Wednesday, June 30, 2010

jumbly thoughts

My brain is racing right now so this might not be very clear, but I feel like I HAVE to write it.

Monday night, I went to Bible study. We always eat and talk before we get down to studyin', and at one point I read out loud something I had written on Facebook. (The note "Ace's preschool questionnaire," if you haven't seen it and you're friends with me. If you're not friends with me, why not?) The note was something I just wrote because people asked me to write and it came out within about 10 minutes and is apparently very funny. My friends at Bible study were laughing to the point of tears, rocking back in their chairs, holding their sides, etc.

Their reaction brought me pure joy. There is seriously nothing in my life that makes me happier than making other people laugh.

Then everyone started complimenting me. 3 people said that I'm a great writer. 1 person said that she logs on to Facebook every day just to see what I've written. Then one guy in the room, BJ, arguably one of the most amazing artistic talents I've ever met, compared me to Erma Bombeck. Seriously? One of the greatest writers of the 20th century? You're comparing me to her? Dude. He then kinda stuttered a bit, kept complimenting me, then said something along the lines of "you could really be something."

I haven't been able to stop thinking about what he said. I've had so many people tell me what a good writer I am, and how funny I am, but (BUT BUT BUT) I have no idea what to do with any of those compliments or how to feel about them. I love writing, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE making people laugh, seriously more than anything, but seriously, could I really be something?

What has occurred to me today is that everything I've ever loved doing, I've abandoned. The first time I realized I was awesome at something, it was the French language. I abandoned that when I dropped out of college and stopped corresponding with my French friends. I used to be SO GOOD at it, y'all. I was good at languages, period. I picked up Spanish like it was nothing. I started learning Italian on my own when I was in my early 20's, and it was easy as pie. Have I pursued anything with my talents? Nope. I have one friend who will post on Facebook/Twitter in both French and English. I can read everything she says in French, but I'll be damned if I can write in French anymore. So I respond in English.

I was good at blogging, and I really loved it. I got hundreds of page views every day. I look back at my old posts and I'm amazed that I wrote that stuff. But, I've abandoned it. I don't know why.

I really love photography. Taking a really good picture without having to edit it at all is one of my favorite things in the world. I like to think I'm kinda good at it. Have I pursued it at all? Nope. I have an AWESOME camera and I barely ever touch it anymore.

I enjoy posting on Facebook and Twitter now. I get great responses on both, and every "LOL" I get absolutely delights me. But how long before I abandon that? How long before I stop doing things I enjoy altogether and have no hobbies and no identity?

Why do I keep doing this to myself? Hell, I know why, because I don't think I'm good enough. I'm not good enough at French to do anything with it. I'm not good enough at writing to make a career out of it. I'm not good enough at photography to bring people joy from photographs. Sure, I have talents, but the only way they have any value is if they're adding something to somebody else's life. And nothing I do can do that. Right?

This is my brain. I don't know what to do with it. Good thing I also enjoy paying good money to a therapist every other week.


RhondaLue said...

Why does your writing have to be in a career setting to be of value? You definitely DO have that Erma quality, except funnier because you use words like "who dat" haha...but why do you think it doesn't have value if some housewife reading your blog (or FB)smiled, laughed, and had a little better day because she related to something you said, instead of feeling so isolated, alone, and bored?

If you have a talent in photography, languages, and writing...and you WANT to pursue them than you should..but I don't think the end goal has to be to make money, or to do something for someone else (it most likely inevitably WILL but that's beside the point) it for YOU. If it makes you happy and you miss it.

And seriously, that questionnaire was the friggin BOMB. Your wit is amazing..I'm jealous!

Speaking from my own perspective, it's easy to let everything go that I enjoy because the kids and spouse require a lot and I'm just too wiped to invest time in ME. Totally WRONG, but it's how I feel much of the time. I bet I would feel more rounded and happier in general if I took a little more care with myself.

Susan said...

I share your pain. In all honesty, I think a lot of it is the ADD talking. I've been gung ho on a dozen hobbies that have ended up abandoned. Things I still think I would enjoy doing if I had the ambition to start again. I used to write children's stories for my godson. I have an entire closet full of various craft projects. Don't get me started on gardening. Or photography. Or my on again, off again love affair with my kitchen. I realize that's not helpful, but I'm just saying you're not alone. It's not a matter of not having the talent, it's the ability to consistently practice the talent. Sometimes that's the really really hard part.

HEATHER said...

Sweetie the reason we've all stopped blogging is-Facebook and Twitter!
I tell myself everyday that I'm going to blog-I really have so much I want to say, but you know by the time I get everyone to bed, I am so wiped out I only have brain cells enough to play the stupid Mafia Wars on FB.
That being said, it's so good to "hear" from ya and if you want to start blogging again, I will be here to read to ya! ((HUGS))

Allison said...

(picking herself up off the floor)


You ARE amazingly talented with a quick wit and I love reading your stuff and being around you in general. You make me smile. You're just being YOU.

Reagan has a book called The Oak Inside the Acorn. His mother tells her little Acorn, "Just be the tree God made you to be."

God gives us all specific talents for a reason. Pray about how He could use you and could be glorified through the talents He has given you. I promise you - He'll provide an opportunity.

Wanda M said...

Susan is right in one aspect - it is the ADD. And Heather is right too - FaceBook and Twitter are the beginning of the downfall of communication...and I mean literally ! Have you seen my posts about the lack of professionalism in communication I see at this freaking bank - I want to scream. Now back to the ADD - I have a beautiful, talented sister-in-law who is creative, smart, funny and quick witted - you remind me of her and she of you. However, she has absolutely the most cluttered, unclean, messy house I've ever seen. It is worse since she is a stay at home mom (and she attempted to homeschool). She takes no medication and I think she needs it. There is no end to what she could do with her talents if she could ever finish something she started. I've seen your house (at least your living area) and it ain't messy so you go on girl - grab your computer, your camera and whatever.....and YOU GO FOR IT!! Just because you love it too - if you're meant to make money at it - it will happen.

Margaret said...

I stalk your blog b/c I don't/won't do twitter and I'm so glad there's a new post! I agree with Rhonda in that it shouldn't matter if it's a job or career or makes you money. If it brings you joy and brightens other people's day--why not?
You're awesome. Really really awesome. You never fail to make me laugh in our every interaction. BELIEVE!

Susan said...

ADD makes creativity easy, as long as you don't have to follow through on it!

Wanda - I'm not your sister-in-law and didn't know it, am I??? =) That describes me to perfection. And we're trying to get our house cleaned up to sell, which is the most overwhelming thing I can imagine. And I will say you are exactly correct, I stopped taking medication when we started trying to get pregnant and never went back (because who can get to the doc when you're a full time mom to a baby?) and the idea of cleaning this house top to bottom is horrifying. I'd almost rather not move. Almost.

Melinda said...

As a professional writer who usually actively discourages amateurs from coming anywhere near my vaunted profession, I'm telling you to go for it. My suggestion is this:

You're a good writer. You're funny. You have a kid with disabilities. Write that. Write what and who you love.

There are a lot of parents out there struggling through raising children with CP or other disabilities who'd probably love a reason to laugh a little about their situation but need help to step back and look at it from a perspective that will ALLOW them to laugh without feeling all mommy-guilty. I could totally see you getting that published. Will it be on the NY Times bestseller list for 6 months? Maybe not. But it'd make a difference.

Dr. Wifey said...

i miss your blog and i don't twitter, so i have to get my laughs in when you post on FB. hope you find some time to get back to what you do best and enjoy most! and a few posts with Ace pictures would be nice too :)

Katy said...

Gosh. I have so many thoughts on this topic, so please excuse me if this is a bit of word vomit here.

I've abandoned a lot of things too and for the most part, I think it's because I'm afraid I won't be the best, so I don't try at all. I get psyched out by the "competition" and then I let it slide. I think that if I don't really try then it will be OK if I fail. It only took me about 27 years to realize this.

The other thought I have is that I have always felt like I needed to commit to one passion and ignore all others. These days, I have accepted that my passions are cyclical. I like writing, and teaching, and taking picture, and painting, and decorating. I'm rarely interested in all these things at the same time. Rather, I cyle through them. Rather than feeling like I have "abandoned" a passion, these days I simply acknowledge that it's currently on the back-burner and concentrate on what has my attention now--knowing full-well that I'll be back to it eventually.

Hmmm. . . was that comment long enough for ya?

Watercolor said...

Yeah, I should paint. I know a gallery owner who says she'd represent me if I did. But I don't. I don't know why. sigh. I've thought of starting a small group of (I started to say young, but at 42 I don't think I fall into that category anymore.... sigh) people who want to do more creative things in their lives. A creative support group. A place to meet and encourage each other. Show what we've done or what we didn't. ha. Say what's going on in our minds. Help get started. Your writing. My painting. Paul and Kim's wood and fabric arts (you don't know them, but you'd love them). Lauren's pottery. I don't know. Thoughts??