Some people hate it when you say, "I love my life". They give you a look, as if they really want to tell you, "Shut up. Please. Just shut up. No one wants to hear about how happy you are."
But, alas, it's true. Call it the winter of my content, but I'm neck-deep in giggle-inducing bliss. And it feels so good. Long overdue. Well deserved. I'm living the life I dreamed of (I know, I know - so cheesy), and each time I count my blessings, I lose count at one thousand. Or, at least until something distracts me and captures my attention.
And, then there's you - whoever you are. For some reason, you found yourself on this page, reading about me and my life. Maybe intrigue brought you here. Maybe you're bored at work and really want me to entertain you somehow. Maybe you've heard some awesome rumor about me (be careul, I might have started it myself) and you're hoping to prove it's true (it probably isn't - I'm much more boring than I appear). Whatever the reason, I'm glad you're here. In my line of work (wow - that sounds sort of pious and official), readers are everything. Without them, I'm nothing. Well...not exactly nothing...but my words would be unread. And I really want them to live on.
With the risk of making the readers of this blog entry sickened by sweetness, I will say that for many years, my life was heavy with drama, uncertainty, bruised ego, damaged self-esteem. I was stuck in a quicksand of shit (all of which was self-induced - I was/am an adult. I made choices no one forced me to make, etc.) and it really felt neverending. I was plagued by negative energy - it stalked me with an obsession. My ambition really was blind. I couldn't see beyond my own needs, wants, desires, schemes, strategies, self-absorbtion. I felt entitled. I was/am creative and talented and damn it, the world should take notice.
I turned 40 last September and with that milestone came the clarity that you hear about (from the Gospel of Oprah) but don't really believe it exists. Well, it does. I get it now.
2010 was a crucial year for me. Call it a breakaway, but I did just that. In late May, I took a leap of faith and dove head first into a sea of the unknown. There have only been a few times in my life when I felt I was truly "on my own" (cue song from Fame - see video below - it's a song from the soundtrack of my life) - one being the last couple of months I lived in Europe (yes, THAT long ago) and the other being the year I spent living in The Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. I think both of those experiences - in many ways - prepared me for this newly discovered lust for life. I feel like I'm waking up for an incredibly long hybernation, wiping the sleep from my eyes, and discovering the world (or at least my sliver of it) for the very first time.
What in the hell has taken me so long? Well, as they say (whoever they are), everything happens for a reason. In my case, this has been proven to be true time and time again. Once I started surrounding myself with positive energy, it was ah-mazing how much my life changed. I wish I could offer you "before" and "after" snapshots of my life, but why depress you or make you hate me more (yes...it's true...I have some haters..they know who they are...and to them, I say "Go with God"). Just be happy for me that I finally made it to a point in my life where everything feels right. I pinch myself - and it hurts - but I do it to remind myself, "Damn, you really have come a long way." Then, I jump back and kiss myself. Um...just kidding.
Don't be fooled. Don't try this at home. I make it look easy, but I worked my ass off to shove my size ten-and-a-half foot in the door and now that I've got it wedged in, I'm not going anywhere. Take heed. You ain't seen nothin', yet. I won't be happy until I set the literary world on fire - or at least fan some wicked, hot flames.
Be warned. My ambition and creative fuel have never been more charged.
I've made so many sacrifices to make it to this point and blah, blah, BLAH. I don't want to sound more self-important than the other shameless self-promoting artist/blog writer who lives just a click away. I don't want to try to convince you that I'm the next great thing (because the Caramel Brulee Latte already exists). But, just know, I really have given up a lot to have the life I have now - but I did it to accomplish, see, live, experience, achieve my creative heart's desire. No regrets.
Okay, okay... I won't lie...of course I have regrets, but I'm not sharing them here. Are you crazy? Well...at least not in this entry.
So, I could offer you a blow-by-blow recount of 2010, but do you really want to know every crazy, sexy, cool thing I did last year? I think not. But the highlights are insisting on some glory. I published a novel for teens, and who knew it would turn out to be one of the most important things I've ever written? My plays were performed in a lot of cool venues by amazing artists (seeing Sky Lines off-Broadway was a powerful moment for me). I left California and returned to Georgia (I bet no one saw that one coming. It's okay. I didn't either). I fell in love with a man from New Mexico and he gave up the desert for a life with me in the South. I landed the most incredible job I've ever had (sugar alert: I really am one of those people who wakes up each morning and gets to go to work and do something I absolutely love to do). I wrote some of my best work (all coming your way in 2011, including two novels that I'm so freakin' proud of). I met some of the most inspiring people I've ever known. I learned to appreciate the little things - including the beautiful moments that, no matter how hard you try, can't be relived or recaptured because they refuse to be anything else but free.
And, my wonderful reader, that is how I feel: liberated.
The year ahead is full of promises that new, bigger dreams will be realized and I will let them loose to make some beautiful noise in this world. I hope, wherever you are, you can hear it. For so long, I wasn't listening. Now, I hear each note with pure clarity.
And the sound of it all is as sweet and beautiful, just as I imagined.
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