as if…

Alternately titled “Not channeling my inner Cher Horowitz…”

A few days ago I read a post from one of my favorite authors on Facebook. Every day she posts these letters from the universe and from time to time one contains a little message that pierces my heart like a grappling hook. The end of it contained this refrain she later tweeted…

**

I cribbed the name of my domain from a leaked version of a song from my favorite pop star. The entire lyric goes “fearless/cape in hand/ conquered what I need to/ to mend…” First time I heard it, it spoke to me. I was going through a rather tumultuous period in my life and needed resounding confirmation that I could handle anything life chose to throw at me. [sacrilege redacted]  Because I’m hard headed (and stubborn, while making plenty of mistakes), I don’t always remember lessons previously learned. I needed to concentrate on the here and now instead of dwelling on shit of yore.

**

I was talking to a friend the other day about writing (hi Sarah!). In our conversation, I quoted the embedded tweet from above. We often have these conversations about our writing aspirations and fears that derail us from achieving them. We lament over word counts. Wring our hands over blocks. Consistently wonder if our words are good enough while seeing less poignant ones be paraded among the masses; praised as if they were manna from heaven.

I can’t speak for my friend, but it’s so hard when you see someone doing what you do, but know in your heart you could do it better. It’s even harder when you know it’s your own scaredy cat self holding you back. It’s not that I doubt my ability. It’s the debilitating fear that perhaps it’s my leonine sense of arrogance obscuring the truth. Perhaps the words that I’ve taken such care to curate aren’t good enough…or even good.

**

Competition is good, right? It’s been said that competitive forces cause us to do our best. How are we ever to get better if there isn’t always someone who’s one step ahead, driving you to catch up, and eventually surpass? I used to approach competition as a feral cat. Nothing could stop me from clawing my way to the top.

(I cringe at all of these feline references.)

Now I’m like…meh, am I even in the game? These word docs of unfinished flights of fancy and narrative non-fic chillin’ on Macy Grey (yes, I named my MacBook) mean nothing if they aren’t being shared. But are they even worthy of being shared? Or was my writing group just being nice? Because we’re friends and that’s what friends do.

The constantly niggling self-doubt letting fear bloom and flourish.

Whole damn URL a lie.

More like cape in closet, buried under some clothes and last season’s winter coat.

[dot, dot, dot]

I’d’ve gladly borne his children...

It was a thought fleeting and seemingly out of place in origin.

Every Mother’s Day I become a bit more contemplative since I’ve begun staunchly verbalizing my desire to remain childless. I had an epiphany today that left me a bit breathless.

It’s not that I’m opposed to being a mother, I just don’t want to do it alone. I don’t think that I’m equipped to handle all of the intricacies of motherhood without a forever. Having given up on the idea of ever finding my forever lead me down a path wrought with barely healed wounds.

I’ve been in love twice in my life. The first, puppy, I’m sure. But the second.

Whew.

The second did a number on me mainly because I thought he was my forever and I his. The hopeless romantic in me hoped that he was all I could ever need and it killed me to know that for him, I wasn’t enough.

I’d’ve gladly borne his children

The thought jarring initially, but settled in quite nicely after a minute. And I began to let my mind travel down What If Lane. We could have easily been on baby number two in our sixth year of marriage by now had my timetable stuck.

Right now I couldn’t picture being anybody’s wife nor mom, but back then it was all I craved. I needed to be everything to him that he was to me. Or at least everything I thought I knew him to be. Rose colored glasses distorted my vision, red flags looming ignored.

Every now and again, the urge to google him (first middle and last…) or dial the ten that would connect us across state lines settles itself into my spirit and I manage to tamp it down every time. I recall the deceit and thank God for dodged bullets. Replacing the “babys” in The Yoncé’s “Best Thing I Never Had” with “niggas”, exuberantly. But secretly, still harboring resentment for not being enough and wondering if there is anyone for whom I’d ever be enough.

Hearing words like that is enough to shake your confidence for life. “I love you, but…” That three letter word shredding your self worth. Creating an entrance way for doubt to cloud your vision.