I’ve been doing a lot of reading about writing memoirs, fiction and blogging. How to be a better this or that. 5 Ways to Eat a Pie and 26 Ways to Pop that Pimple for Good. It’s a lot. But, I finally gotten up the guts to call myself a writer and even ask people for their opinion on what should happen next. I subscribe to stuff like anyone else, and this morning I got read something that we need to talk about. It’s my friend and she totally sucks.
1. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?
No. I would high tail it outta there. I am my own worst critic – and I don’t just throw that out there flippantly.
I am a classically trained opera singer. I’ve won awards (always as the underdog) and beat out 256 other women more trained than I as a sophomore in college. I performed in Italy and was the only one asked to stay and tour. I was 1 of 18 chosen in the world to attend a special week long program at Oberlin Conservatory where I took my first Master Class. I was 16.
I completed a degree in Human Resources online with 2 children, a full time job and a little side biz. I am two classes away from completing a Master’s degree from Drexel University to teach Secondary English.
I write every day. If it’s not shared here, it’s on another blog, or drafts, or ideas in Evernote and journals that I hide under my bed. I write well. I’ve always written from the moment I won an essay contest for what it’s like to be an African American in today’s society. I was in the 4th grade! I’m Puerto Rican! What do I know about being any other race?
I’ve always had the special knack for finding the common ground, or denominator amongst groups of people. When I write, I play Tetris with people, problems, issues and resolutions till I can get it all to fit. I watch and observe people. I always have. I write their lives in my head. I can see them long after they’ve walked past me and I create their next words and steps. I sew it up right and tight. I work hard to give something that resonates, even with the littlest parts of you.
See that? What I just did right there? I was being my own best friend. Most times, I am the worst best friend. Would you hang out with someone who said this to you?
You are not a real writer. You never really were a musician you know. You’re just a singer – and we all know that they’re just posers. Who cares if you’ve got a degree, you’re just an Executive Assistant who writes on a blog and dreams of things she can never be because she doesn’t have anything concrete.
Honestly, I would punch this chick in the throat. I am currently reading Bird by Bird. Last night I came across a lot of points that are applicable here. This one won. Anne Lamott writes:
The other voices are banshees and drunken monkeys. They are the voices of anxiety, judgment, doom, guilt. Also, severe hypochondria.
Lamott, Anne (2007-12-18). Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (p. 7). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
2. If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?
I’m writing and I’m trying to figure it out. I am fighting with it. Wrestling with it like a G.L.O.W., remember that show in the 80s?
If it all ended today, I would want to write. I would want to hug my kids and stand on my tippytoes to kiss my husband. I’d want to knit with my friend S and have her send me crazy pictures of bowls full of teeth as she cries with laughter at my crazy anxiety. I’d want to check in with Tiffany over our daily cup o’Joe and OMP! Emily on FB. These are things I do every day (well not the knitting part, I gotta eat). I’d want to respond with humor to a friend on my way to work who thinks (quite wrongly) that she could be more suspicious than I am. No one, is more suspicious than I am.
That said, I’m doing what I want to do. I just need to stop telling myself that it doesn’t mean anything concrete or important. Go home crap friend, you’re drunk.
3. What are you holding on to that you need to let go of?
This drunken monkey that I keep playing with has to get the steppin’. I can’t keep caving to it. It’s not fair to the friend that I want and need to be to myself. I’ve done a lot of things in my life. Cool things, against all odd things. I can hear my husband cracking his usual jokes when things get too serious:
After reading my responses, I invite you to share yours in the comments or on your own blogs. Maybe it’s too personal to share with the world, and that’s ok, write it down somewhere – even if that somewhere is the back of an envelope that held the electric bill you just paid.
This is important.
This post is in response to the article by Mark and Angel Hack Life: Practical Tips for Productive Living titled 3 Questions that will Free Your Mind and Turn Your Life Around written by Angel Chernoff. Read it too. But don’t just read it. Act on it too.