If you don’t know by now, I am releasing a book of poetic memoirs written between late 2005 to 2011(ish).I’ll cut to the chase; that’s why my Instagram feed is exploding with quotes from my collection. I’m sure it’s making some of you crazy, and I’m sure you wonder what the hell I am up to, but we all do things for ourselves sometimes, and this is for me…so I’m going to share it. You can unfollow me if it drives you too nutty, because I am going to keep doing it. Just like people keep adding me to Lula Roe groups and eyelash events. (We all have our thing.)
When I was young, I wrote. I wrote down whatever was in my chest. I often thought I’d be a songwriter, like Piper Perabo in Coyote Ugly. I liked to make things rhyme and explain them in a whimsical way. The older I got, the more I realized that the song writing game wasn’t too big in Millersburg, Ohio, and I wasn’t exactly the best musician. I stopped writing in verse and started writing in lines. I guess you could call it poetry, but I don’t really know. There are so many rules in this writing world that I often find myself contradicting myself, and I think that is something that started when I was young. Whatever it was, I wrote it, and I wrote everything down. Every day. I saved all the notebooks I filled, except for one that I burnt because it was too painful. Maybe I regret that decision now, or maybe that was the most therapeutic thing I could have done for my nineteen year old self.
The older I got, the more interested I became in stories, and I often pulled from my short little blurbs in notebooks and added them into the novels I later self-published. You can see a lot of the early stuff in Every Pane of Glass, there’s more “me” in that book than I’d like to admit…except for the murderous part. Yikes.
So why am I telling you all this, when I posted a blog post not too long ago, basically explaining the same thing?
Because now you’re going to read them (if you want) and I’m scared to death.
So don’t release them then, right?
Here’s the deal, I have something to share and I am going to share it, but that doesn’t make it any easier. This is like giving you a diary of the person I used to be and letting you see me. All of me. I might as well chapter the sections after the names of people that these shorts are about…but don’t worry, I am not going to “out” anyone that way. Just know…there’s a lot of truth in these pages because I don’t believe in editing this for the sake of keeping anyone safe. The point of this collection is to prove what it’s like to get through the hardest part of anyone’s life, the part where you grow up.
Everyone has a hard time and struggles at some point with their decisions, their future, their past, and where they are standing. Some of us struggle young, others have a mid life crisis. I’m glad I struggled when I was younger, because I really think my fifties are going to be exceptional someday…I’ve got big plans.
The point is, this “collection” is to remind you to keep breathing. Breathe when it hurts. Breath when you don’t need to. Life will still go on around you, and you’ll be living on the other side.
I titled this post Tangerine because one of my favorite pieces in One HUndred Breaths Later is called just that. It’s probably the closest to my heart and one of the first pieces I selected for this collection. I grew up letting love in with no problems. There were no walls, and I welcomed love with open arms. That can sometimes be foolish. You trust too much when you’re young and open, and that usually wounds you more than someone who is closed off. Tangerine is the color you get when you mix different variants of red and yellow. Or yellow and red. Either way is fine. It’s a color that explodes in your face, yet didn’t exist until two things met and made it happen. Kind of like the people you meet in life. Someone will come along and pull a color out of you that you didn’t know existed, and even if they leave, you have the color to remind you of something that you would have never known, had they not entered your life.
I don’t expect you all to get a kick out of these words. I don’t expect everyone to understand their meanings or love them as much as me, but go easy on me. For those of us who are brave and bold enough to chase down our passions, I commend you. To those of you painting, selling items you’ve made, creating families, traveling, trying something new, changing majors, changing genders, divorcing, falling in love for the first time, falling in love again, climbing mountains, running races, attaining personal goals, and for those of you living…I commend you. It is hard business remembering to breathe when so many things in this world threaten to take our breaths away. For me, words give me the ability to keep breathing. You don’t have to understand that, just as I may not understand what you do to keep breathing, but the kicker is…
You’re still breathing.