*****Because it's a deadline day for me, you get something I wrote a while ago and just never found the "right" day to push publish on it. It might still not be the perfect timing, but I have a back log of things I've written and never published, so on a day like today, when my focus needs to be my deadline, you'll get something from the past.*****
Sometimes it's hard to be a writer.
It's hard because the people living in your real life have thin skin.
Whether it's there or not, they often read themselves into your stories or essays.
I suppose everyone is always a part of my story. Even my imaginary people come from somewhere. In my mind they wear the nose of this person and the singular distinctive mannerism of that one. They might share a verbal catch phrase or a career choice.
But you are not them and they are not you. My characters are simply my creations.
My essays are my thoughts and feelings, spewed out for all the world to validate or destroy. It might be something that makes you prickle, it might apply directly to your life, it might feel like truth to your heart, but unless I told you so, I didn't write it specifically for you or to you or about you. If it hits you hard like that, then maybe it's something about yourself that you already know and don't want to know.
And if it slaps you in the face, maybe, just maybe, it's cause I wrote it well.
Your thin skin can't continue to censor my words. I can't be both a careful Christian don't rock the boat politically correct good girl and still tell the tales and spin the stories of the characters that live in my mind. Not because I want to rock your boat or fly in the face of my Christianity but because my characters don't live where I do.
Just like my characters are not you, they are not me either. My essays might have been written simply because it was interesting to me or because I thought it would provoke conversations or change a perception. Maybe I wrote it because I like a challenge.
I do like challenges. I'm learning that about myself. It is unexpected but I like it. I guess I have a deeply hidden competitive streak or maybe it's just a long lost pent up pile of sick of being told I don't have what it takes. Maybe it's something off in me, but somewhere in my 20's I decided that the world didn't get to win in my life. I'd use my attitude and my determination and my hard work and whatever else I needed to do the things that had to be done, to do the work it took to be the person I needed to be.
I still feel that way. I have little patience for anything else.
I guess it really is pride. I am proud of the fact that I make the hard choices when I need to. I do the hard things, the hard work when it's time to do it. And I'm not pointing my finger at you or your life. That's your business and if this is salt in a wound, see the above paragraphs.
So I cash in my sleep hours for hours spent putting words together and caring for people that I love deeply. I take the phone calls and take the social hours so I can listen. And I make those choices on purpose. I make the long drives and drop the dollars because it's what I do. It's a part of the make up of who I am.
There is great comfort in knowing who you are, accepting it and working with it.