Monday, April 25, 2011

Cold Feet or I'm Feeling a bit Verklempt

Let me start by saying, I've loved every place I've ever lived. I also love decorating. I get an obscene amount of joy out of creating the perfect blend of colors, fabrics, and accessories that transform a house into a  home. Like they say, "Home is where the heart is." It's the cradle where your family is rocked. 

Have you ever made a big decision involving a huge adjustment in your life and then, shortly before the shift was about to take place, changed your mind? Well, maybe not completely changed your mind, but seriously doubted your decision? On your wedding day this is called, "cold feet." In the arena of buying a home, I'm not sure what it's called but, whatever it is, I've got it. Bad.

As some of you know, I've been in the process of moving forward with my life after the end of a long-term marriage. Part of that process has involved me finding my own place. After much house-hunting, I decided to have a townhome built not far from my current home (the dream house my soon-to-be-ex and I worked our whole lives for). And it's beautiful. Like seriously beautiful. It's got three bedrooms, two full and two half-baths, a finished basement, a brand new state-of-the-art kitchen, and a gas fireplace; you know, the kind where you push a button on a remote and the fire goes on and off? No heavy logs. No messy ashes. No putting the fire out before you go to sleep. Clean and easy. Pretty cool, huh? 

So, what's wrong, you ask? As petty as this may sound, this beautiful townhome has no yard. That is, unless you call a 10' x 20' paver patio a "yard." And, to make matters worse, it's in the middle of a building with five other homeowners. I know this sounds snobby and spoiled, but I currently live in a McMansion with over an acre of land. I haven't shared a building with other people since I was 20 and, to be honest, I like it that way. That said, I've been house-hunting. Again. Yes, you read that right. And did I mention the settlement/closing date on my townhouse is just over three weeks away? 

Why am I looking at houses again? Because a single family home is better than a townhouse, right? Because the smell of wood burning in a fireplace is part of what makes a house a home. Because I'm confused and not sure where to start this next major chapter in my life. 

Oh, yeah, and one more thing. This next home will be the first place I'll live without my children since they were born.

Don't get me wrong: I'm aware my life is ridiculously amazing. I'm healthy and generally happy. I have an incredible boyfriend, precious family and friends, and enough money to get by for a while. So, what the hell's wrong with me? Why am I second-guessing things? Am I going crazy? No. This is simply what divorce does to you. It makes you nuts; makes you doubt yourself; makes you wonder if you can trust yourself; makes you wonder if you're making the right decisions; makes you wonder if you could or should have done things differently. It causes cold feet, not only about home-buying, but about every major part of life.

I'm somewhat nervous putting this out there for the world to see, but I've always meant for this blog to be about more than my writing journey. Thankfully, for me, the fear of people's judgments lessens as I get older, but still...

So, there you have it. I've got cold house-buying feet, plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less, right? This is not at all like buttah. In fact, I'm feeling a bit verklempt. To continue with Linda Richman-speak (played by the uber-talented Mike Myers) on SNL's, Coffee Talk, "House buying, like divorce, is neither a walk in the park nor the end of the world as we know it. Discuss."

Monday, April 11, 2011

How I Got My Agent (Revisited)

I had the distinct pleasure of participating in the #WritersRoad chat last night on Twitter and was reminded how much writers looking for representation are inspired by "agent-finding" stories. So, in light of that, here is the link to my blog post from November 17, 2009 about how I "got" my agent.

Once again, I hope you enjoy the post and are inspired to continue to follow your dreams.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bring Out Yer Dead! (It's Simply a Matter of Choice)

"I dont' want to go on the cart!"
"Oh, don't be such a baby."

Monty Python & The Holy Grail. What brilliant comedy.

Breathing life back into something you thought was dead isn't easy. Or, is it? I brought out my dead last night and realized resuscitation is simply a matter of choice. 

The first guitar I ever owned, a Yamaha six-string, had been sitting in the corner of my music studio gathering dust for years. Ignored as newer, more exciting (read: expensive) guitars took its' place, it sat obediently in it's stand waiting for the moment to, once again, shine. 

This instrument was my first love; the one I wrote my first songs on and, as corny as it sounds, I consider her to be a dear, old friend. I lovingly changed the strings, cleaned the frets, and polished the gorgeous wood body. Strumming the new strings, my old friend sounded impossibly beautiful. Like magic, I watched her come back to life.

"Can I go back and take along the wisdom that is mine?" 
(Jamie C. Keys, 1979 "The Reason for the Rhyme")

Playing songs written in what seems like another lifetime can be strange. When I wrote them, there was nothing but possibility ahead. I was young, married to my Prince Charming, and had big, musical dreams. Playing these songs now is bittersweet, for I know how the stories ended. Although, I accomplished a lot with my music, I didn't become the rock princess I imagined and, like Humpty Dumpty, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put my fairy-tale marriage back together again.

Spring is supposed to be the window to new beginnings, of bringing the dead or sleeping back to life. But, last year, it was a turbulent time: a time when tear-shaped rain pummeled down in harsh torrents, leaving me feeling hollowed out, frightened, and desperately sad. 

Time heals (or at least bandages) all, and this year trees are sprouting glorious green buds, birds are chirping their sweet songs, and precious possibilities, like soft raindrops, are sprinkling softly upon me.

While playing guitar, I realized something: I still have the opportunity to fill my life with great love and big dreams. Part of the majesty of being human is having the transformative power to breathe life back into dreams we thought were dead and buried. It's simply a matter of choice.

So, join me in bringing out yer dead! At this time of new beginnings, what will you transform in order to bring more joy to your life? What dusty dreams can you breathe life back into?

FYI: The picture of me was taken four years ago at a photo shoot in Philly. 

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