On the Bumblebee…

Day 4: Confession: I still haven’t done the exercise.

Between yesterday and today, it occured to me to wonder…

Do bumblebees have body issues?

I wonder if bumblebees heard often enough that they were not supposed to be able to fly, if fewer of them would even try.

Only so many fears can be faced in one day. That’s all I got today.

Nevertheless, she persisted…or whatever the actual quote from Watership Down is.

What. Do. You. Want?

Day 3: “‘Simple’ and ‘Easy’ are not the same thing.” – a friend of mine

It may not be the most famous scene from The Notebook, but it’s the one I’m most familiar with (mostly from memes—the funniest one went something like “when you ask your girl where she wants to eat”): It’s the one where Noah (Ryan Gosling) asks Allie (Rachel McAdams) over and over “what do you want?” while she just shakes her head and says “it’s not that simple.”

I cannot believe I opened with a Nicholas Sparks example. Oh well…it’s funny and it’s true.

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been trying to do two things at once (1. dream as big as possible 2. narrow/eliminated dreams based on a variety of criteria) that are not only incompatible with each other, but actually impossible.

So I feel very much like I am always having the Noah/Allie convo in my head…which is funny, when it’s not so depressing.

Ready for the tangent? Did you know a bumblebee should not be able to fly? According to whatever laws of physics and/or aerodynamics (or so I understand), it’s body is too big and it’s wings are too small.

Nevertheless, it does.

I have a habit of believing the impossible, which is not a bad habit, but not a terribly practical one either, when it comes to my own life. Believing the impossible CAN happen does not mean it WILL happen without some other things in place. In other words, it’s simple for me to believe that I can have/do anything I want; it’s not easy for me to know either what that is or how to get it.

I do know waiting around for my own ‘nevertheless’ isn’t going to work. So I keep flapping those wings.

May Day! Mayday!

Day 2: I am crazy, and/but my intentions are good.

These are both things that people continually tell me about myself, and that I continually believe, but depending on who says it and how, both can mean a variety of different things to me. The result has been a jumbled inner narrative that I can’t quite get sorted.

Kind of like having a holiday that hardly anyone celebrates (or even remembers anymore) mean the same thing as a distress call. Do you want flowers and dancing? Or an ambulance?

This is (sort of) going somewhere. Yesterday I mentioned the Do It Scared podcast by Ruth Soukup, and that episode1 [someday maybe I will link it here] outlines a four-step strategy that I had both heard before/instantly dismissed and considered in a new way.
Step 1 is Dream Big-everything that you would do if you had infinite resources.
Step 2 is Narrow that list to what you really want to do.

Here’s another fear of mine: admitting how I’ve screwed up. Not THAT I’ve screwed up, but HOW I have. I believe in and try to accept the grace I am offered, wherever it comes from, but I hate admitting that I didn’t think through the implications, i.e. forsee the mistake I was going to make, before I made it.

I realized it was actually IMPOSSIBLE (not just a fun thought experiment) to do Step 1 and Step 2 at the same time

I cannot dream as big as I want to dream, while simultaneously narrowing by what is possible/likely/really interesting to me. Instead I try to do it all and let things weed themselves out.

Just like my borderline perfectionist tendency to anticipate my own mistakes, this is shooting myself in the foot, at the very least.

So is believing that I am either crazy, well intentioned, or both, unless I know exactly what those things mean to me.

So is answering my earlier hypothetical question—would you prefer flowers and dancing or an ambulance?—with “both?” almost certainly what I would say on the spot, when, if I really thought about it, I’d probably infinitely prefer that no ambulances were involved in my May Day celebrations.

Do It Scared.

I recently got a notification email from Ruth Soukup founder of [A WHOLE BUNCH OF STUFF that I occasionally follow*] about her new podcast and upcoming book Do It Scared. I signed up to preview the first 3 episodes, and the podcast went live today. It’s on Itunes. This is me promoting it.**

I thought this was an idea I could get behind, because I am doing something I’m scared of literally every single day. In fact, I’m almost always doing several things that scare me, and as I listened to her first episode, I felt both encouraged and discouraged in some new and familiar ways.

First, the advice she gives, or the plan she maps out, is something I’ve heard (and tried) before, so my initial thought was this doesn’t work for me, but as I continued to listen, and (arguably more importantly) as I thought about the implications of what she had said, a new thought occurred to me.

I’ve relied too hard on a system to work for me, without really processing what that system meant for me, specifically.

There are a few other, almost certainly simpler ways for me to put this, but I’ll save them for tomorrow, or the next day…because the second thing I heard/learned that both encouraged and frightened me a little was this: She had no idea what she was doing when she started either.

That seems like a no-brainer (and it probably should be), but for some reason, that is a fear I do not have—starting from scratch. I realized the fear that has been holding me back the most is one I thought I had confronted a long time ago, but alas, is still with me (perhaps always will be)…but more on that later too.

For now, the Do It Scared Manifesto for litewings.ink is:
1. Blog until it’s not scary. yes…that means every day.
2. Hit publish and forget that you (I) don’t make sense.

I can feel the cold sweats already, ha!

*see, if I was a real blogger, I’d list all that stuff, but that would defeat the purpose of this exercise.
**I’m also scared of pretty much every form of social media, so I’m hoping in the future one of my scared activities will be delving into that.

This is Hard.

The most difficult part of telling a story is deciding where to begin.

“The beginning” is always a safe bet, unless you know how long my stories can be.

“Start Somewhere” is another bit of conventional wisdom that I often find just as baffling as it is helpful, until I remember that ‘here’ is ‘somewhere’ too.

So. Here it is. And it just so happens that Here feels like (yet another) beginning of sorts. Starting Over.

The most difficult part of starting over is remembering all the ways you screwed up the last (four or five) time(s) you began, and trying not to do that again. But screwing up is part of starting anything. It’s part of learning.

So, of all the stories I thought I would tell, it turns out the only cohesive one I’ve got right now is about how I’m trying to start over, trying to screw up, trying to NOT screw up (as much or again), and trying to be ok with a certain amount of screwing up. And it’s not much of a story.

This is hard.  Everything I’m starting, everything I’m remembering, doing my best and trying to give myself grace when my best is not good enough—it’s all hard.

I keep telling myself it will get easier. Some of it. Maybe all of it. Until then, this is what I’ve got.

 

Onward

Well, I’ve had it. My stroke of brilliance. I’ve had a few of them lately, but I’ve been waiting for the one that I would sit down and write about all at once. And when I reread it, I could not help but hit ‘publish.’

It’s occurred to me in these “mini-strokes” that I started a blog for all the wrong reasons. And a few of the right ones:

  1. Someone told me to.
  2. It was time.
  3. I was ready.
  4. I was in NO WAY READY at all.
  5. I needed a project.
  6. Another project was the very last thing I needed.
  7. I needed to succeed at something.
  8. I needed to fail. Again. Harder.

I could go on.

 

Here’s the important thing, though: I am going to go on. I haven’t deleted any of my previous posts. I’ve left them there…let them linger…taunting me. FIXIT!

I’ve been afraid to tell the truth, and I’ve been afraid to lie, but we have a lovely euphemism for that here in the South. It’s called ‘telling a story.’

I have heard it come out of my own mouth when children tell me something outrageous, like that a dinosaur ate their breakfast. I’ll say: ‘Is that true? I think you’re telling a story!”

Of course they are. It’s fun, and it’s funny. And that’s what I’m going to do. I’m a great storyteller—always have been.

Another great saying we have in the South to describe someone: “he/she’s a real CHARACTER.” This can be good or bad, depending on the context and the person.

Well, I’m adopting that one too. I am a character, and I have stories to tell. Only I had to figure out whose story to tell…

Mine, of course.

But I had to find it first.

 

What’s YOUR(MY) Problem?

All right, dammit,

*rolls up sleeves*

Reader 1: you wanted me to shit my thoughts on a blog? Here they come…

Everybody/Anybody else…? Well…NO! I will not run out of steam. I’m pretty much angry at all of you. Every Human Being On the Planet. And then some. And I’d be angry AT the planet, if that would do any good, but I’m too damn sensible…so people it is. ALL you motherfuckers.
And I spent purtneer (“pretty near” for those who don’t speak southern—just like it’s spelled) the whole damn weekend pissing off as many of you as I possibly could (or ignoring the ones I couldn’t) so that you’d leave me the hell alone, finally.

Boy, I am out of practice! I’ve gotten real freakin nice in my old age! I had to throwback 14 whole years to resurrect the kind of bitch I needed to be to piss people off good and proper…and I gotta admit…it felt pretty good. When does behaving badly not?

So…mad at me yet?

Cause this is usually where I drop the truth bomb: I’m not mad at you at all.

Not even a little.

I’m mad at me. Furious. Absolutely. Fucking. Incensed. But I won’t talk to me, hell, I won’t even look at me.
Remember that joke about how ‘I’m so [whatever], my imaginary friends won’t play with me?’ Except my imaginary freinds would LOVE to play with me; it’s my real self that’s being such a goddam bitch.

So I just got fed up with that and acted like a little kid who’s threatened by her bestie’s cool new neighbors: I just chased everybody else off. Cute.
I have one of the highest EQs (emotional intelligence, or empathy in short) of anyone I know, which I attribute almost entirely to reading since childhood (kids need books), how the FUCK is it possible that I, myself, am this emotionally immature?!?

So, I’m sorry, but a lot of this (blog) may have been bullshit…but that’s also probably why there hasn’t been that much of it…so at least there’s that.

Also I guess I’m going to have to start talking to myself, and that’s unlikely to be pleasant all the time (entertaining probably, but not real ‘nice.’), and will almost certainly be confusing as fuck.

FIIIIIINNE…

We’ll do it your(my) way.

 

 

 

A “Non-binary” Moment

This wasn’t what I planned for my second post, but one of those magical writing moments just happened, and since I now have a platform for sharing them, I thought, “well, just why the hell not?”

Magical writing moments look like this for me:

  1. I see something that moves me. no. something that shoves me, to an extreme emotion–anger or tears, or angry tears (as tonight). Happy emotions also apply but are not on my mind tonight.
  2.  I know what I want to say/have to say about it.
  3.  I am calm enough, somehow, to actually say it.

    Tonight I had the added benefit of being able to address the words and questions to the appropriate individual, because it’s someone I love and trust, and I did. But..

  4. I’m left feeling hungover because these words are not far enough away from me–they are out OF me, but they are not out IN THE WORLD where they need to be.

So here goes experiment #2, I guess:

The following is my Facebook comment in response to a friend’s post on non-binary gender identity. Without naming her or quoting her post, I need to list a few things she says for context:

  • she asks if switching the peels of an apple and banana will make them the opposite fruits (wrapping banana in apple peel and vice versa)
  • she asks what non-binary “even means” (I said I wouldn’t quote, but I find this necessary for emphasis and is not exactly a direct quote)
  • she calls it–the non-binary label, and, by implication at least, the idea–illogical

My response:

A binary is something with only two options: black white, right wrong. Non-binary then is simply the allowance of gray-area or relativism.
We all, whether we believe or admit it, live in non-binaries.
All it really is, my beautiful, faithfilled, loving friend, is the acknowledgement that there is no strict definition that covers every contingency.
In this case, and because this group of people has chosen this word to represent themselves, that there is not one thing that equals “woman” and one thing that equals “man.”

I (personally) fail to see how this is any different from saying there is one thing that equals beauty or love, or, let’s use your apples and bananas. How many varieties of just those two fruits are available at any grocery?

What really baffles me, however, and I say this to you in so much love my heart spills over, is why anyone else thinks it’s their business? Who cares how someone else identifies? Of what consequence is it? I say this to you specifically because I know how much love you have in your heart, [name]; I know-have seen and felt first hand-how you touch people. So I know, from you it isn’t a ignorance/intolerance/misunderstanding/fear of difference/hatred soup. And I genuinely want to know, and feel safe asking you, why does it matter?

First blog post

It’s true. This is my very first blog post.

And it was a pain in the ass.

I could make it a funny story—I’m good at that—what I haven’t mastered yet is the short funny story, so I’ll refrain. Besides, this was supposed to be an exercise for me, from which I learned, or rather, remembered something I have forgotten about myself, emerged victorious, and presented myself with this glorious knowledge wrapped in a beautiful bow.

Oh I learned. Remembered what an asshole I am to myself. And want to gift myself two black eyes—bows optional.

WordPress suggests I use this post to tell my readers (both of you) why I started this blog and what I plan to do with it, but since I really have gotten exactly this far, I’d like to point out that I didn’t choose the graphics, but I think they’re appropriate. I am tired of walking dark featureless roads and being uninterested in what I will find beyond the next curve. I want more sun and peace, more color, warmth, salt water, whatever.

And, damnit. If I have to start a new blog everyday to do it, I guess I will.

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