December 5, 2014 prompt: what is the sound of your own voice?
I hear it all day, every minute. Rapid fire, comma infested run-on sentences peppered with notes to myself, as if I’ll remember them once I’m in a place to write them down. My voice is almost always talking at me; storylines and dialogue that I think should go into one of the countless books that I’ve written over and over but still sit in the ether. Replays of conversations. Echoes of promises broken. Memories of assurances kept.
The voice I hear in my head doesn’t sound like the voice I hear in recordings. It’s deeper, richer. Sexier. It’s the voice I’d like to have, not the one that actually ekes from my mouth when I try to express what’s going on in my mind. It’s wise and reassuring, and tires to hush some of the words that swim around when I think of myself—those nasty, horrible, hating words that have burrowed deep and continue to claw. As if a sexier, slower delivery will take the edge off the sting.
It goes silent, my voice, when I sit down to type. The buzzing doesn’t stop but it’s as if the voice is holding a grudge against my fingers, and it wanes from a wallop to a whisper to nothing the longer I sit and stare at the screen. The words, the scenes, the plots; they’re all there, fighting for room, ready for the dam to break.
December 6, 2014 prompt: Despite our usually sunny dispositions and dedication to the practice of “assuming positive intent,” we all occasionally find ourselves having to deal with an incredibly unpleasant individual. While I’m sure you always handle it with the tact and finesse for which you’ve become so well known, I’m going to ask you to step outside yourself for just a moment. Think back to such a situation: if the gloves were off, how you really would have liked to have dealt with them? Prompt courtesy of Brad, aka GeekinHard.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Those are my thoughts in a nutshell.
I suck at dealing with unpleasant individuals. I’ve been told I don’t lie well—that my face gives me away—and the people who’ve said that are probably right. I hate confrontation, and I despise making other people feel uncomfortable. I suck it up, bury it, eat my feelings, get all passive aggressive, and even avoid people just because I don’t feel that “dealing” with them will do anything than make us both crazy.
Would I go back and change situations from this past year? The right answer is probably yes, but that’s not my answer. As distasteful as some moments were, and as heartbroken as I’ve been, I still think that things happen for a reason. I usually don’t understand the reason, but there’s a lesson there that I’m supposed to learn.
December 7, 2014 prompt: Please post your favourite picture of yourself from 2014, self-portrait or otherwise!
Day 8, 2014 prompt: The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected to the things and the people that matter the most to us. We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside. How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year? Prompt courtesy of Jen Allen.
I don’t feel like I did a good job sustaining or nurturing connections this year. I think that’s because in my day to day, I’m often solo, or just with my kids. It’s an odd and wonderful thing, working from home; if I don’t make a conscious effort, I can go days—weeks, even—without actually engaging in true conversation with anyone. Sure, I communicate with people online, but that’s just not the same as looking into someone’s eyes as we talk, sharing a meal or hearing them laugh. Reading those three little letters—LOL—is a poor substitute for seeing someone’s face turn red with delight, seeing their nose scrunch up, and hearing them snort when they can no longer catch their breath from laughing.
When I look back over the year, however, I realize that I need to give myself a little bit of grace here. I did nurture connections that were important to me: I shared meals and movies and concerts and wine with my best friends. I shared stories and helped create a safe, accepting place for others to do the same with Listen To Your Mother. I traveled to Austin and took some much needed downtime, thanks to the generosity and hospitality of one of my oldest friends, and while I was there had a lovely dinner with a friend I rarely get to see. I went to Chicago and caught up with another dear friend, and I traveled back and forth to visit my dad and stepmom a time or two.
When it comes to “things,” though, I wasn’t quite so successful. I find that my connection to things that nurture me—yoga, walking, morning pages, and time to get my hands inky—is what I neglect when I’m out of sorts. It doesn’t make much sense logically, though it’s what happens; if I’m tired, sad, angry or busy, I disregard the things that will pull me out of my funk. It’s a vicious cycle, but it can be broken if I make the effort, find the time, and walk my talk.