Back in the day when I was young, I'm not a kid anymore but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again. . . . . (from the song Back in the Day by Ahmad)
A letter to my 18 year old self:
You just graduated from high school and have mixed emotions. You actually enjoyed school (mainly for the social aspect. . .even though you were really smart) but now that you've graduated things will start to change rapidly. Friendships you relied on will fade and your mom will increase your level of responsibility quite a bit. You'll be mad for a while and will think it's unfair but ultimately, it's the best thing she could have done for you.
SPOILER ALERT: You turn out pretty good- amazing even. . . .
But I would encourage you to be more present and stop forcing situations and people in your life that aren't meant to stay. Move on and don't waste your precious time. I should probably tell you to focus more on your education but if I don't know if there will be a butterfly effect and you end up not meeting your husband, which would be tragic because he's pretty awesome. And you might not have your children, they are pretty awesome too.
So, just enjoy your journey, be patient and stop being so hard on yourself! Your self esteem will take a hit in your early 20's but just get back up and next time remember to bob and weave. . .bob and weave. Don't regret anything that you experience because it is all helping you to be the person you will ultimately become.. . .and I told you: she's amazing!
Love you to infinity and beyond,
(When you see Toy Story you'll get it)
(This post is part of the HTXAAB September blogging challenge)
So today is National Writing Date Day. . .I can dig it. Why not make EVERY day of the year a holiday.? Nothing wrong with celebrating something magical everyday.
And writing, is pretty magical. Words have the power to excite, entice and entertain. They can make you feel happy, sad or mad. Sometimes you will even LOL or ROTFL! You can also be inspired or informed. I aim to do at least one or all of the above when I weave words together in a story.
I'm currently writing my new novel due out in December. When I'm in my zone, I'm totally transported into the story and the words just flow naturally. When I'm not in my zone, it feels forced so I step away and come back when I'm feeling more inspired. Writing is like a old friend who's always there when you need them and no matter how much time you spend a part, writing welcomes you back with open arms.
I don't know what I would do if I didn't have writing as an outlet. It makes my heart sing. It's my superpower.
I took a ten day road trip with my family from Texas to California and we all made it back in one piece! More importantly we were all still sane and liked each other! We went to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and San Diego.
It was a really good trip, sometimes exhausting and HOT other times relaxing and indulgent. But most importantly I feel it brought me even closer to my husband and children. I also learned three really important life lessons:
1. All relationships should be built on trust. I mean the kind of trust that makes you feel like you could put your life in another persons hands and they won't kill you. This epiphany came to me while I gripped the door handle as my husband scaled a narrow highway in our rental van, which wrapped around a mountain with no guard rails. Several times I thought we were going to plummet to our death but turns out my husband cares about me and our kids too much to let that happen. So the next time we had to traverse a mountain I held on and took a deep breath and trusted that my husband would get us safely to the other side. I also prayed and asked God to keep an eye out as well. Hey, a little prayer never hurt nobody.
2. Sometimes you have to let go of fear. . .especially if you want to survive or have fun. The San Diego Zoo is like 100 miles wide/long if you walk the entire thing. (I'm sure I'm exaggerating a little.) The best way to get around is to take the zoo bus or the Skyfari Aerial Tram across the zoo to save some walking time. But here's the deal, this open air, swinging car is 170 feet above the ground. I am NOT a fan of trams, ferris wheels or anything that moves slowly and rocks back and forth 170 feet above the ground! But it saves you some serious foot time and the view is pretty amazing. After giving my family strict instructions NOT to rock the car, I stepped in and gave my feet a rest. I even managed to take a picture or two.
3. Patience is a virtue. We clocked over 4000 miles round trip and well over 36 hours total time in the van. There was absolutely no use in being in a hurry or being impatient. I went with the flow and just enjoyed the views and even jumped in the back seat to watch a movie with my kids a couple of times. The thing that helped when I found myself on the verge of losing my sanity is letting one simple thought entire my mind: This could be it. This could be my last time ever taking a road trip, my last time ever in Arizona or my last time spending this kind of time with my children. So, I soaked in every second and tried to memorize every moment because I know without a doubt some day I will wish for that time again.
One of the things most creative people have in common is that we have a very sensitive nature. And sometimes that sensitivity can transform into self doubt. We question whether or not we are worthy or even capable. It's especially hard when there are certain expectations from your audience. Creating anything is such a personal experience for an artist whether you're a writer, singer, dancer, sculptor, etc. You create something and if people don't like it, the first thing you think is they don't like YOU. But when you create something you have to disconnect yourself from it (much like cutting an umbilical cord) and allow people to experience it in their own way. What you create will NOT be for everyone but it will touch someone and even it if just one person "gets it", that makes it all worthwhile.
I wrote this post on my blog, Phenomenal Mama back in 2013. It bears reposting a million times:
Bucket lists have become very popular over the past decade. . .you know, creating a list of things you want to do or try before “kicking the bucket”, a rather colorful euphemism for dying. Most of the time the lists contain extravagant things like fly first class to Paris. Or death-defying things (how ironic) like jumping from an airplane. And pretty ordinary things like take a road trip to Grand Canyon.
Well, what about striving to do things in your every day life that will make it more meaningful? I mean the Eiffel Tower is amazing (I’ve been there!) but don’t spend so much of your life trying to check really big things off your list and miss out on doing some of the simple things that could mean even more:
Don’t Die Without. . . .
. . .loving yourself unconditionally
. . .forgiving yourself for every mistake
. . .forgiving someone else
. . .telling someone you love them
. . .expressing gratitude to God, your parents, your family, your friends, your dog and the mailman
. . .taking responsibility
. . . standing up for yourself and someone else
. . .making liars out of all the naysayers and critics
. . .having a friend who will erase all your emails and text messages when you’re gone
. . .learning to tell a really good joke that people will pass on
. . .running through water sprinklers fully clothed
. . .blowing bubbles for little children
. . .hearing how an older couple met and fell in love
. . .dancing wildly around your living room and singing your favorite song to the top of your lungs
. . .spending an entire day only doing what YOU want to do
. . .taking photographs to document your life for those who come after you
. . .watching at least one sunset and one sunrise
. . .hearing a church choir sing Christmas carols
. . .donating food and clothing to those less fortunate
. . .living and being as present as you can in each moment!
©2013 PhenomenalMama.com (T.Momie)
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”