Identity Crisis

Daily Prompt  provided by Daily Post

The dreaded question…”So, what do you do?” The question that always seems to weasel itself into the conversation when you meet someone new. I hated that question even when I had a job. I had a pretty interesting job, but I still hated answering that question. Number 1: I know you’re just making small talk, and I hate small talk. I don’t like to talk just for the sake of talking. Silence suits me just fine, at least until there is something worth while to say or hear. Number 2: You probably wouldn’t know if I told you, and that leads to more questions that I don’t want to answer.

After 15 years with the same company, I was surprised with a layoff from my pretty interesting job that I was pretty darn good at but didn’t like very much. Finally! I could devote full time hours to my lifelong dream of becoming a published author. When asked, “So, what do you do?” I could proudly say, “I’m a writer.” I am now ready for the not so dreaded, dreaded question.

At my very next social outing that I really wanted to skip, I was ready for the dreaded question. When the question came…

“So, what do you do?”

“Well…” I paused with a dazed look I’m sure, while my mind quickly scripted how the conversation would go. If I say I’m a writer, the following questions will be where, what, how, for who? Oh, I’ve written a screenplay that hasn’t seen the light of day, quite a few short stories, poems but I’m not really a poet, and a blog with one post on it. Yeah, not saying any of that. “Well, I was laid off from my job at CNN a few months ago.” which led to more questions that I didn’t want to answer.

So, I would rather claim the pretty interesting job that I was pretty darn good at but didn’t like very much and was just laid off from than my dream. I underestimated some things. Wow.

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Eye Exam

Daily Prompt  provided by Daily Post

eye exam

Vision. Holding on to the pride that I have for my 20/20 vision which I knew didn’t really exist anymore, I put off getting an eye exam for as long as I possibly could. With coaxing from my husband whose prescription glasses render me legally blind, I made an appointment. My eyes are fine, but getting things checked out is what we do. Right? But at 40, I like being one of the only people my age without glasses or contacts. Although, a pair of cute glasses that I can take or leave might not be so bad.

After sitting behind the eye contraption, reading through the alphabet a few times, and getting my pupils wide open, I left somewhat satisfied that I have great eyesight for my age. I can read and see things at a regular distance perfectly. My issue lies in my vision at a distance. One of my eyes is a little weak and relies on the other to see clearly. This could cause my eyes to get tired. For driving long distances, I picked out a cute little pair of glasses that I can take or leave.

When I get tired of finding my path, I rely on You to strengthen my vision. I take You and never leave You. Shalom.

I AM A WRITER.

I AM A WRITER. My thoughts on paper are so much better than out of my mouth. The words don’t roll off of my tongue the same way they flow from my pen or tap onto my monitor. I often wonder whether my brain is connected to my pen instead of my mouth. The ear is not as forgiving as the page. My spoken words are few. It is difficult to edit what has been spoken.

I AM A WRITER. I tried to hide it, reject it, downplay it, but I am a writer. I am a writer because it is so hard that it is easy. Writing is so easy that it’s hard. So hard that it hurts. So easy that it hurts. But mostly, I hate that I love it so much. Every thread of my being whispers, screams, demands, fears, knows that I AM A WRITER.

 

“I would say if a man is going to write on chemistry, he learns chemistry. The same is true of Christianity. But to speak of the craft itself, I would not know how to advise a man how to write. It is a matter of talent and interest. I believe he must be strongly moved if he is to become a writer. Writing is like a ‘lust,’ or like ‘scratching when you itch.’ Writing comes as a result of a very strong impulse, and when it does come, I for one must get it out.” -C. S. Lewis
“The most defeatist thing I hear is, ‘I’m going to give it a couple of years.’ You can’t set a clock for yourself. If you do, you are not a writer. You should want it so badly that you don’t have a choice. You have to commit for the long haul. There’s no shame in being a starving artist. Get a day job, but don’t get too good at it. It will take you away from your writing.”                -Matthew Weiner
“No man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”-C. S. Lewis
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” -Stephen King
“Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand — but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.” -Zadie Smith
“When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”        –George Orwell
“Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost. Because it’s something to do to pass the time until she is old enough to experience the things she writes about.” –Nicole Krauss
“…I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.” – Gloria E. Anzaldúa
“Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.”                       –Mark Twain
“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.”
– Erica Jong

 

Just Two Pages

     A challenge of sorts. Just two pages. “Two pages about us,” he said. I’m so glad he did. I dabbled in expressing our relationship or my feelings for Lamont from time to time in a card or a poem. Despite putting us into words being an impossible feat, I want to try. It is time to try. It is time to write just two pages.

     Girls want to be pursued. I remember a few grade school pursuits with the boy practically begging, but needy has never been attractive. Funny how we see things so much clearer in hindsight 20/20 vision. I cut a number of relationships short, extremely short, because something just wasn’t quite right. What wasn’t quite right? I didn’t know. Just wasn’t. Now, I know that my soul knew that in some way or another the person needed me for something I was unwilling to give.

     Enter Lamont. The first encounter was organic, nothing felt forced. He simply wanted to know a little about me, and he was simply him. Time passed. His pursuit was different. I never got any inclination that he needed me, but there was always an occasional reminder that he was still interested. He wanted to know the truth about me, and I wanted to know the truth about him. I liked him. Like sounds simple enough, but I didn’t have that for many people. I care about so many people, but that is not the same as like. I liked liking him. I simply liked being with him, doing a little of nothing.

     He told me things, but I’m a watcher. I’ve always been a watcher, always looking for idiosyncrasies. Just like I do with anyone, I watched. No expectations, good or bad. I wasn’t looking for it, but suddenly, I saw it. I saw it behind crooked, tape repaired glasses. It made me smile. I liked it. I loved it. It slowly lit up as if it had its own dimmer switch and a thermostat set on warm. It wasn’t for me yet, but he let me see it. It was a pure passion that was so innocent, and at that moment, it had his undivided attention. How different my life would be if I had not recognized it when I saw it. I had never seen it quite this way before. It was an unbridled love for something other than self, and it was a gift placed in him by God. It didn’t need me. It was shining so brightly all on its own, but for the very first time, I felt in my heart that if he needed me to help it shine, I was undoubtedly willing. It was worth it. I finally caught a glimpse of something that was worth it, and then, he went away. But I never forgot what I saw.

Turn the page.

open book

     Lamont came back. I was glad to find he was still interested, but admittedly, I was afraid because I never forgot what I saw. A responsibility came with what I saw, and I was willing, but was I prepared to risk him not finding the same within me? With all of my flaws and shortcomings, would he see that one thing in me that he could value and want to see shine? I knew that I had what I had seen in him, but would he see it? Forget fear. It was worth the risk.

     I showed up, and I never left. Honestly, I never left. It was as natural as breathing. I liked him. I loved him. It was quite right. Yet, I never forgot what I saw. I liked what I saw. I loved what I saw.

     Lamont had all kinds of expectations placed on his life. I am so grateful that I was able to see what I saw before he became burdened down by the expectations of others and by the expectations he created for himself. He has encountered and continues to encounter many who see it. Some don’t know quite what to make of it, but they recognize it to be something special. Some want to control it for themselves or direct its light in the direction of their choosing. I never want to change that special gift that God has given him. I could never keep his gift to myself. I just want him to let it shine for all to see. Man cannot control such a gift. Ultimately, only God can determine how brightly his gifts should shine. Lamont’s gift does not need me. It is perfect already. God made it that way. I am blessed and honored that Lamont has chosen me and trusts me to remind him that his gift is remarkably beautiful. I am here to remind him not to allow the misguided expectations of others or even himself to bury his brilliance. The only expectations that God and I have for him is to be exactly who he was created to be. Nothing more. Nothing less. I need him to be. He is far too beautiful not to be. I am here to remind him to carry his gift with humility and confidence for he was chosen to carry it by the God of the entire universe. I see the uncertainty in his eyes from time to time, but I am here to remind him that he is free to be. With me, he is free to be.

He sees the uncertainty in my eyes from time to time, and he reminds me that with him I am also free to be. Simply by requesting two pages. Free indeed. I like him. I love him.