On Being brave, even if alone.

It’s been a long 5 days. Probably the longest of my life. It feels that way when every step is truly going to effect the rest of my life. A few of our close mutual friends have… not been calling, let’s say. Their silence has been challenging. I know that it’s probably not easy – these friends all have daughters – to empathize with my ‘marital struggles’ when they see a man who has lost access to his child. Fair. It’s not an easy pill to swallow.

I spoke to a social worker today who said that with ‘guys like this’ who blame and rage, it truly takes the anguish of being away from their family to take responsibility.

And about me – she said I’m doing good, I’m doing good things for my family, but I need to stop worrying about whether he does this or that. Need to stop being co-dependant and that I should go to Al-Anon. (Funny how the alcohol piece is coming back into play again, as it is still part of the cycle, and a big part of the accepting vs. not accepting behaviour).

I did what I did because enough was enough. And even though the results have been really severe and harsh, I feel like anything short of this would have caused harm to our daughter. She can’t be at the other of end of his tirades, she can’t and she won’t be now – because I have protected her.

*deep breath* It’s what I’ve been trying to do for such a long time. Separate from the marriage, the love, the relationship.

Before the incident I had called my mother-in-law crying my face off, driving in the car, feeling suicidal because I felt I had no choice but to live with his abuse forever. I wanted to die. It blows my mind, but that’s exactly what it feels like being stuck to a psychologically, emotionally abusive man who is the father of your precious child. There is no where to run, no where to hide – and no way to stand up and say stop – well, almost no way.

Today my MIL sent me an email that said ‘to know you is to love you’ and told me I was not a ‘mamma bear’ but a ‘mamma swan’…. with a picture of a swan protecting her baby. Her ongoing faith in me is like medicine for the parts in me that have been cracked and need to heal. She knows me, she knows him, she knows that good could come of this and he had to stop raging.

There’s something about standing on one’s own two feet that is so new and so strange to me. Just standing.

Not running. Not orbitting. Not escaping. Just standing firm and tall.

I feel my own goodness inside, warm and familiar – I have missed it. This relationship was from day 1 an act of furious self-forgetting. I wanted this life he offered me, this new world where the real me was like a small crumb that could be cast aside in favour of a fabulous but faux romantic union. We were the couple to beat…. so in love.

But I’m back. And I’ve missed me. A lot! I kind of like me actually!

I have this strange faith today, growing with every hour – that karma and light and justice might show up for me if I show up for them.

I may walk this path alone, but I am ok. I am so much MORE OKAY now. And doing the right thing feels so damn good, if really, really hard… still so good.

Ok.. enough of this serious. I leave you with the defence I’m planning against all evils coming my way:

(Think it’ll work??)  

Xo,

Georgey

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Today, literary agent and lawyer

I’ve just left from my semi-annual catch up with my agent. We’ve been at this for years, trying to get my book to market. 

“I don’t want to get you $1000 from a small press, I want to get you something big, random house, penguin…. I want your daughter to be like Tolkien’s kids, you know what I mean? We’re investing now to make a difference 50 years from now.” 

Um, ok. You had me at Tolkien. 

The editor he’s brought today has done a fresh read and we put her on the spot for feedback. 

She clears her throat, starts slow, refers to ways to beef up the opening scene. 

We probe. My agent, Sam, has read the book 13 times now! He needs her fresh perspective. 

“When did you really start liking her…. When did you really get what was going on….?” 

He goes to get another coffee and I ask the editor if she’d recommend the book to a friend. 

“Yeah… I really liked it…” 

Not convincing. But then we get talking again and the feeling is there – it’s at 90% (again) and needs a few changes. Move some things around. 

Sam calls himself a map maker. I think he means map puzzle maker, no? Moving around geography until we have the correct lay of the land. Authentic. Legitimate. Larger than life. A new world that’s never existed before. 

He wants me to drop some of the storytelling framework scenes and try a draft that’s more chronological. 

My heart sinks. 

Again? Bah. 

“Don’t be disheartened ….It’s not that bad.” He says and proceeds to explain the simplicity of the key changes. 

Raise the stakes. We want a brilliant literary debut. 

Ok Sam. 

We end the meeting on a promising note – it feels possible, and close. He wants me to start the book with a break up. 

“Break our hearts,” he says, genuinely. 

I get it. And he has no idea how poised I am to write that opening scene. 

We say goodbye and I go to the car feeling like everything is unfolding as it should. 

I write 1000 words of heartbreaking before leaving the parking lot. 

Now onto the lawyer appointment. 

What’s gotten into me? I feel like…. Me?! 

We must love ourselves, and be ourselves, because we are the only ones that know ourselves! 

Xo 

g

Lowered expectations 

  
Oh dear. It’s happening. 

The years are going by and I’m working out less, caring less, losing steam. 

I’m not giving enough fucks. 

What to do? 

The picture above puts it perfectly — you reach a certain point (“midlife”?) and feel like you want to stop climbing. You just want to put your heavy bags down and camp out where you are. Screw the climb – there is TV to be watched and chocolate to be eaten. 

Part of this pity party is the acknowledgement that I will probably never be able to make a living as a fiction writer. 

There, I said it. 

It’s not a realistic career path. I’ve always known this. But admitting that I’m going to live my whole life and not do what I love to do – makes me want to give up. 

Gosh this year has just been one negative nelly moment after another. I think my job (“awesome” corporate gig in luxury hospitality!) depresses me by being so highly unfulfilling. Sorry if that’s bratty. 

Gah. 

  

Let’s do this, universe. 

In the past 3 months I’ve been to New York, San Fransisco, Palo Alto, and North Carolina. I’ve stayed at the most luxurious of of hotels and eaten at the best restaurants. I’ve made expensive decisions and pulled off massive plans and presentations. I’ve kicked ass and…and been spoiled, at least in theory.

Yeah.

So…. I’m pretty ready to walk away from all of it, to tell you the truth.

Lastnight I got home from another business trip and my daughter gave me this bracelet for Mother’s Day. “Star, star, flower,” she said, “star, star, heart.” Because they’ve been working on patterns at school, and she was proud.

beaded-bracelet-pink-orange-kids-gift

I miss her absurdly. Too absorbed by work.

I miss me.

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this way before – as if life was testing me. I feel like I’ve been on a vision quest, clearing away some psychological garbage to make way for a brand new life. Most of it has come to light through a job that very well could have eclipsed my writing dreams with its glamour and luxury globe-trotting opportunities — but you know what? It hasn’t.

My life as an author is calling. And I’m really not into ‘the finer things’ ALL the time. I prefer the full spectrum of things. With the finer things some of the time, for sure!

Oh – I feel like something just clicked right now actually.

I’ve never stepped away from something wonderful before.

Working in luxury hospitality is wonderful. Storytelling for an amazing brand is super cool. And I’ve got lots of ‘power’ to make decisions. My voice is heard. My voice is wanted – finally. But still, as wonderful as it is in theory, it’s just not fulfilling for me. Like, at all.

I used to always yearn for some perfect job in the hopes that it could quell some of my pipe dreams. Writer? C’mon – lousy pay, unlikely future. What are the chances? That cynicism in my psyche was holding me back. Live so large? Nah. Live my dream? How dare I even.

Being tested

But the past 9 months have been test after test, and most of them are tests of my integrity and strength… and vision.

What are you made of, girl? What if you could have this shiny cool thing instead of this other thing you think you want that will be more work for less apparent reward? 

Plus the strength of character tests….

Will I be able to handle it when its hard? Will I have a voice? Will I feel paranoid when people are saying things behind my back? Will I be intimidated by the people who are smarter and snobbier than me? Do I really, really want to be a lowly fiction writer when I could be traveling the world as a high-powered corporate executive?

Yes.

I can handle it, yes I will have a voice, and sometimes yeah, I might get intimidated – and that’s ok. Because I want it 110% more than I want to succeed in marketing.

This has been my life at work – test after test, of my character and values.

It’s been bringing these strange issues to the forefront of my mind… and I’m certain that these are the themes of the years to come. They are questions for the people who are exposed and ‘out there’ as opposed to hiding, anonymous mouse in the corner, too afraid to step out of my shell.

I am learning to be more comfortable with the real ME. I am slightly on the introverted side, more so when I’m nervous, and that my comfort zone is more bohemian than luxe. Doesn’t mean I’m not strong as a bull. Doesn’t mean I’m not street smart. Doesn’t mean I’m not a leader.

I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not always responsible, either. There are times when my mind carries me far, far, far away… into the depths of my imagination, and I can barely hear anything from the real world. At those times, I probably appear pretty passive, disengaged… not good things in the corporate world.  Doesn’t mean I’m not a valuable asset. Doesn’t mean I don’t care. But I’m not a type A – never will be.

I’m gonna do me
and be me
and stop the self flogging.

Yeah, there are people talking behind my back because in this industry everyone’s talking behind everyone’s back. And you know what? I don’t really care.

They’re not wrong…. I’m not as engaged in this job and this 9-5 life as I should be. And soon, someone who’s a better fit will come in and they’ll give they’re all, because they’ll want it 110%.

There is someone out there who’s dream is THIS. But my dream is something else.

I am so certain, so deep in my soul, that I was meant to be an author. 

I’ve been blessed with the most wonderful respectable job imaginable…. yet here I am, yearning to write everyday.

I haven’t been able to get comfortable in this job. I am constantly dealing with this internal struggle.

I just want my artistic freedom so badly it hurts.

I’m ready.

I JUST WANT MY WORDS TO BE READ – Let’s do this universe!

Im ready to take my spot on the bookshelf!