Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I wish I were a kid again...

One of the great things about being a kid, a young kid, is that, in most cases, you're free to be exactly who you are. Good personality traits or bad, you hold nothing back. As you grow older, you begin to temper those traits to conform with what's acceptable. Sometimes it's a necessity - belting out every answer in math class as a show tune certainly isn't acceptable. And sometimes, it's our peers who decide what's 'cool' or not. We start to section off little pieces of ourselves and bury them, deep down inside our soul, so that we fit in. So that we look like we belong. So that we're normal.

What we don't realize is by doing that we're stunting the person we authentically are. We're taking our creativity and stuffing it into a pre-formed mold, hoping beyond hope that we can still reach the artistic pieces of ourselves on command. But the years go by and as adults, we're discouraged from being who we truly are by spouses and kids and jobs and life. And one day we look around and wonder, "How did I get here? Who is this person? This isn't me."

For decades, I tamped down the me I knew I was whenever something I did was met with disapproval, real or imagined. That's all it took to break any defiant streak I had. Disapproval and judgement. A scoff, a word, a look. I towed the line, rarely defying the confines of what was acceptable. But every once in a while, a spark would flare, and that person I remembered from childhood would shout loudly enough for me to hear. And I'd take a chance, risk the condemnation, and go for it. And I'd be happy.

I've reached the point in my life where I recognize the inner conflict I deal with on a continuous basis is rooted in the 'real me/me I have become' dichotomy. I don't like it anymore (not that I ever really did). I'm tired of being the person everyone else thinks I should be; the person everyone else expects me to be. The person I expect me to be.

So I'm letting go of the filaments that bind me. Tearing down the walls I've built. Digging deep to rescue the little girl who once viewed life in a completely different light than I do now. Because if I don't do this now, I'm afraid I never will. It won't be easy. It won't be something that I can do overnight, or in a day, or in a week, month, even a year. It took a long time for me to get where I am and it will take a fair amount to get me to where I want to be. But I'm determined to get there. Because I liked that girl I was. I liked her a lot.

The question is, will everyone else?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

On a personal note...

If you've read any of my prior blog posts, you may have noticed a theme. This has not been the best year for me. I've been off my game, out of sorts, and waayy behind on my projects. My life has been a pain in the ass, figuratively speaking. More to the point, it's been a pain in the back. Literally.

It began in March of this year as just another backache, a little more severe than usual, lasting a couple of days longer than one of my typical backaches, but nothing I was too worried about. By April, the pain was constant, and building rapidly. Along came May and by then, I could barely walk. Time to see a chiropractor. I found a good the best one and started making weekly visits. While he helped return certain areas back to normal, there was little headway to be made on one particular spot. An X-ray later and the culprit was revealed. My scoliosis had twisted its way out of control.

What's scoliosis? you ask. It's a curvature of the spine that occurs more often in girls than in boys. (Google it if you don't believe me.) I was diagnosed with an 'S' curve when I was fourteen, and to be honest, except for a twinge now and then, I never gave it any thought. My mistake. For while I spent the past 34 years in happy ignorance over the state of my back, my spine was executing a great rendition of a geometric angle.

The chiropractor recommended I see an orthopedic surgeon, who in turn referred me to the Spine Clinic. It's never a good thing when you're referred to the 'Spine Clinic' (or maybe it is, there's no doubt what they specialize in.) More X-rays and the verdict is in. I get to have my spine straightened.

"We can rebuild her...we have the technology...we'll make her faster...stronger..." wait - that's The Bionic Man. Oh well, I'll settle for the extra inch of height that I'm likely to gain after the surgery. And less pain in my back.

So, the next few months aren't going to be fun ones for me. Due to the pain levels I'm dealing with at present, I've cancelled all remaining signings for this year. And since I have no idea how long it will take me to recover, it's not looking promising that I'll be signing anywhere next year, either. At least not in the first half of the year. But that's okay. I have my own event to plan - Pages in the Caves anyone? - and many, many books to write. Several that I know a few people are impatient to get their hands on.

In the meantime, I'll putter along, whistling a happy tune and trusting that all of this will turn out okay.

Later, dudes...