Monthly Archives: March 2013

the problem with conviction

The internet has been a tiring place to be this week.  All the Facebook profile pictures turned red in support of marriage equality, while you’d think would warm my heart (and sorta do), also make it so I need to spend an extra second reading the name of the person before I know who’s speaking.  I’ve mostly stayed away, but in the times that I’ve come on for other reasons I’ve gotten glimpses of the goings-on from both sides.  Here’s what’s coming up for me.

1.  I’ve said it before, and I don’t know if I can say it any better than this guy in his piece “Why I support Same Sex Marriage as a Civil Right But Not as a Strategy to Achieve Structural Change” so please go read that and then come back.

–when you do, Start here–Of course I think people should be able to marry each other if they have the same sets of genitals, and I’m convinced that will happen in the very near future. What concerns me is how much of our attention and effort goes to this issue when there are equally, if not more, damaging things happening to folks, and not just the queer ones, every day.  Can I get a promise that once marriage equality is universally adopted in this country that we’re going to give just as much attention to the homelessness and suicide rates of queer youth (and again, that’s just one thing)?  I worry that many (not all) of the folks who have donned red in support of marriage equality have been lulled into believing that when this fight is over that everything will be right with the world.  <–it won’t.  It’ll probably help, but it’s not all there is to do.

familyfamilyfamilybatman2. And for those who are expanding the conversation beyond the logistics of marriage and talking about the concept of family, where are all the other “families” represented in this dialogue?

This batman meme is hilarious, but is missing representations of polyamorous families, people who choose not to have children, folks who don’t identify as being on either of the two spectrums in the gender binary and are instead somewhere in between, and a whole host of options I’m sure I can’t even think up…

I’d like to challenge us all (me included) to apply the “equality” theme in our hearts to everyone… even the people and the issues they’ll bring up that we don’t even know about yet.

3. If someone else hasn’t brought it onto your radar yet, let me introduce you to the term “slacktavism.”  It’s fun.  It feels good (the activity, not the word per se).  It promotes a feeling of hrcredlogocommunity/belonging/unity.  It’s incredibly dangerous.  Pink ribbons don’t cure breast cancer (ps, prevention IS the cure.  stop looking for another one).  National _____ Days don’t either.  These are fundraising tools.  Which is great.  Fundraising is important.  But, to escape the slacktivist trap there are two requirements: one–give money/time/effort, and two–give it to someone who is using it for something purposeful and effective.  Don the red, or pink, or blue, or any other color in the spectrum… and then back it up with action.

4. Just one more thing.  In fairness to Rick Warren, this quote has been repurposed multiple times now.  He first said it in conversations about Christian/Muslim relations, then it was used to rationalize the whole Chick-Fil-A, and now it’s popping up again… and it rubs me the wrong way (not the quote itself, but the intent of the folks who are using it to defend their stance on marriage equality).

rickwarren

Just over a week ago my beloved (who is also a woman if you haven’t heard) and I were driving back to LA from the Bay Area when we got hungry at exactly the wrong time on I-5 (the time when there is NOTHING for miles).  We found a little Mexican place to stop at 20 miles down the highway and decided on it as our destination.  We got out of the car in the parking lot and exchanged a squeeze and a smooch (I didn’t even cop a feel like I usually do, read: every chance I get) before approaching the tiny restaurant.  As we crossed the parking lot we saw the woman inside turn the sign from OPEN to CLOSED and lock the door.  We were shocked and horrified…  we were starving, and it was only 8 o’clock, and we’re from Los Angeles… we are not used to this!  Thinking nothing more of it than that we got back in the car and whipped out our iPhones to start looking for other options.  After deciding on something else we hit the road again.  As we were leaving the parking lot two other cars pulled in and in my rearview mirror I saw the sign turn from CLOSED back to OPEN, the door unlock, and a the newly arriving heteronormative families entering and ordering from the counter.

Uh-what? And there it was…  gay-bash (I use the term very, very loosely) number two.  The second time that someone’s perceived awareness of my relationship (and they were right, I do have deliciously marvelous sex with a woman who I am deeply in love with) caused them to treat me differently (this was the first time).

And here’s where I see a problem with the “conviction” argument.  It is certainly the right of every being to have their own beliefs.  We are all going to, and it’s impossible to regulate that anyway so let’s not try…  but when those beliefs result in actions that are labeled “conviction” and those actions result in someone being denied access, rights, privilege, etc… that’s a problem.

Believe that my intimate relationship is wrong–fine.

Think I am an abomination–fine.

Be convinced I’m going to hell–fine.

Fear that my influence will harm your children–fine.

There are probably all sorts of judgmental things I can (and do) say or think about you and your life… but that wouldn’t help anything either.  I could post a negative Yelp review and try and drive business away from you because of my experience, but that won’t make you love and accept me any more than you do now.

Sticking by your convictions means that if you believe it’s wrong to be gay, you don’t have to identify as gay… if you believe that gay people shouldn’t get married, you don’t have to get gay-married, but you don’t get to stop me from being it or doing it.  AND, once you’re a public entity (as in, a business that serves the public) you don’t get to treat me any differently from anyone else.  If you must, you can tell your kids not to accept what they see in me as an acceptable truth.  You can put up a poster that advertises your beliefs up in your restaurant and I can choose whether or not that makes me too uncomfortable to eat there… BUT you don’t get to claim that your rights to your beliefs as a private person translate into your convictions as a business owner (politician, lawmaker, etc) making it okay to deny me anything.

Boiled down to the essence, the problem with the conviction argument is that it’s ineffective.  You denying me a burrito because I’m gay didn’t make me any less gay.

It just made me hungry.

pen & paper

I’m coming off a big week of feeling shitty and not knowing anything else to do about it but take better care of myself (which, as it turns out, IS the only thing to do about it) and am left, even as I put myself back together with loving kindness, feeling pretty overwhelmed.

This whole adventure in my head started when I began trying to push myself to do and be more than I already am and realized that I am already living right up against my edge (which, again–as it turns out, is exactly where to live if growth is the goal).  This new knowledge of the precariousness of my perch feels somewhat intimidating especially because I do want more than what I am experiencing right at this moment.  So, I decided that I needed to do an inventory.  The last time I did this it was glorious.  There was a spreadsheet, with categories, and color coding, and due dates, and sorts by priority rankings… ah… gorgeousness.  And when it was done, my life worked.

Tonight I tried to repeat it again.  I’m itching to start a new project, but want to do so carefully as not to go tumbling off the proverbial edge and I expected that an inventory and prioritization exercise would get me the information I needed to proceed safely.  If I could see how to shave off a few hours here or a task or two there I would feel confident moving forward.  I cleared the spreadsheet of the old tasks (victoriously, as they had all been completed) and began again.  Only this time I didn’t have anything to fit into the categories…  Last time I did this my mental list was bogged down with errands, financial management,  parenting, and health tasks.  So much so that I needed to make a category for love and spirit too.

Everything that’s on my mental list now is in the “work” category.  A book to write, a blog to promote, a bio to compose, a website to finesse, a brand identity to form, a workshop to build, and it goes on and on.

And then I thought, “now, this is different.”  And then asked “what do I do now?”

And the answer was “whatever you want.  just remember to take care of yourself first.”

And now instead of feeling overwhelmed, it all seems perfectly clear.  I don’t need a spreadsheet to help me manage any of these things.  The basics of my life are taken care of: I set reminders and calendar appointments for myself that keep food in the fridge and clean clothes in the drawers, my bills are paid, and my emails are read and filed… I’m not actually overwhelmed by my life.  My life works–well.

do this.  do anything else.

do this. be able to do anything else.

So I have a new to-do list.  And this one isn’t going to ding! when it needs my attention.  I wrote it down with pen on paper and am going to fold it up and tuck it in my bra (because I usually wear dresses and few have pockets) and look at it several times a day until the reminders on it become as natural as the other systems I’ve designed to manage my life.

Because once I can do these things… I can do anything.

no blog tonight

I’m not going to blog tonight because I’m going to bed as soon as I get my laundry out of the dryer… so instead of reading my musings on self love or mindfulness, enjoy some of my favorite blog spam comments instead:

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spam, glorious spam!

spam, glorious spam!

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Happy Wednesday and early bedtimes, lovely folks.

xo

being limited

This weekend I went on a quick trip to San Francisco.  Left early Friday morning and got home even earlier on Sunday morning after a Saturday evening departure.  I got to visit with a long lost family member who turned out to be a similar path of intentionally living a life that she loves and wants (which was amazing) and I got to be constantly challenged (which, while also amazing in some ways, was exhausting).

I was challenged by the main purpose of the trip.  To attend a freedomcommunity Symposium, and surrounding events.

Where to start… What is Freedomcommunity?  First, there is no definition… which is the kind of mystique that begins concerns about whether it is a cult or something equally unpalatable.  There is no definition because everyone gets to have their own definition.  I hear people call it a chosen family.  I hear people call it an idea.  I hear people call it a group.  I hear people say it is everyone and no one.  I, when asked, essentially say that it’s a group of folks (who I was introduced to by my beloved) who are dedicated to a level of consciousness, communication, and mindful acceptance of all that I don’t see as highly concentrated in one place in my day to day life.  It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but it is something that celebrates every moment, even the uncomfortable ones.  I don’t know if I am or I am in freedomcommunity, but I don’t have to know or also get to decide either way at any given moment (that’s the freedom part, to me).

The symposium weekend kicked off with a welcome dinner and gathering at an FCers home.  As my beloved joyously reconnected with folks who had seen her through dark times I was introduced to them and found many made more direct and lengthy eye contact and gave hugs that last several moments longer than most eye contact and hugs I get outside of my emotionally intimate relationships.  And that was pretty awesome.  Then there was more of the same from folks that she and I were both meeting for the first time.  And that felt incredibly welcoming.

trees in berkeley from the last time i was in the bay area (because i didn't take pictures this time)

trees in berkeley from the last time i was in the bay area (because i didn’t take pictures this time)

And then it started to get dark out.  And more people came.  And it got louder.  And it got warmer.  And my glasses started to get foggy.  And I couldn’t hear, get comfortable, or see… and I was pushed past my limit.  Apparently, in order to have a good time, I have to be able to hear, see, and be physically comfortable.  But instead of just seeing and saying that and going home, I tried to push against it… I tried to challenge myself to see that this was different from the other parties I had gone to and loathed.  These people were safe, and I was allowed to be and feel whatever I was feeling… and for some reason that was supposed to be enough to get me past my very real sensorial preferences.  It didn’t work, and I was eventually on the front porch in tears, completely overstimulated and feeling deeply ashamed about my inability to connect deeply when presented the opportunity.

The next day was the actual symposium and we spent about six hours in a university classroom listening to impassioned speakers explain that we’re all (literally) made of stardust, give us tools to maintain a sattvic mind, explore the way we communicate with and listen to each other, ask us to examine our privileges, and encourage us to know ourselves as revolutionaries.  The speakers were great, the chairs were comfortable enough, beloved and I had snacks…  but my inner critic was still present and making herself known.  In any moment where I wasn’t fully loving the speaker or the opportunity to be there I was judging myself.  When given a prompt to spend ten minutes connecting with someone I hadn’t yet spoken to that weekend, I went to the bathroom instead.  It had gotten too hot and loud again.

There were a few hours in the middle of the day where I liked myself enough to enjoy and appreciate what I was experiencing but by the end I was quite far from the celebratory bliss I saw on the faces of so many others.  I had been pushed past my limit of comfort and connection, only instead of getting too little… I got too much.

The next day when I found myself at a baby shower with several people I know, am comfortable with, and really enjoy and not wanting to talk to anyone I knew that something was really effecting me.  I drowned those feelings in corn chips and the cheese tray and forced myself to be social and believe I was having a good time.  It worked, I started to remember that I actually do like people and connection (phew)!

This morning, crying to my best friend about how I was feeling it was revealed that I was ashamed of my own limits.  I cried because I can’t function if I’m hot, can’t hear, and can’t see (what am I, a toddler?).  I cried because there was opportunity to connect and I didn’t take it (do I not believe that love is the answer after all?).  I cried because there was opportunity for joy and gratitude and I didn’t feel it (I wasted time being triggered instead).  I cried because I didn’t want to gaze into the willing eyes of every person in the room (because I’m not as open as I like to think I am?).  I cried because I am sensitive and it feels like it gets in the way (of everything.  all.  the.  time).

I cried most of all because I don’t want to try and be any other way…  I have been working so hard the last couple years to find and be my best self.  And I am her.  And she’s not perfect.  And her “imperfections” don’t permit me to thrive and enjoy in every single environment… but they have flip sides that enhance my life in numerous ways.  I am happy with who, what, and where I am right now.  I don’t want anything more.  I don’t want to push myself any further than where I am right now and I felt badly about that (until I started to realize that where I am right now is already constantly evolving).  I also felt badly that being me didn’t result in me having the perceived elation I saw other people having all around me (until I remembered that comparison is not a helpful tool).

My intention for this weekend was to feel out the freedomcommunity experience… so I would have more information about what it is (at least for me) and how to incorporate it into my life (or not).  And even though I was clear in that intention–and fulfilled it, some other part of me had a more romanticized hope… that I’d lavish in the hugs and conversations… that I’d know emotional intimacy within moments of meeting people… that I’d feel instantly comfortable to be completely myself.

And that hope wasn’t fulfilled, because freedomcommunity does invite me to be fully myself…  and myself can be, and was this weekend, sensitive, shy, hesitant to reveal all of what I am, desperately wanting of love and approval, easily overwhelmed, expecting of perfection from herself, constantly self examining, and always pushing for more–and I’m not always comfortable with her.

I often sit down to write something that I’m almost through processing and by the time I get to this point in the composition I’m feeling a sense of completion.  Not quite this time… I’m still just almost there.  I’m starting to appreciate the experience for what it was: an opportunity to experience a facet of myself that I need to know about, a intention that I acted on, an entre in an abundance of potential experiences that I can access or invite into my life at any time.

But fading shame has left lingering shadows of fear…  I’m afraid that by acknowledging I have limits, that I’ll be limited.  I’m afraid that saying I’ve reached a place where I’m happy to be who and where I am that means I will stop growing.  I’m afraid that this proclamation of accessed self-ness is actually denial and a refusal to look and find an unknown that might be even more frightening than what I already know I’m afraid of.  I’m afraid that refusing to challenge myself further right now will prevent me from experiencing deeper meaning in life.  I’m afraid to say all of this out loud and show how much fear and shame I sometimes still experience.  I’m afraid to let myself be seen by people who I was hiding from all weekend so they wouldn’t know how difficult this was for me.

But I’ve said it before… when I really want to avoid writing about something, that’s usually the thing I need to write about.  And out it comes…

Home Run!

This afternoon at the baseball diamond down the street from my apartment I sat on the bleachers trying to decide which was worse:

a. the other parents seeing my tears because I needed my sunglasses on top of my head to hide my bad hair day or…

b. the other parents seeing my bad hair day because I needed my sunglasses on my face to hide my tears

swing!I’m at my 5-year old son’s first “T-Ball Training Camp” and he’s doing exceptional well.  Not at T-Ball, scratch that, not just at T-Ball (because he’s also kicking ass at T-Ball)… he’s doing exceptionally well at all of the other parts too!  He’s making friends with new kids, he’s intently focused on the new skills he’s learning, he’s respecting the coaches with his attention and interest, he’s helping out other teammates with their gloves and helmets.

This from a kid who according to his kindergarten teachers:

  • “doesn’t listen”
  • “won’t keep his hands and feet to himself”
  • “doesn’t care”
  • “won’t pay attention”
  • “is obsessed with fighting (and guns and swords and death)”

It’s been a rough nine months.  In August, he started kindergarten at a time in his life when all of the change was finally too much for his little psyche to handle.  His father and I had split up, we had to moved to a new city, he was starting a new school and an entirely different academic environment…  and he wasn’t getting the connection he needed to thrive at school so he communicated his distress to all of us the best way he knew how: by being “difficult.”

And there were times when I judged him for it too.  I wondered what had “happened to my child” and “who this one was.”  I didn’t know how to cope with him in this new state any better than he did… but over time I started to remember that his needs are simple and go back to what I knew worked.  Connection.  When he feels connected, he is cooperative.  We he feels heard, he will listen.  When he feels loved, he loves back.  He is human, after all.

And with a focus on connection, we got our relationship back…  We’re still working on convincing the teachers at the school that it’s as simple as that.

Today, at the baseball diamond I saw the coach make a point of learning and remembering his name, of honoring his every contribution (and his weren’t the only ones… a gaggle of 4-5 year old boys has a lot to tell you about what they’re thinking), of squatting down to talk to him face to face, of inviting him to be a helper and giving him a role… from the very start.  And out there, on a bright, sunshiney day, in the middle of a grassy field, he had a great experience… from the very start.

And I cried tears of gratitude for this coach who knew, without me having to tell him, that connection is what we need to be successful.

Cut to: Us leaving the park and getting in the car where my son asks if we can go to Target to buy a new lego set because he “doesn’t have enough” and me responding, inspired, with a positive-encouraging-validating answer (that was no–because we needed to go home for dinner and bed) and him slumping into a groan of “I want to buy a new lego” over and over and over all the way home, up the stairs, and for another 20 minutes on the living room floor.

And, I’m eating carrots and a handful of chocolate chips for dinner tonight.

You can’t win ’em all!

be yourself, unless she sucks, then be yourself anyway

Several days ago a friend posted a link to this article (about Mila Kunis & Jennifer Lawrence’s soaring popularity.  Note: I haven’t actually read the article so I’m making assumptions about what it’s about) on Facebook and highlighted this quote from the piece:

“You must be gorgeous but humble, smart but self-mocking, talented but awestruck by others with talent, young but wise beyond your years, perfect but anxious to admit your flaws to the world. And you’d better do it every second of every day.”

and I thought to myself, self, I think you’ve got that nailed (go you).  So then I commented on the post: I think I’ve got that nailed… (and then because I didn’t want anyone to know that I wasn’t kidding I added) when can I expect my check?

and no one “liked” it (aka, no one praised me for my cleverness or agreed that I was as perfect as the most perfect celebrity is expected to be).

Today, my Facebook "Like" analysis looks like the kind of person I want to be...

Today, my Facebook “Like” analysis looks like the kind of person I want to be… (click on the image for more about what that’s all about)

and a few days later (apparently still seeking praise) I mentioned it to my beloved who also didn’t praise me for my cleverness or validate my perfection .  Instead she shared with me that I may be missing some of the humble portion and I scoffed and made an adorable shock face  in response to mask my hurt (but not very effectively, luckily, so she caught it and we worked through it).

and it’s still sticking with me (not the hurt, but my initial reaction to the quote)…  I still feel like I hear myself described in it… at least other people around me have done so much before as a means of praising me.  I set myself apart from Jennifer and Mila by gaining a ton of weight in early adulthood that took me out of the movie star gorgeous category (that, and my hairy, stretch mark prone skin and big feet), and with that rationale for why I am not rich and famous I stand firmly by the belief that the quote describes me.

and that’s disturbing.

But not because of what you might think.  Let’s dissect:

  • gorgeous but humble–fine
  • smart but self-mocking–ok
  • talented but awestruck by others with talent–of course
  • young but wise beyond your years–right
  • perfect but anxious to admit your flaws to the world–yup
  • and you’d better do it every second of every day–(tires screeching to a halt) wait what?  no… that’s where it all starts to get a bit screwy.

I actually (and this is where the “not as humble as I think I am” comes in… but hell, at least I’m self reflective, eh?) think I see those first several items as a result of being myself.  So, they’re authentic… they’re okay… if that’s what shows up when I’m being me then so be it (and if that’s what America wants then may I sell many books)…

But that last one… that strips all the authenticity out of it.  For me, and for anyone else.  Because if by being my authentic self I end up being some or all of those things, fine… but if being my authentic self results in being gorgeous and boastful about it, simple and self celebrating, of average talent and closed off to the gifts of others, young and dumb or old and immature, or imperfect and eager to admit my flaws to the world (by the way, reading all those aloud also feels like I’m reading a description of myself… so there’s that) does that make me any less worthy of love and acceptance than anyone else?

It’s rhetorical, but: No.  It doesn’t.

And therein lies the problem.  The problem is not that we hold ourselves to what seem like impossible standards because of the conflicting nature of the most desired qualities (most of us are walking dichotomies anyway), the problem is that we hold ourselves (and others) to standards at all.

I want to be the person in the first quote, and it’s great that (I believe) a lot of that shows up when I’m being myself… what’s less great is trying to be that person when something else wants or needs to come out.  I have a version of myself that I want to be, and I don’t always get to be.  Sometimes I get to be the less attractive me and spend time learning from life through that lens.  If I expect anything other than to be who I am in any given moment, I’ll be disappointed.

The only thing we need to expect anyone to be (self included) is authentic.  It’s one of the most challenging things we can do; so if we’re going to praise and revere anyone for who or how they are… let’s praise those who choose to be themselves.

I feel better now.

my creative process

I have ideas throughout the week that I jot down on post-it notes or emails to myself.  I save texting myself for shopping lists.  Then on blogging days I go through the little notes and:

  • spend a few minutes trying to find a way to talk about all of them in a cohesive way
  • remember the few times I attempted that in the past and failed miserably
  • pick one, promising to come back to the rest
  • the blog gets written
  • I never come back to the rest

This week, I blew all my best material on Facebook status updates and Tweets already.  I’ve got nothing left.  Oh wait, no I do have one thing…

I had a pap smear this week.  When the broad shouldered, swaggering, low-voiced, female doctor with green stripes in her hair (she reminded me of Josie from Top Chef) asked me if I was taking birth control I said no.  Then she asked me if I was sexually active with a bit of a screwed up look on her face (that told me she was waiting for me to say yes so she could educate me about my options).  When I said yes, and then interrupted her next line with “with a woman.”  And then followed it up with “the BEST kind of birth control.”  Her reply was “OH YEAH!” followed by a hearty laugh, which cemented my suspicions about her inclination towards the fairer sex.

Then the procedure began and…  I felt nothing.  Seriously.  It was miraculous.  There was no uncomfortable pressure.  No pinching with the clicks of a speculum opening.  No cramping from the scraping of the collection wand.  Nothing.  The most traumatizing part of the visit was that, again, she reminded me of Josie from Top Chef.

And I couldn’t help but think that if anyone is going to know more about vaginas (and how to treat them nicely) than an OBGYN, it’s going to be a lesbian OBGYN.

And that was my only unused joke this week.  There you have it.

Mercury is in retrograde.  None of the photos I’ve taken in the last couple of days are coming out right.  My phone battery is draining faster than my bathtub.  I’m in an astrologically rationalized spaciness that could also be described as the crash post writing high from last week.  I stayed home and slept all day yesterday.

It was kind of awesome once I accepted it.

tea bag label

here’s a picture of a blurry tea bag label.

Accepting it.

first drafts are first drafts

It’s been a big week.  Two major things happened:

1. I went to a dinner party in Malibu.  And I’m talking the Malibu you expect based on the images in your head that have been placed there via television.  We were right on the ocean, the second floor balcony even hung over it!  The roar of the waves was so loud it was almost scary (who am I kidding, it was scary…).  The company was a crew of sex positive folks who refer to themselves as “Sex Geeks.”  There was a formal round of introductions at the dinner table before passing around kale salad, carrot miso soup with sesame, root vegetables galore, sangria…  It was so quintessential (what I had made up in my mind was) LA I am nearly convinced that I can move out of the city now.  I’m done.  Oh!  And we took home new sex toys as souvenirs.  Good times.

2. I started writing the book.  *gulp*

Yeah, “the book.”

“The book” (for reference) is a memoir of the year of my life when I wrote the blog at iwillwearsweatpantsinpublic.com.  It answers the question: can I transform my life?  with YES (I hope).

I know I said I started it several months ago (and I did).  I had a moment where I wanted to start writing so I sat down and spewed out a bunch of stuff in an evening and never went back to it.  This time, because I’m trying to get 2-4 sample chapters and a full book proposal written by March 14th (to submit it to a contest, only 10 more days…), I spewed on Monday, edited and spewed on Tuesday, and edited again on Wednesday.

In the end, I had written 8,887 words in 3 days.  I had a first draft of my first chapter.  I knew it was probably too long (most of my work is), but this google search helped me feel better about myself…

yahoo questions search results

how many words in an average chapter? how dare you even ask! there are no average word counts in making art!

I sent the draft off to the ladies in my creative workgroup and printed the 22 page packets as the long submission for my nonfiction writing class.  Then I walked around feeling quite happy with myself.

I got great feedback on Saturday in the creative workgroup meeting.  The women there are brilliant, experienced, and have discriminating taste… it’s a group I’m proud of belonging to.  They were honest.  They helped me see where I needed to go next.

Turns out, a first draft isn’t anything more than that.  The fantasy I have in my head that it will take only three days to write the ready for print version of a chapter in a memoir isn’t one that became reality.  What I wrote in those 8,887 words is what happened when my marriage ended for the final time… and that’s pretty much it.  Just “what happened.”  Not how I felt about it, or where I struggled, or why it’s an interesting starting moment to the journey that was the following year of my life.

I was grateful for the feedback, and eager to start writing again until I started to feel embarrassed.  Maybe I wrote what I wrote because that’s what I want to put out into the world.  Maybe I want people to know the version of the story where my ex made poor choices and I was all enlightened and compassionate and composed.  Maybe I want to be the shining star…  (and maybe that would make for a shitty book so maybe I don’t want to write a book at all anymore)

So, now I have 10 days to write 2-4 sample chapters and a full length book proposal AND decide that this book is only worth writing if I’m willing to let myself be seen on the pages.  The latter is the part that takes more time.