I Am.

Fitzgerald.  Dickinson.  Twain.  Dostoyevsky.  Plath.  Hemingway.

Writers have tortured souls and these are some of the greats.  It’s the force behind a writer sitting down to spew out words on paper.   Pain begets literary brilliance.  A good story typically follows the twelve steps of the writer’s journey beginning in the ordinary world, calls to adventure, refusal, tests, ordeals,  rewards, and the road back.  What happens when there is no more ordeal?  What happens when the pain ceases and the dark cloud that once hovered over in dread is replaced by blue skies and a heart full of sunshine?  The words that once flowed out of your twisted mind in a torrent, slows to barely a trickle.

This is where I am.  This is why I haven’t posted anything on my blog for 20 days.  It’s the longest I’ve gone without writing or posting something.  I’m still here.  Yes, I’ve been busy with the new job, the kids, the grandbabies, and spring but truth be told the words have dried up a little.  I have nothing to bitch about.  Happy is a new state of mind and I am not complaining.

This week I was back working in a building that I hadn’t been in for a while and one I had spent the previous not-so-very-fun seven months in. I bumped into people I had met in my previous role and people I have known and worked with for years.  Many asked how I was doing.  A typically polite conversation starter.

My answer?  “I am good!

Answered so differently than in months previous.  Filled with sincerity, from the tips of my toes, and delivered with a smile.  A question answered that would have previously been given a simple “I’m good”.  Only two words, but how they were followed oh, so very different.

I am ________________.

Two of the most powerful words for what follows them forms our reality, our vision of ourselves.   A sentence I finished with darkness months before.

Unhappy.

Lost.

Angry.

Unfulfilled.

Hurt.

Defeated.

An idiot.

A loser.

Mad at the freaking world.

Doesn’t paint a very rosey picture, does it?  Those words and the feelings behind them cast a heavy shadow over many of my days.  They were words I tried very hard to exorcise from my vocabulary and my mind.  I vented.  I bitched.  I poured my tortured soul out onto paper.  My days ended with pouring a glass of wine….or two….or three.  When not working I hermitted myself away at home, hibernating.    My outlook equaled my attitude.  My outlook sucked and my attitude sucked.   I didn’t like where I was at, but I did it and I did it to the best of my ability.  I didn’t short-change anyone, but I knew that the tides needed to turn and my attitude needed a kick in the ass.  Change doesn’t come easy.  It took work and finally catching a break.  It took changing those words that I say to myself every day.

And now I answer that question so much differently

I am ________________.

Hopeful.

Happy.

Excited.

Challenged.

Smiling!

Learning.

Ready.

Grateful.

Those two powerful words can form not only the smile you have on your face today, but the hope you hold for tomorrow and your acceptance of the past.   There are so many clichéd messages that are fitting here, but you have to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.  Negativity and self-doubt will set in and metastasize.  You will become a grouchy little hermit.  Life will be dreary and dull.  Joy will be a long, lost memory.

On my left shoulder there is a tattoo of a tree twisting in the wind, its leaves being tossed aside.  Each leave is one of those dark and angry words that I needed to let go of to make room for the good ones.


However you remind yourself to do it, you need to change your conversations with yourself.  Every day.

I am ________________.

How will you finish this sentence today?


3 thoughts on “I Am.

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