awesome. Yay me. Hoo-Ra. It has sat in my documents lonely and abandoned for going on two years now. I got half way through my second draft and then life kicked me in the buttocks with a whole National EE Convention to co-chair and a whole adoption process to begin and a whole lot of excuse-cards to play. I have 376 pages (which would be a 750ish page novel!) chronically my adventures in hospital bed resting [sounds boring, yeah?], the plague of postpartum depression [uplifting, no?], my journey through therapy [narcissistic, anyone?], life with children [wow! It’s like no one has ever parented before!], etc. I’ve run a marathon (so have A LOT of really sore, crazy people!). I flew on a flight/exact airplane that crashed two weeks later – TWA Flight 800 (again, lots of people have that ‘near death/what if’ story). I majored in French (which I never to rarely speak) and spent time in France (hmmm, there’s a whole country of people that know more about that than I do). I spent my wedding night in the ER (I’m sure there are support groups for this somewhere). I’m married to a man who had Hodgkins Lymphoma twice in six years (pretty rare, actually. Go Mike!). Then with the pregnancies: being told you’re having a daughter and having a surprise well-endowed little boy (wouldn’t change him for the world, fyi). Spending seven weeks in the hospital on bed rest (in terms of bed rest, I had it easy. Some women lounge for MONTHS). Had two preemies and went through the NICU experience (awful, wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, but again, our 5-weeks-early boys were little champs; people have it WAY worse). Went through the adoption process and pretty much hit the jackpot (there are TONS of books and blogs on the trials and tribulations of adoption)….You see, I could go on about the things that supposedly make me unique yet have already been covered by many others.

So, if you had the forethought to throw on your pity-party mukluks and you were strong enough to slop through that pool of depressing outburst – good work! I promise that the moment of self-doubt and negative scrutiny has passed…for now. Let’s just get back to what we do DO best (and yes, sometimes that IS doo-doo): talking about my life!  And for now, in this moment, my life is good. My life is awesome. We had family movie night. I had a glass of cheap (but decent) Merlot. The entire family gathered around to hear baby giggles which resulted in lots of little boy giggles (the happiest sounds on earth). I held Kayliana and watched the beautiful falling snow as it piled up on our fence, our street, the trees, the roof. And then I finished off the evening with a square of dark chocolate and a VERY self-indulgent and satisfying blog-session. Thank you very much.

1 comment:

Julia Ahlers said...

I guess the first thing that came to mind reading this was just how out of the norm it really appears to be. You present life thus far as this thing that is so average and typical, but (and this may just be reflective of the amount of People With Problem reality t.v. shows I watch) I think your life is remarkably unique in interesting! First off, you married the love of your life and have managed to stay married to him, BAM! Unique for 50% of marrieds right there. The totally unimaginable story of being so thrilled to discover you were pregnant with the daughter you dreamed of all your life, only to discover its a son, and putting you in the middle of a loose-loose position where you can never be allowed to express or grieve that loss of without feeling ungrateful and judged by all. And lets be clear, the fact your adoption story went so magically and "meant to be-ish" is exactly what makes it unique and interesting to others. I'm not trying to convince you or blow smoke, but if I saw your story at the bookstore I would buy it, read it, and pass it on to the number of friends that would find it compelling as well.