Journey to the Good Place.

Know yourself. Love yourself.

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Prince Charming

It has recently come to my attention that I appear to have an issue with giving myself permission to be happy. Given the choice between one of my favorite activities and an activity I despise, I will usually pick the despicable one because I automatically assume it’s something I’m supposed to do, need to do, even if there’s plenty of evidence proving that there is no reason why the undesirable activity is more responsible than the desirable activity. And if I DO somehow convince myself to do the activity I want to, I end up feeling like I’m doing something I’m not supposed to the whole time and can’t enjoy it at all.

This particular character trait has become especially relevant in recent weeks due to the appearance in my life of something very special: a miracle in the shape of a boy. He swooped in like a fairytale, offering me the life I’d always dreamed of, even adding things I never had the courage to even dream of. And I can’t believe how incredibly hard it is for me to just say “Yes, please. Thank you very much!”

I mean, seriously, I feel like I went to my favorite coffee shop to pick up my usual tasty beverage and breakfast pastry and a dashingly handsome man approached me and said, “Hello, I am the prince of a beautiful exotic land. I would like you to come with me and be my princess and someday my queen. You will live in an elegant castle and you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams and anything you could possibly wish for, I have the power to give you.” Yeah, feels pretty much exactly like that.

And how would anyone react in a situation like that? “Am I on candid camera? Am I being Punk’d? Is this some kind of joke? Are you a kidnapper who’s going to sell me into slavery? Or is this some kind of money scam? And if you’re real, have you mistaken me for someone else?” Anything but “why yes, thank you, I would love to come with you. In fact, this may sound silly but I’ve spent my whole life waiting for this moment. I even had a feeling that today might be the day and all my belongings are packed. Let’s go immediately!”

How sad is it that we live in a cynical time where it is sooo hard for people to simply say “yes” to their dreams. A time where it is so rare to see a gifted painter painting or a gifted baker baking, and far more likely to see them working behind a desk and to only know they even have talent when that talent forces itself out through a particularly flamboyant hand-made birthday card or a transcendentally delicious batch of cookies at a company pot-luck.

It terrifies me that when presented with two choices for hour to spend the rest of my life: the first, a miserable life toiling away, behind a desk for an organization I don’t support or believe in with bosses who infuriate and disgust me; and the second, a life of quiet and peaceful serenity, where there is nothing I have to do but make the man I love happy and allow him to take care of me while I pursue my every dream and fantasy. Why, when presented with these two choices, is it so blasted hard for me to pick the second option? Why have I allowed myself to be programmed to think that if I’m happy and enjoying myself, it automatically must mean that I’m doing something I’m not supposed to or that I’m neglecting some responsibility?

Why are we all so afraid of our dreams coming true?


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Breaking Free

Finally started reading A Writers Workbook by Caroline Sharp. My soon-to-be ex-husband got it for me when I first found out I was going on this deployment because I’d told him I was going to use this year of separation from civilization to do all the things I always managed to distract myself from doing. Things like writing some of the novels that have been sitting in my head for years, or learning to play guitar or finding an exercise routine that works for me. I told him this as a way of stifling his fears that I was gonna find some other guy while on deployment. I told him I would be too busy being productive to be seduced. At that point I was still pretending everything was okay. It would take another few weeks to work myself up enough to finally tell him I didn’t want to be married anymore and that as soon as I got back from my deployment I would be wanting a divorce. It wouldn’t be until the day before I left (my birthday of all days) that I would finally be forced to tell him that it wasn’t just the marriage I wanted to be rid of, I wanted to get rid of our relationship as well. I wanted to go back to being friends. And it wouldn’t be until a few months later that it would become impossible for me to find any trace of the boy who had hand-written the words “I Love You” on 365 silk rose petals to signify the 365 days we would be separated during my deployment and littered them all over the floor of an expensive hotel room as a surprise for my birthday. I was then forced to decide that the evil, manipulative, and cruel person I now found myself legally tied to was not someone I could allow to stay in my life for another year. My divorce had to happen NOW. Well, Joe continues to be an unhealthy and hurtful presence in my life and as I consider how exceedingly helpful and inspirational this writer’s workbook is, it occurs to me how strange it is that for all the pain and stress Joe continues to bring into my life every day, how strange that he could still introduce positive influences into my world.

I briefly considered whether I should have read this book back when he gave it to me rather than waiting 7 months and allowing his memories and influenced to reach so far into my present. But it happened the way it was meant to. It was the same way with the book “Eat. Pray. Love.” Joe gave it to me at the same time as the writer’s workbook, but I didn’t read it until 3 months later, just in time for it to serve as the rock I clung to in order to survive the hurricane of chaos and pain that accompanied my decision to start my divorce sooner than previously planned. I waited and forgot about it and ended up rediscovering it just exactly when I was meant to read it, at exactly the time when its words would have the most meaning and impact on my life.

All things happen when and as they are meant to. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. >.<

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Note to Self

Write. Write something, anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s any good so long as you get off your lazy ass and write. you say you want to be a writer? Well, first you need to write. You have a lot of people rooting for you. A lot of people waiting to be able to see your name on a shelf at a bookstore. Stop disapointing them. Stop running away from your dream. Stop telling yourself you’re not good enough. I know you’re scared but trust me you have no reason to be. So write something! What’s that? Ok, fine, you can wait until your hangover goes away. But I expect to see you writing before the day is over. Also, I’m sorry for yelling and making your headache worse. Perhaps you shouldn’t have dranken that ENTIRE bottle of wine last night?