Feb 14 2013

Valentine’s Day and Concrete…

 

concrete counters

Concrete counters at Sweet Apple Ranch

The opposite of abstract.

Stable.

Secure.

The perfect mixture of rocks, water and a binder to hold it all together.

Sort of like love.

Stable.

Secure.

No really. Hear me out.

It seems to me that love is directional. Two directional to be exact. We give love. And we  receive love. In a perfect world, both directions ebb and flow in a synchronous cycle. But in reality, love tends to be the furthest thing from balanced.

We don’t feel like we are getting it.

We don’t feel like giving it.

Unstable and insecure.

I have no delusions to believe that I can somehow affect and change the cycle of love. I may be a mom and able to read minds and intents as well as use eyes in the back of my head, but I cannot solve the love issue in the world. We all have limits.

But I wonder.

I wonder if we spend far to much time on one side of the cycle than the other. We live in a consumer age. A newsflash I’m sure. We can get hamburgers our way. We can negotiate the price we want for airline tickets. We are used to concessions. If it doesn’t work out the way it should, compensation should be made.

Several years ago, I was trapped in an elevator in a fairly prestigious mall in California. I was pregnant. Unmistakably so. I had a toddler with me. And we sat in that elevator for 45 minutes. The Pee-pee dance was born. And when the fire department freed us, the mall manager asked if my son would like a balloon. Really? A balloon? For him? How about a gift certificate for me? I said no thank you, as graciously as I could, and made a bee-line for the restroom.

And what does that have to do with Valentine’s Day? I’m so glad you asked.

Everything.

If I’m looking for someone or something to make my life better, I will always be disappointed. I could have really used a shopping spree. Did I mention I was pregnant and outgrowing everything?

But what would a gift certificate really do? Make me feel like I accomplished something while waiting in the elevator and holding my highly squished bladder. And on Valentine’s Day, I want a prize to make me feel like I’m not alone or without love. I don’t want to be a loser.

But maybe that’s backward. Maybe, on Valentine’s Day, instead of looking for what’s coming, or for the payoff, I should be taking inventory of how well I love others.

Stable?

Secure?

The above picture is of our new concrete counters that we poured a week ago. They will not be going anywhere anytime soon. Do I love people that way? Do I love like concrete?

Sometimes, not so much. But what a great day to be reminded of my goal.

I want to love people like concrete. Stable and secure.


Feb 1 2013

Life is Full of Misconceptions

the yellow brick road

the yellow brick road

Misconception #1: My parents are perfect and life is fair.

Misconception #2: My parents don’t know anything and life is way unfair.

Misconception #3: I will be a perfect parent.

Misconception #4: (After having a child) Misconception #2 was way off. Life is indeed unfair but perhaps my parents knew a great deal more than I was willing to give them credit for during the throws of teenage hormonal imbalance.

Misconception #5: Having a literary agent guarantees publication.

I have taken a sort of unannounced sabbatical from blogging over the past few weeks. Granted, there has been a great deal of change in our lives recently but the lack of posts has had more to do with my confrontation of misconception #5.

Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit such ignorance. But seeing as this isn’t the worst of my naiveté, it seems safe to share. Deep down inside, I honestly believed that once I secured an agent, I would become a published author. And I thought I was being reasonable. I waited for months. It seems to me that if another human can take shape and form in the void in ten months, an editor can pick my book for publication in less time.

Oh wait, I think I just discovered Misconception #6: The editing process is timely.

Anyway, I received another rejection yesterday. “We like your writing, blah, blah, blah, but the story is too dark.” The story happens to be about PTSD. And yes, it’s dark. I lived it. I remember.

In the face of yet another rejection I had to finally confront misconception #5. And let me just say that this blog is in no way a slight against my agent. She didn’t write the dark story that no one wants. She’s just doing her job. (nothing but love, K)

So my first book may not make it down the golden road of publication. (Misconception #7: The road to publication is paved in gold.) But maybe there’s another story in me.

I wonder if I have confused my misconceptions as failure. If I believed that I would be published and then I wasn’t, isn’t that a reflection of my ability? Yeah, it has felt like failure. They don’t like my story, they don’t like me, I’m not really a writer…spiral, spiral, spiral.

“Pilot to co-pilot, I smell smoke.”

And so I stopped writing. Or blogging. (Which is kind of like fast food writing.)

But just as I learned to overcome the misconceptions I had regarding parenting, maybe it’s time I grew up in the writing world too. Having an agent doesn’t mean I’m necessarily closer to publication. I think maybe it means that God knows I wouldn’t or couldn’t do this without a cheerleader. Which annihilates another misconception.

Misconception # who’s keeping track: I am super woman and can do anything and I don’t need anyone’s help.

How about you? Do you suffer under the delusions of misconceptions?