June 19, 2008 -
Now that the room has stopped spinning and sensation has returned to my face, I feel amazingly more refreshed than I did this same time yesterday. Perhaps all I needed was a few very strong drinks served by a gorgeous waiter at a bar that served a former life as a mortuary chapel. As you can see from the brief yet drunken statement below, I went to Chapel last night, to celebrate my friend Kami's promotion. Because of the traffic, I got there a little late and was gently encouraged to get caught up with my friends. I didn't even read the menu so have no idea what was in my pomegranate cocktail, other than the fact if someone had lit a match anywhere in my vicinity, I would have likely exploded in a glorious ball of flame. By the time I got out of there, I had three very strong drinks on an almost empty stomach. I had ordered the hummus almost as soon as I sat down, but the waiter neglected to put in the order until I reminded him one and a half drinks later. Having only had a rice cake since lunchtime, I probably should have been a little more mindful of how much I was drinking, but figured it wasn't every day that I can get completely wasted on just 3 $5 Happy Hour specials. Let's just say my Irish brethren would have been appalled to see how much of a lightweight I was last night.
Speaking of Irish brethren, I had this great email discourse with my sister yesterday. J has always been a huge supporter of me, as I am of her. I consider her my closest friend and ally in this world and am her biggest fan. She has achieved so much for someone who had a tendency to glue herself to her twin brother rather than venturing out on her own (that is until our much more outgoing brother ditched her for a game of pickup "insert elementary school playground sport-like activity here").
Yesterday, J and I got into a discussion about my writing. She had read my insomniac ramblings and decided that I should really have a column in Cosmo entitled "Sleepless in Seattle" and be the real-life "Carrie whatever her name is" (J was married throughout the whole Sex and the City craze and never watched the show as she felt she couldn't relate). I said something about "how cool would that be" and she proceeded to tell me that if I wanted to do it, I shouldn't let anything or anyone stop me. Her exact words were far more profound:
"If you would love it...pursue it and stop running away from what makes you happy! Women are always looking for a commentator who says it real...the inside voice that we hide. You really could do well and I totally support your pursuance of it...Please remember that you are talented and that you can be a commodity all your own as your own rock star writer or artist."
I do get what J is saying. As a female, I believe I was taught I couldn't do anything that could potentially paint me in a bad light; I needed to always be aware of how it - how I - looked to the outside world. Our mom has often told us that she doesn't understand my sister and I, why we do the things we do and how can we do them without thinking through potential consequences (in spite of the fact we are both high-performing individuals who have experienced much success in life and rarely fail at our endeavors).
My grandmother tells me almost every single time I speak with her that she doesn't understand how "Mike's Kids" (my dad) can think nothing of flying here and there, all over the world like we are just running down to the corner store. When they make those comments, I don't know that it is so much criticism as maybe more of an acknowledgment that this this is a very different world from the one in which both of them grew up. It also demonstrates the kind of influences we had growing up. Ironically, if it wasn't for the contradictory influence from my father - the "adventurous one" in the family - J and I would probably both be living the Happy Housewife routine, only getting on a plane once every two years to take the kids to Disney World! Truly not my cup of tea, but props to those who do it because being a mother has to be the toughest job there is.
And when it comes to my writing, I oftentimes feel it is contrived and superficial. My friend once told me that I should worry less about eloquence and more about making a connection to the reader. Again, that wasn't intended as criticism but rather encouragement to look deep within myself and find that nexus between my mind and my soul and express that in written form.
For years, I've had ideas floating around in my head for novels, but I haven't been able to find it within myself to really pull those out of my head and to put them down on paper. That is why I started this blog in the first place - call it practice. A place where I can go and force whatever words and free-flowing ideas are rolling around in my head, out to the universe. I am fully aware that I tend to hold back any sort of artistic inclination that I have - and have a dozen theories as to why I do that - but we'd be here all day if I went into it now. The best I can do is to keep plugging away at it and hope that eventual genius will strike and I will be unstoppable. Until then, I have to believe in my abilities and not let negative energy inhibit those creative talents.OK - enough practice for one day. I must heed the call of the Advil bottle and a big glass of water to ward off the hangover demons.