I am one of five bloggers Gigi calls fabulous. And even more humbling? She has included me in a group of stellar writers, bloggers who, if we were running a writing race, I'd be the one stumbling over the torn finish line ribbon, gasping for breath, hours after the others had effortlessly glided to their finish and were already at the pub down the street downing their celebratory beverage of choice.
And as exciting as it is to be graced with such an honorary title and I truly am honored and humbled and delirious with excitement, it's those words, those words, man.
Those words are difficult for me to believe.
I think a lot of different things about myself.
I think I can be pretty charming when I want to be.
I also think I'm a total klutz both physically and in my social graces. I have fallen off my step at step class . . . during the warm up.
I have actually said in cocktail conversation, "I cannot imagine why anyone would choose to honeymoon at Disney World. Who does that? Child brides from Tennessee, that's who and simpletons whose biggest thrill in life is riding the roller coasters at Six Flags and attending hot dog eating competitions."
The response from one of the women in my cocktail circle is branded in my heart forever as she said faintly, "I honeymooned at Disney World. I'd wanted to go there my whole life and so my husband surprised me with that trip. It was one of the most special things anyone has ever done for me."
Yes, that really happened. And yes, I am an ass of astronomic proportions.
I also think I'm a great mom, but I totally suck as Betty Crocker. I don't own a Bundt pan and most of my family pictures sit in old wine boxes and on my computer instead of displayed in beautiful scrapbooks.
I think I can hold my own when it comes to talking politics or the state of the world. Do NOT even get me started on what I think of President Obama's recent decision to honor China with a State Dinner in a supposed effort to promote trade between our countries. As the current Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, sits in a Chinese jail for advocating peaceful political and economic reform in his oppressive Communist country, the White House rolls out the red carpet for his captors. And as touchy as the balance with this rapidly emerging superpower is, their shameful history of oppressing human rights should outweigh any economic factors. They need sanctioning not celebrating.
Remember? I told you a long time ago I had me some opinions. And for your sake and mine, I'll just keep those opinions off the Internet from now on.
And am I the only dweeb who still would love to know the real scoop on Valerie Plame? And I'm not talking the Hollywoodized version that is about to hit the theaters, I'm talking me and Valerie in a room with a bottle of wine. Man, I would almost give up my blow dryer for life to hear that story from one of the few people who know the real truth.
Note—I said almost.
And I also think, no, I know, that I have abysmal math skills and I lack the ability to read a map unless it has accompanying written directions that read something like,"Turn right after the brick house with the bike in its front yard that has been cleverly converted into a lawn decoration and planter."
My inability to read a map has caused my hubby and I to almost divorce on more than one instance or at least not speak to each other for several hours. My marriage was saved the day navigational systems were invented.
I also think I'm a decently kind person who at the same time is notorious for forgetting birthdays and thank you notes. I mean well. I'm just too scattered.
My Christmas cards are still sitting here in their cardboard box filling me with angst.
I think that I'm pretty damn good at playing dress up and having an eye for fashion. My girls are in my closet more than they are their own. And I always ask them when they come from school in one of my getups, "Did you tell your friends you were wearing your MOM'S clothes?"
Their snort of disbelief and cry of "NO WAY" pisses me off more than the fact that they're wearing, my new sweet silk, ruffly top along with my cropped biker jacket. I am seriously considering putting a lock on my closet door.
But and this is a big kind of Kardashian But, I have a confession to make.
I think that the inside me could use a makeover, a great big Stacey and Clinton kind of makeover, where they throw the old me in the trash can and turn my crippling self doubt into a sparkling, Kanye West kind of confident cry of, "Oh yeah, I AM the man."
See, here's the thing, I've never felt worthy of such high praise from Gigi or anyone else for that matter. I'm honestly astounded when my words create a reaction, whether bad or good.
I love to write. I always have. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't put the pen to the paper and let the words wind their way out of me. But even though writing is my very lifeblood, the thing that pulsates through me, I don't believe in my own power. I have struggled my entire life with this rancid self doubt that takes up space in my little writerly soul.
And I did not come here today to have a pity party with me as the guest of honor and I certainly did NOT come here in search of high praise for me. Please know that. What started out as a a big virtual hug and a grateful thank you, organically turned into this confession. In fact, I sat here for the longest time, ready to hit the delete key on this entire post. But then it hit me, that this is exactly what I do here. I have bared my soul and oftentimes my ass to you, Internet, so why stop now.
And while we're at it, I'm going to go even further in my confession. Some days, I feel pretty good. Some days I think my writing is passable. But other times, I feel like my words don't fit together right and I'm not really sure why I'm even calling myself a writer.
Lately, I've been feeling more like a poser than a writer.
I won't lie. I've had an incredibly tough last few months. Health scares and an extended family situation that has been incredibly taxing for my little family for the last month, have thrown me into writer angst hell. (The situation has thankfully come to a close, so we're back to that happy place now in our world.)
Oh and on that note, I'd like to thank profusely the people in my world who were aware of my situation and let me vent and vent and vent to them usually when all they asked was an innocent, "How are things going?" I do appreciate all of your supportive shoulders. Just being able to get it all out, helped so very much.
But I'm in a place right now where I've been having a bit of trouble believing— believing in me. And that couldn't come at a worse time. I have this revision for my novel staring me in the face. Two writers, two writers who I respect and adore, who have read my novel, both agree that I need to revise this one thing. And that entails some pulling apart and putting back together. Laborious, hard writing work that needs every ounce of writing muscle I can give it.
I began pulling it apart in November and then my life got sucked into this whirling typhoon of one crisis after the next and so I put it away. And left it there, all pulled apart.
And just about every night as I close my eyes I think, "Girl, what the hell are you doing? Go back to your story."
And then I wake up and I leave it there, abandoned, for another day.
Because of Gigi.
On this day, I vow here at this holy place of mine, this little blog where I blab away, telling you my stories and my secrets, I'm comin' back.
Today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And all of the days to come. I will be writing, writing hard.
Gigi loves me and without even knowing it, with her words of high praise she gave me a solid, quit- your-damn-wallowing, kick in the ass.
Like Steven Tyler yowls, "I'm back. I'm back in the saddle again."
I will continue my vacation tales. But after that, I'll probably only post here once a week for awhile. I'll also try and visit when I can, but sadly my bumbling ass won't be gracing your doorsteps as much as I'd like. But please know that doesn't mean I've left you permanently, just a little less of me will be around until I get this machine rolling.
I'd like to end this post by highlighting just a few lines from each of these formidable writer girls that make up the Fabulous Five, so you can see how incredible it feels to be put in such lofty company:
People have asked me, "Lori, how do I know when my kids are ready for selling?" . . .
And if you have at any time in your child's life needed to utter the words, "I'm really sorry. I'll make sure to get your son's underwear back to him by tomorrow" to another parent, the time is yesterday.
And Erin of "I'm Gonna Kill Him" which by the way, I have such blog envy over her blog name. This is from her post on road trips, "I'm Driving With Hannibal Lecter Next Time".
You tell husband it's time. Time to put on the children's music. No, he insists. I will not listen to the irritating voices of children singing, "I'm A Little Teapot." He said the word 'Teapot'. Mutiny ensues. Rather than slide the CD, quieting them faster than the Propofol injection you are preparing, he begins to draw comparisons to his youth, which sounds like a Susan B. Anthony autobiography. He didn't have CD players and special kids music. Nor car seats or air conditioning. Even if he did, he wouldn't have used them. Why do you submit to their demands so easily? We should be teaching them to live in a democracy where we all must cooperate. And while we're at it, why do you allow D to wear pink and to tell people he wants to be a ballerina?
And then there is Alexandra of Good Day, Regular People. *Sigh* Alexandra is one of the most special people in the universe. Truly. In a huge moment of angst, when I needed some hand holding the most when it came to my writing, Alexandra was there. In fact, Alexandra is always there. She is a woman of mighty splendor, that one.
When your blogger begins to speak of people with names like, "Momtothree" and "HouseofMouse" do not ask her why in the world grown women would give themselves nicknames like that, instead say, "hmmm...tell me who they are again." Much better.
I will agree to stop dressing you up in low rise jeans if you will promise to stop drooping.
I promise to skip the polyester pants if you will make an effort to remain somewhat shapely (at least in Spanx).
I promise to appreciate the fact that there are muscles under all those lumps and bumps, and will do my best to find them once in a while, either on a hiking trail, a bike, or a long walk. But not running.
I will try harder to watch what I eat if you will forgive the occasional Double-Double at In-N-Out.
Take a moment to read these wonderful writers. You'll enjoy every last word.