Category Archives: Write or Die

The Possible Underneath

We are struggling pretty hard these days. We get paid on Friday morning and by Friday morning we are broke (yea, you read that right). I am barely keeping the car company off my ass, and most nights I spend the wee hours of the morning hoping the loud pickup trucks ambling by are not tow trucks. Rent is paid late, but seriously who has $1500 on the first, ever?  I slowly pass by the almond butters, the salmons and the exotic fruits and veggies for the staples: peanut butter, fish sticks and iceberg lettuce (or frozen brocc). We are in the sweet spot of making too much on paper but making too little in the real world. It can be hard to dream under these circumstances, yes? Ah…but I manage.

Don’t get me wrong, we have joyous moments. We play board games with the kids (when we tie them down) or throw caution to the wind and rent an odd movie or two (The Oath is so random). We forget about bills, empty bank accounts and pickup trucks rolling by for stretches at a time. A slobbery smile from Cookie or an out of place dance move from The Girl or an absurd comment from The Boy peek under the blanket of stress, for a moment. And in the quiet moments, when the house is quiet and the only sound is stillness, I dream.

Possibility is a constant. It never fades. It is always there to be rummaged through. It is why I lose myself in the stillness and dream. I dream of writing. I dream of creating a space all my own. I dream of vacations. I dream of being better than Sir King. I dream of my children rolling their eyes at the mention of my books from a stranger/classmate/teacher. I dream of big oaks and a conversation with Madam O. I dream about me, the little green sprout, pushing through the cold, uncomfortable blanket of snow.

It is not impossible. Nothing is impossible. It feels like it. My God does it feel like it, but underneath all of this heavy, there is something…possible. No, this isn’t comfy. It affects the sight and the mind. It makes things appear so much different than it is making it hard to navigate. It is easy to get lost when everything is covered. But the minuscule, lush green beacon of light poking through the blinding white is a reminder that everything is possible….I just have to hang on and dig a little deeper. I have to rummage through the possible and grab something, anything, and try it on for size. There is nothing to lose but opportunities not seized.

~SM

Pride & Surprise

What moments and milestones make you most proud? How did God surprise you? (Grit & Virtue)

Every morning, I drag myself into the daycare with Cookie in tow. Eyes still filled with sleep and a silent begging to the lottery gods, I open the door and plant the baby on the floor. I hand over bottles and baby food and ready myself for the next leg of my morning journey. On these mornings, body still aching for the bed, Mrs. J greets us with a smile and asks the rudimentary questions any caregiver should ask. Unsure of how this one morning turned, we got on the topic of my job which then turned into a conversation about me being a writer which steered into the direction of her being a writer too. She wanted to write a book, but was unsure of where to start. A children’s book, go figure. If anyone could, she most definitely should. You have to be sent from God to deal with a room full of slobbering, snotting, crying, peeing/pooping little humans day in and day out. “Hm, I have something for you,” I said. The next morning, I handed her the last (hard) copy of my book. She beamed and said she would read it over the Christmas break and return it when we came back. I waved her off and told her to keep it. It was just collecting dust in a drawer anyway.

There are many moments when I am proud. I am proud of The Boy and all of his accomplishments on the field and his heart off it. I am proud of The Girl and her resourcefulness and her ability to sincerely care for others. I am proud of Young Gun fighting through grief and sadness and still look to the brighter side. I am proud of my parents for still grinding and still giving. I am proud of everyone in my life who does. The only person I am ever, hardly proud of…is me. But this morning, a break in the clouds came and a little warmth buzzed in my belly. This morning, I was proud.

Today was unlike any other. I shuffled into the room, Cookie in hand, ready to just crawl back into bed. “Today I have a purpose!” Mrs. J exclaimed through a broad, gap-toothed smile. For the last few weeks, she has been throwing quotes my way. They are mine. My words. She uses the book/journal as her daily devotional. This morning’s message was to go back to the point in your life when you were doing something that made you happy, really, really happy. She did. She found it was writing. She proceeded to tell me in a rush of words that Today I AM was a blessing. It has helped her so much thus far and she loved it. I sheepishly nodded and smiled. “Great! That was the point. If it helped just one person…” I said with a smile. I kissed Cookie and waved good-bye, smiling to myself just a bit. How ‘bout that.

To actually hold the book in my hands was amazing enough. I had done it. I had taken everything I had gone through over the course of these last four years and managed to make a work of art. I left it on the shelf (literally and figuratively) for the better part of the year due to extenuating circumstances, but in the 11th hour, she appeared again. God surprised me, alright. He not only allowed me to accomplish a major goal, but He made the broken pieces more meaningful than I could have ever imagined. And, yet, He didn’t stop there. He used it all to help someone else become a better them. I shouldn’t be surprised by what He does. But I am.

In the wise words of The Anchorman, I am a glass case of emotion. Just under the surface, there is pride, gratitude, and praise. I am proud of my abilities. I am grateful He chose to use me. I am dancing on the inside thanking Him for loving me enough to put so much greatness in such an unworthy package. Won’t He do?

~Today I HAVE purpose…SM

Happy Anniversary Sadie May!

Whelp…we made it. We made it through The Split, The Boy’s and The Girl’s antics. We made it through the confusion of Life and the possibility of New Love. We moved out of our old home and tipped our hats to good times. We had discussions about sweaty armpits and naked vaginas. We grew a little stronger as time passed. We learned that thinking too much is definitely not a good thing. It has been a fun, full ride. We made it.

A lot can happen in a year. It is safe to say not only did I manage to pack away a marriage, but I also opened myself up to love again. I managed to grow up a little and be okay with who I grew into. A lot can happen in 365 days.

Kay, a good running buddy of mine, suggested (well…pushed is more like it) I write in this arena. I am so glad she did. She said it would do me some good to get it all out. I can’t say she was wrong. I am pretty sure you don’t always want to hear about what goes on in my life. There are real life tragedies happening out there everyday. Reading about random things like what to wear on a first date or wearing The Boy’s deodorant is not exactly life changing. But just knowing that you stuck around to take a peek anyway means the world.

So, cheers to us because we made it! Here’s to another 365. Who knows what will happen next 😉

Yours Truly,

Sadie May

Writing. That’s It.

I went on a job interview yesterday. A simple job, yet a little different from where I am now. The tasks are basically the same. The money just a few dollars more and the hours are greater than the 20 I work presently. The interview went well. I spoke properly. I looked him in the eye. I shook his hand. I looked professional (afro included). As I said my good-byes and thank yous and headed out of the door, I knew it wouldn’t make me happy.

I went on a job interview yesterday. I need to make more money. I would like to move. I would like to save. I would like to send the kids to college and a part time paycheck just does not cut it–so….I went on an interview yesterday. But it isn’t what I want.

Not the job, per say. The job was neat. I would learn a few new skills, meet some new people, and perhaps add another 5+ year employer to my resume….but it isn’t what I want.

What I want is this. Right here. Right now. A desk. A phone. Converses on my feet. A cute shapeless dress on my body. A computer. A keyboard. And words. I want the creative license to just….be. I want words and enlightened thoughts spilling out onto blank pages. I want this.

When I told YG my thoughts on the interview yesterday, he fell silent for a moment and finally said, “Want to know what I see you doing? I see you writing. That’s it. Writing.” Me too. I see it too.

I went on an interview yesterday and by the amount of “Thank You for Your Resume Submission” emails I receive daily (due to my job applying marathons), I will likely go on more. I have to be realistic, right? We need to eat and bathe and live with lights. So, I will go on more interviews and apply for more jobs just as a cheating spouse would continue to go home and pretend to like their partner—all the while dreaming/loving/fantasizing about something (someone) else.

~SM

What The Heck Am I Suppose To Do With That???

Me. Meet Crossroads. Crossroads. Meet Me. I suppose this feeling of slightly lost could be attributed to the new year approaching, the Boy getting older, and the Girl’s new found teenage attitude. There is something brewing in this head/heart/soul of mine and I am uneasy with not being able to put a finger on what to do with it.

As a gift to myself, I purchased Act Like A Success by Steve Harvey. His explanation of the Gift is interesting and makes much sense, however, what is confusing about the Gift is how exactly one is to operate in the gift. I know my gift…the strongest one of them anyway…and it is writing. I can write with my eyes closed. I can write in my sleep. I could probably write standing on my head if my cleavage didn’t smother me first. I. Can. Write. It is my gift. Period. Score one for me (because I actually know that), but–err–what the hell am I suppose to do with it?

I sat at work and took about (5) internet quizzes on gift assessment. Know what all of them said? Artist. Duh. I knew that already. What each quiz failed to explain is what I was suppose to do with that knowledge. Young Gun said I should just have fun with it and explore, but (as I so cheerfully explained to him) I am almost 40…he is not even close so he can explore until his heart is content. My clock is ticking. Yes, yes, I know what some of you are probably thinking: there is no time limit on exploration. I got that. What there is a time limit on is operating in one’s gift and that (for me) is not up for debate.

I am annoyed by not knowing what to do with what was given. I feel like I have been given an engine to put together with no Chilton’s for reference. I suppose I will stop with the internet quizzes (as they are only telling me what I already know) and just continue to float until I get to the per-ordained destination. I am not chasing money. I am not chasing fame. I am not chasing tangible, external power stuff. I am chasing the unabashed freedom that operating fully in the Gift will give. Doesn’t that count for sun’tin?

~SM

NaNoWriMo: Blank Pages

Soooo…here’s the thing: I am a writer. I have a photo of me at the age of (3) sitting at our kitchen table with a pen in my mouth. I have always been a writer. I used to dream of being (2) things as a kid:  becoming Shelia E., and becoming a best selling children’s book author.

The Shelia E. dream was crushed when I had a shot at actually learning to play the drums in elementary school. The teacher gave the drum pads to the boys in the music class and I got the f***ing recorder. To this day I hate that instrument. I could have continued to push for the whole drum thing, but instead I took the recorder and made the boys (and the teacher) feel increasingly uncomfortable with the Omen “I hate you all” glares during class. Writing–how it disappeared, anyway–is a bit different.

I used to read and write all of the time. I wrote stories that were pretty awesome, actually. I loved Poe and Shakespeare. Stine and King. I lived for stories that went bump in the night. My writing reflected as much. I am unsure of where it went away, the writing. Perhaps it was when I detoured into marriage or motherhood. Maybe it just vanished when my imagination bowed out to reasonable thinking. Grown up stuff happened. Love, heartache, bad decisions (so much for the reasonable thinking), reality tv, drinking (wine is my friend–ok…might we pause here for a moment? I speak of drinking often, however, I would like it to be officially known that I am not a lush. I enjoy wine on Thursdays and the occasional beer if pizza is involved and, ok, a margarita if tacos are present, but outside of those moments, liquor and I are not friends. Just wanted to throw that out there–ok, let’s continue), sex (which is amazing btw…how come no one told me about that), bills and the rest of life most likely got in the way. Or perhaps, I got in my own stupid way. *sigh*

Every year NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) comes along and every year I make a point of joining in the fray. I create playlists for writing. I make space in my office (err–now my kitchen). I buy new spiral notebooks and pens. I pull out dictionaries and dust off thesauruses. I make room. And then…..blank pages. The story starts out fine but then it fizzles out and the blank pages stare. I stare. We stare together in a contest I know I won’t win. I always blink first.

This year I will attempt it again. This year I will make room again. This year I will try not to fail….again. If I could just write. If I could just get out of my own head and put pen to paper. If I could just go back. If I could just be that version of me again then maybe, just maybe, I can hold onto my gift. The Bible mentions something about that, you know. God, if you’re listening, I would like to have it back. I buried it. My mom told me not to, but you know how that goes….we never listen to those who know better. I want it back. I need it back. I have 50,000 words to write between November 1 & November 30. I can’t take the staring game with blank pages…I lose every time. I always blink first.

~SM