This is my familiar creative cycle. Wonderful ideas, fast start, invest what I can, and then family happens. Not my son. Who is the light of my life. Just everything and everyone else. Suddenly the demands grow and I am scurrying to find moments of time even to pray in peace. If only I had more of everything and the question I have heard over and over again. What am I going to do? I need to make more money. What am I going to do with my looks? How will I be more impressive, more organized, more efficient. Why isn’t my son smiling every second? Why is he crying? ….even as I typed this in my five minutes a call for assistance came again. Don’t get me wrong I am thankful for the moments of assistance my family gives me but the pressure is intense. Become an amazing mother while continuing to build a profitable career. It seems like an insurmountable challenge particularly when my health is calling me to change my work entirely. God is demanding I do something different. I know what my heart yearns for but how to I bring in dollars in the mean time. I can’t work the 8 hours a day on my feet job I used to do on top of my professional work to bring in extra money. I have to find a way to make money that is easy on my body. All I have ever wanted to do was learn and share what I learn with other people. Does a single mother begin the road to ministry and a doctorate in theology at 38? I believe that is exactly what the Lord is asking of me. My faith tells me our God can do anything. He can move mountains. I will follow where ever He leads me. Just one foot in front of the other. One prayer, then another, and then again. God is with me. Jesus is with me. Mother Mary is with me. The angels are with me. The saints are with me. I am not alone.
When I think about Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis I never think of them as a brand. I never read their works and think to myself “I can’t wait to read the twitter commentary and the Jezebel think pieces!” I place the book down and think about the story. I think about the life I have lived through sharing this story. I consider the beautiful words that created this story. The story was an experience. I was living for those moments and nothing else. I stayed up way too late to finish one more page, one more chapter, one more act. When did stories and authors become brands? I know that I have engaged in twitter universe madness when it was about my favorite comic book characters, my favorite fantasy. George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling. Yet, I never engaged in this kind of social media cage match with my favorite romance novelist. I could give a damn about what twitter has to say about Nora Roberts or Diana Gabaldon or Danielle Steele. I am sure all of those authors have an online presence but I don’t care. Is this intentional on their part or simply a product of their writing and genre?
We all want to feel special. And honestly, we are all unique. BUT at the same time our stories repeat. In my quest to find my creative spark again I have been reviewing the stories that have spoken to me. The stories that seem like unauthorized autobiography under an alias. What’s mine? Do I even need one?
Can’t stop thinking about the ads my facebook, youtube, google everything has been sending me for masterclass.com featuring Margaret Atwood. Atwood is an amazing writer. She truly is a living legend. Her class is for creative writing. I cannot help but think it will be filled with help since her ad almost brought me to tears.
“If you really do want to write and you’re struggling to get started…You’re afraid of something.”
Well that was like hearing a message from God. No I don’t think Ms. Atwood is a God but I do believe she is a messenger created by Him. When I hear something or someone speak something that creates a visceral reaction I notice, I stop, I listen . The message of my last post was to listen.
What am I scared of and where did it come from? Rejection and even more than that dismissal. I have many, many good teachers and I have had a few truly great ones. Yet the teachers that rejected me seem to have stuck the deepest wounds. Whispers and statements that the young overachieving, people pleasing woman carried with me. Don’t try, Stop, Make Me Happy, Stop Being Different, Follow the rules, DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD.
Not everything that is spoken over you is true. Spiritual study calls recognizing the truth discernment. Discernment takes patience and experience. Discernment was simply not available for me as a young woman.
Young woman no more but I am hardly a crone. I welcome Discernment’s arrival to my party. I had no idea Discernment would be bringing such a good time.
Well I read the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson and discovered something about myself.
I give a fuck.
No criticism of Mr. Manson but you see the book is simply the discoveries of a man who became older than 29 and realized he was caring about the wrong things. Sex, money, etc. I appreciate learning about his perspective but it did not speak to me at all. As a woman in my late thirties with a family, there are many, many things I give a fuck about and rightfully so.
Thirtyish dude not speaking to you? Where else to go…a Jesuit Priest. I know a celibate old man does not seem like the most logical move. It may seem like a total over correction. But au contraire! James Martin SJ’s ” The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything” has been a fantastic experience and I am only half way finished! His book is about people who really do care and want to know how to go about doing so correctly. So far the line that has spoken to me so clearly is “When you pray, however you pray, and feel that God is speaking to you-pay attention.”
I am paying attention.