Friday, April 5, 2013

Break Ups and Break Downs. In which I find my internal GPS.

Oh it’s funny how art imitates life.  The little fucker.  Just as I had romantically, poetically, lyrically ended things with Blogette and driven off into the sunset; just as I had watched out of my rear view mirror and told Self that those were not pangs of regret, but a dodgy piece of sushi; just as I had looked wide-eyed and I realized I had no effin' clue where to begin with this vast expanse of novel lit-scape to chart... there it came!  A dawn chorus!  Voices, melodic and mellifluous to my ear, a caramel-coated clamour that cut through the confusion.  It was as if my internal GPS had finally found it's satellites and could, at last, give me direction.  Recalculating...

I was merely putty in the palm of the Writing Gods.  Praise.  That’s all it took.  A little bit of praise.  A few echoes of “don’t go,” “we’ll miss you,” and a “what will I read in my bath tub on Sundays?” and my pace slowed.  Then, an almost annoyed, 
“Typical!  I just nominated you for the Best Blog in The Weekender!”  
You did?!  
And the final siren, flaring from the comments of my Break Up Blogette: “ this a bad time to mention that we've decided to feature your blog as the NEPA Blogs Blog of the Week, to be shown on WBRE's PA Live! on April 16?”

After I had perfected a litany of swear words--perhaps in the manner of a deeply religious Tourette's sufferer, or my Dad--two very different but almost simultaneous notions, spaced by seconds in observation, crested my cerebellum.

First, that one little bit of praise, that just a smidgen of acknowledgement, can mean the world to someone ready to give up.  In my pink and perky world--no, my other job is not in porn--we are told all the time that most people give up when they are inches from success.  I didn’t really want to give Blogette up. I thought it would be a sensible thing to do.  I could save my verbage for longer verses.  And, I didn’t really think anyone would notice if I shut up for while.  

A writer friend tweeted that I should carry on blogging as it "keeps the writing sharp."  And it’s true, two weeks without Blogette and I can feel my little Walnut Whip of a Brain has atrophied.  My writing muscles are as sharp as a sock.  I don’t claim to be a literary best-selling author with an MFA and an 'in' with Oprah.  I just love writing, wordsmithery, creating images and committing acts of ungodly grammar.  I am a card-carrying Word Nerd.  Yesterday, I discovered this page of awesome obsolete words: 18-Obsolete-Words and I haven't stopped trying to use each and every one.  I mean, "jirble"!  It's even onomatopoeic!  It makes me want to take on a part-time bar gig just so I can jirble liquor whilst chatting in brogue to the fine folk of Scranton!  I digress, but writing, language, literature make my "beef-witted" brain tick and my pulse race.

Praise is a gift we can give and it is amazing what a simple nod of encouragement can do, in life, in artistic or scientific endeavours, and relationships.  I have thrown the romantic towel a few times over the last three years of Singledom.   If I had been given just a word of encouragement, praise of strengths rather than criticisms of my weaknesses, the Blogette might not have been the only break up that lasted less than a week.

Colliding into this positive bubble of empowerment and bursting it like an overworked grimy white balloon of gum, was the pointy, disapprovy finger of my conscience.  The pointy, disapprovy finger waggled furiously at me.  I was being swept away by the romantic ideals of readers wanting me back!  I was not staying the course, standing firm, I was not taking my own advice! 

Wasn’t it me who huffed and puffed a lot of guff about letting go and moving on; putting away what doesn’t serve you; donating it to the jumble sale and not looking back?  Aren't I the one that blusters, that verbally struts a wordy marmalade of saucy abrasiveness, that adds tang to one’s tongue and clears one’s senses?  Haven't I chastised dissatisfied partners from going back and expecting different results?  Yes, dear Reader, ‘tis I.  *Hangs head*

It appears in the light of breaking up, I can breathe through it, I can clench my teeth and bit down like any British bulldog, but when I hear the disappointment, when I see effort made, and praise given, how can I not lean into that palm for a scratch?  I hope that doesn’t make me a hypocrite, but rather a human who is learning what or who she wants.  Sometimes, it’s okay to change your mind, if you can be principled and honest and true to YOU without hurting others.  So JellyBe-ings, my point is, we are human and we have choices; everything we do is a choice: to put time aside to blog, or not; to spend time with someone and try to get to know their core, their chords, maybe even their cords, or not.

And I realize I have been harsh, with the dating world and with Self.  I saw it all so clearly, in high contrast: he is making an effort; he is not making an effort, and, if the latter, life is short, so click your heels, take flight and hope to land upon something more conducive to your ideal.  I have been plagued, in writing and dating, with these ideals.  I have not been able to look beyond the inflated monochrome visions in my head: that prospects should be judged lacking if they are not the exact agent, publishing house or fella, I have imagined.  

However, just because we have envisioned life a certain way, doesn’t mean it can’t be just as good, or better, with something or someone else.  And I have, I realize, been weighing my options with some pretty funky weighing scales: not based on actual enjoyable interactions, but some snooty ridiculousness that rated a reputation and pressed suit over good manners, effort and kindness; that mistook attention as love, not control; that thought a divorce, or a not-ideal living situation, or a pair of beautiful children too much baggage to fit into my head compartment.  Aren't the unplanned, improvised bits always the best anyway?

So, I’m back.  Thanks for not giving up on me.  I’m a writer, so I’ll write.  I’m a romantic, so I’ll keep trying.


  1. Oh I'm so glad the blogs will continue! I love my weekly glimpse into the life and times of one of my favorite people. Cheers!

  2. What would we do without you, E G-J?
    Glad to have you back!