Now that Christmas this year is a memory, I want to talk about my incredible haul. I got physical gifts, like a Welsh football jersey (Wrexham) and lots of Christmas cookies. I also got a pair of pink men’s lounge pants that are so me they hurt….. I’m a sucker for anything in size “real men wear pink.” It makes sense. I am generally a butch cut, femme color sort of girl.
I also got a spiritual gift I needed. It wasn’t wrapped, and it was so bright my eyes couldn’t take it in at first. I talked on my web site about possibly making a character out of Jonna and Tony Mendez, a composite for any of my novels, maybe the alternate history. After I finished writing the entry, I thought, “I should probably ask her if this is okay before I start writing any scenes.” So, she got back to me and said that anything I did that nodded to them was fine, just to give them good intentions and a bit of courage.
When the response came, I was just dumbstruck. I thought, “how does she know I’m not going to make a disaster out of this?” At that point, my confidence came back. I’ve seen Jonna speak live. I wrote about it. I sent it to her. She already likes the way you write about her. My soul began to take up more space as the warm memory wrapped itself around me.
The big physical gift ask for me was a Moleskine, because I thought I was so smart by keeping everything in my phone. So, I’d go into a grocery store and see notebooks for sale and pass them up, because “I put that stuff on my phone.” I looked through my phone to check the validity of that statement and I found exactly three notes.
Taking this class at BYU over YouTube is changing me. I need to be able to write an idea down, because all of the sudden I have the confidence to believe in it as currency. I have never had that before. I am going to get a Bluetooth tag for my Moleskine because I poured my heart into a college lined and I have no doubt that one day it’s going to end up on a podcast because I left it in an airplane 20 years ago. In any case, I am sure that I have amused and horrified tens of people. Trying to think of when it was…. definitely the Kathleen years. I remember feeling like I’d burgled myself, and I had.
The Moleskine also represents forward thinking. I’ve been a blogger all my life. I didn’t need to plan ahead. Think it, say it works fine in blogging, but not other forms of writing.
I create plots and characters independently of each other. Ideas for them come at random times. I thought I would be the sort of person that would say things like, “Siri, open Notepad.” Turns out, I have been that person three times.
The rest of the time I was searching for a piece of paper. This one even has elastic to hold a pencil. It’s a 7-in, the same size as a basic Kindle. I am hoping it will last me a long time, because this is not for outlines. It’s to keep one-liners from all my projects no matter what they are. Think of it as a five-year supply of post-it notes all stuck together and you’ll see why I’m humiliated that I can’t keep everything digital. I have been around and around this.
Here is my use case.
I do not drive. I walk or ride public transportation. I do my best thinking while mobile, so having a notebook is essential for those lightning bolt moments, because that idea is not coming back. I know what it’s like to lose the potential of a million dollars because of my own stupidity. I’m done.
Christmas has also been talking with Daniel and trying to plan out what we want to do re: content. He’s a combat vet (Hospital Corpsmen Second Class, US Navy) whose job was triage in Afghanistan. If he had been civilian trained, he’d be a nurse practictioner by now. That’s a doctor in my book. Where I come in is possibly a published conversation, perhaps even a podcast, on PTSD and recovery.
Daniel is also an alcoholic, getting ready for rehab at the beginning of the new year. Just a fascinating patient history on both sides, really. Going through treatment for alchoholism and going through treatment for being bipolar are strikingly similar, and I ‘m thinking we’re going to have a good time. I have already started calling him “DW” because those are his actual initials, and I have been making sure to sound like a little aardvark boy annoyed with his sister every time it comes out of my mouth, too. The thing that I love about working with DW is that he’s so open and honest. Everything that goes around, comes around. We’re having great discussions so far.
I said, “can I give you a piece of advice for rehab that helped me in regular therapy?” He said, “please do.” I said, “say the thing you’re most afraid to say first. Don’t say, ‘I’m going to change my life in 90 days’ and wait til day 85 to break down.” I could only be that confident after having admitted to myself the thing I was most afraid to say. Every day, I challenge myself to say something that scares me. Generally, the scariest things are letting go of relationships that no longer serve me.
My attention is shifting in a very good way. I’m enjoying being around people who get me, focusing on the ones who show up and casting shadow on those who didn’t bother. Stopping the tape inside me that always says to search for the lost lamb, because it’s not a lost lamb. It’s a human capable of making their own decisions, and I don’t have to agree with them. Maybe I’ll end up being right. Maybe I won’t. It never mattered. I spent time on people who didn’t want to be in my circle, and I want to stop now. It is not time for a search and rescue.
It is winter, the time to gather around, hold each other, and wait for more light.