Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Everything is everything

When I was about twenty years old, I decided I liked Mickey Mouse.

"Character" clothing was popular at that time, at least in East Tennessee. I had a Mickey Mouse shirt and later I had a snazzy denim shirt with Mickey embroidered on the back and a jumper I got from the Disney Store. Sexy, I know. I was young and it was popular enough so it was okay.

Because of these unfortunate fashion choices, my then mother-in-law decided that I loved Mickey more than life itself and every subsequent gift she gave me for the rest of the time period in which she gave me gifts had to involve the mouse. Fortunately for all parties involved, we weren't married very long and I have a long-standing tradition of alienating in-laws by doing things like "existing" and "breathing" so these gifts were limited.

One day I mentioned that a Mickey Mouse shirt featuring "Cool" Mickey with a jazzy shirt, sunglasses, and some sort of ultra-modern 1990's skateboard, was something that I would personally not be caught dead in and my then mother-in-law looked at me, perplexed, and said, "But you love Mickey!"

Somehow, my three articles of clothing had translated into love. Forever, diabolical love.

It's not that I wasn't grateful for the gifts. I was. If someone thinks enough of me to purchase a gift for me (or thinks they will somehow shamed if they don't), I appreciate it. Honestly. I just felt like a Mickey Mouse t-shirt shouldn't somehow define me forever. I was only twenty. I liked other things too, lots of other things. There was a lot more of me to come.

Not long ago I confessed to a friend that I wish I had never written a book. She was pretty taken aback and I guess I was too, that I was able to admit that. It sounds so dumb written out, so selfish. I know there are many people (my friend included) who have always wanted to write a book. Who have always wanted that experience. I did too. I did more than anything. I didn't want what came along with it though, and I didn't know about any of that beforehand.

If you asked me what my biggest accomplishment in life has been thus far, I would say my children. Hands down. Probably everyone would say their children. I hope so anyway. I do believe, and always have, that I have something a little bit special with the two of them. Maybe every mom thinks that way. I really hope so, because it's pretty awesome. It's hard for me to admit this, but I'm pretty sure they are my best friends. I can't (won't) tell them everything, because I am their mother and it's my job above all to protect them. I can be myself around them, though. They appreciate who I am. They love me despite my failings. Even at nearly fifteen, they continue to think I'm the funniest person alive. I am most real when I am with them.

My second biggest accomplishment would be graduating college. I was the first one in my family to get a Bachelors degree and that means something, at least to me. I was thirty-one years old when I walked across the stage. I was thirty-one and I had two kids and a husband and a dog and full-time job. I was on the honor roll. I was proud. I'm still proud of that.

There are other things too. I'm proud of my marriage. It's not perfect, but it's really good. I'm very proud of my home and exceedingly proud of the low interest rate I got when I purchased the home. I'm proud of my job and proud of how hard I work. I'm proud of the fact that I get off my still-fat ass and walk, even when I don't feel like it, even when I don't see any change on the scale for six months, even though I'm still not a Super Model. I'm proud of my tenacity.

These are all accomplishments. Some days it is an accomplishment to get out of bed and face the day.

Writing a book is an accomplishment too. I recognize this. I'm proud of this.

It's not who I am though. It's just this thing.

I just like to write, so I wrote. Then I didn't like it anymore because people were brutal and mean. I mean, I still liked writing but I didn't like how I wasn't me anymore. I didn't like how I hurt, really hurt, when people said I sucked. I didn't like that writing wasn't fun anymore and didn't make me happy. Maybe I'm just not strong enough, and that's okay.  I'm only strong about some things. I'm still human and I still hurt.

It's just this thing. It's no more the embodiment of who I am than the fact that I'm a mother, than my sparkly pink iPhone case, that I'm a really great cook and even better wife, than the damn Mickey Mouse t-shirt.

It's just...this thing.

Some days I think about what I want to write next. Some days, I don't think about it at all. I have twelve great ideas in my head all the time. None of them involve writing about my own life. I'm not really sure at this point that I could take a great idea and make it come to fruition. I just don't know.

But it's okay. It doesn't matter. It's not everything. It's just one little, little thing.


perdido said...

I hate that snarky jealous haters made you feel this way. It's just so wrong. I know it's easier said than done, but you need to ignore those negative nellies and keep on letting your light shine even Picasso had his critics ;)

Heather {Desperately Seeking} said...

My book is done. It just needs edited and then either find a publisher or self-publish. But it's why it just sits there. I don't want people to be mean and it is about my life. I don't know why I think my blog and my book are different but no one's been mean on my blog yet. But I know there would be some backlash from the book. And those people don't matter. I KNOW this... but it's still preventing me from doing it.

But I'll tell you to GO FOR WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!!! :)

whether it's writing or not... :)