Category Archives: Being a Woman

#AskAwayFriday with Alison Lee of Writing, Wishing

Welcome to #AskAwayFriday, a weekly link up hosted by Penny of The Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber of Bold Fab Mama.

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This is a meme where two bloggers ask each other 10 questions and they answer them on their own blogs. You link up with Penny and Amber and we all get to know each other a little bit better. I recently saw it featured on Alison’s blog and asked her if we could swap questions.

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Is there a smile that always makes you smile back when you see it in your twitter stream or in your Facebook notifications? How about when a name shows up in your email and you know that the words contained inside are going to make you feel seen? Heard? Important?

From the moment she introduced herself to me over Twitter to her takeover of the virtual world (she has!) I’ve felt so lucky to be able to call her a friend.

Alison Lee is a mom, a wife, a writer, a baker, a memory maker and a kick ass blogger. A ROCK STAR.

To me, she’s my girlfriend, my sanity  and a part of the TRIBE that I am so lucky and humbled to have.

If you’d like to read the answers to the questions I asked her, CLICK HERE. :)

 

 

Here are here the questions she had for me:

 

1. I know you adore shoes. When did your love affair with shoes start?

In 2000, when I turned 30. I had always loved footwear but felt like I didn’t wear high heels well. But something changed in me that year. A new decade for me, a new millennium for the world and I decided to start wearing my sexy on the outside. The best part of my shoe obsession? The place I love to shop the most for my pumps??? PAYLESS.  Which makes it easy and guilt free to fill my closet.

KirCupcakefromJCAugust2012JBE(made for me by the AH-MAZING JC Little at BlogHer’12)

 2. And the cupcake obsession? 

Oh. Cupcakes. Little pieces of heaven.

I think it happened right after my wedding. I hated my wedding cake. I don’t like fondant and I’m always leery of any baked good that just tries too hard. But I gobbled up our groom’s cake, a lovely supermarket made concoction of whipped icing and moist vanilla cake.

It’s really always been that way for me. I like boxed cake or supermarket made cupcakes, they are light and fluffy and exactly why I love cupcakes: they are a smaller (so you eat it with gusto) and very pretty version of the cake.

Plus, how can you not look at a cupcake and not be happy? The colors, the frosting, the way you can hold in your hand and the fact that it is a small sweet piece of the bigger whole, which is how I see myself.

It’s a PARTY in a paper cup.

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 3. You’ve been blogging for a long time. I know of many blogs who burnout after a couple of years.

What keeps you going?

 I have burned out.

Many, many times.

I’ve taken breaks away from it (Not a week or so, MONTHS) and I always come back because of my TRIBES.

You know you read and hear that writers need to write. I am not like that, I don’t need to write. I like to do it, I have stories swirling in my head constantly but I never felt like I wanted to take over the world with blogging or that I had anything particularly interesting to say. Instead, I’ve just tried to  focus on the connections and community I was building with people. I still feel honored to read the blogs and articles I do with people who have become my friends behind the screen.

I like to write, but I don’t ever feel like I have to and that makes it easy to stay here in this space.

 

4. You started as an infertility blogger, a topic that is difficult for many to write about. How did you get past the “I can’t talk about this, it’s too personal” hurdle?

This is a timely question because I am going through that right now with the death of my brother. I vacillate with being angry with myself for not writing about him yet and then feeling like no amount of words, no pretty sentence structure is going to capture what I want to say about Ben.

Yet, writing about infertility was actually pretty easy. I was sharing my vagina stories and my depression about not being able to get pregnant with people in Wal-Mart lines so to take it to the screen wasn’t that much of a stretch for me. Plus I was “singing to the choir” back in 2005. I started an “infertility blog” so the people that were reading it were all going through the same things, it wasn’t hard to open up.

I felt (and still do) that whatever I was sharing was going to give HOPE to someone else or help someone else to know that we were in this together. It took me 4 YEARS to get pregnant and so I shared 2 ½ of those years with women who helped save my life, sanity and sense of hope more times than I can count. There aren’t enough THANK YOU’s for that kind of loyalty and friendship.

5. What is life with twins really like?

It’s easier than you imagine:
As John and I say OFTEN , “We never knew ONE baby, so we just parent the way we know how.”

It’s harder than you imagine:
“Two children of the same gender with completely different personalities but the same birthday and maturity level, going through the same milestones, finding their way in the world with one another and yet, separate from one another.”

 Does that about sum it up?
Yep!

 The perks? I still dress them in matching outfits, I ADORE being a mom of twins because it makes them special (and that special sometimes dribbles down to me). Even when there is double the homework, the snacks for the class, the registration fees, the $$$$ for birthday parties I remind myself that we only do it ONCE a year, ONCE a lifetime and that brings me back to a sweet spot with it.

 **I always wished for a child….I got TWO in a way that wasn’t traditional but instead was miraculous. **

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 6. What do you love most about motherhood?

Seeing myself, John and various members of our families emerge from these two little people. I also love being called Mom, being told “Because I love you so much” and knowing that kind of unconditional adoration.

It’s like having your own private FAN CLUB and the two members of it are your cheerleaders for life.

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7. What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

Well there are lots of challenges but I’m going to piss some people off with my answer.
Other people.

Everyone has an opinion.

The WORLD has an opinion and it changes from minute to minute.

You work, you don’t work. You Ferber, you Helicopter. You pick public or private or Catholic school.

Everyone has something to say and then all your questioning starts.

I tell people often, that the one gift infertility gave me was that once my babies were healthy and HERE, I realized how that was enough for me.

I was finally a MOTHER, the rest would work itself out.

8. You have been writing fiction for a few years now.

Do you have any plans to publish Kimmy and David’s story in a book?

YES! (sort of)
I always have very big plans.
Listen, I want to get something published, but I suffer from low self esteem, especially about my writing. Especially because I read other friends, colleagues and true writers who are much more talented than I am.

Here are my plans: I registered for a course on “HOW TO WRITE YOUR FIRST NOVEL” this spring at our local community college. I am ripping apart and rewriting four short stories that I hope to self publish first sometime this year as a springboard to getting Kimmy & David ready for their debut.

I am hopeful that I can believe in myself long enough to follow through and get them (Kimmy, David, Marco and Liza) between the covers of a book.

Wish me luck?

9. You’re part of the Write On Edge team. Tell us more about the community there, and your role. 

Write on Edge is why I am a writer.

Starting with THE RED DRESS CLUB because of Erin and a prompt eventually led me to an introduction of the words of Angela, Cameron, Mandy and Roxanne.

I am humbled (Yep, there really is not other word for it) to share a small space alongside them.

 Write on Edge is a community of writers that has grown out of a love of words and telling stories. Memoirs, poetry and fiction sit next to one another, prompts are given every week and people link with their own works.

There are daily editorials and we encourage communication and conversation with topics that range from proper grammar, plots and writing styles to publishing advice, motivation during writer’s block and story ideas.

I am an Assistant Editor and was delighted to be added to the staff. I think of myself as one of the Write on Edge cheerleaders, sharing the work of the community on social media, helping to promote that work and of course writing an editorial every other Monday.

Proud is the best word for how I feel when someone asks me how I feel about being part of Write on Edge. Proud to be a small part of it, proud of the work and dedication of every staff member, proud of the community we’ve built and maintain.

 If you love to share your words in memoir, fiction or poetry I invite you to come and write with us.

 10. Three of your favorite quotes ever. 

 I love quotes. I feel like words help, heal, inspire, motivate and are one of the reasons I am still alive.

Picking three is hard so I’m going to just choose…these are three quotes that mean something to me:

“One is not born a woman, one becomes one.” Simon de Beauvoir

(It takes a long time to become a woman….but it’s such a sweet journey and a joyous destination)

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” –Maya Angelou

(Dr. Angelou is the author of many, many, MANY of my favorite quotes)

And because I adore all things about #HarryPotter:

“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” –Professor Albus Dumbledore

( I always hope to make, share and lend a little “magic” every day)

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A big thank you to Alison for her thoughtful questions, I enjoyed answering these for you.

If anyone else would like to play #AskAwayFriday with me I’d love to do this again.  Just contact me.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Just Write: Keeping the Faith

Faith.

We are knee deep in Catholicism right now. I guess I was naïve to think that sending my children to Catholic School wouldn’t mean that they’d come home singing songs about Jesus, asking questions about Jesus and basically telling me that Jesus is watching us at all times.

Jacob has fully embraced his faith. He is excited about going to church, he comes home and pretends to have mass for us and I shit you not, he gave his first “homily” to himself and the full length mirror in our room on Monday night. He even has a favorite “Godfather”, this is his word for priest. He refuses to call them anything else. “You call them Father and they are all about God.” You can’t fight with the reasoning.

A few days he asked if he could have a vestment for Christmas, so he could dress like a “real godfather”. I didn’t answer him because I’m in the middle of my own crisis of faith. Having a son that has so fully embraced the Savior is frankly unnerving. Or maybe like everything else Jacob is just giving back what he takes in. His costumes and imitations are legendary, even at five. He believes himself to be Harry Potter , Willy Wonka, Santa, Peter from Narnia, Ebenezer Scrooge or even a Godfather on any given day, so I try not to make a bigger deal of this than I have to.

Faith doesn’t have to be scary for him and I guess there are worse things that my son could pretend to be than a priest, a candy maker or a wizard.

It’s more about me and my own beliefs.

Because I have some big issues and disagreement with a majority of the set of beliefs that have been laid out by my religion. Yet, John and I still decided to send the boys to a Catholic School.

I attended Catholic elementary and high school. I remember the indoctrination and the immersion but I also remember the pure, beautiful and healing emotion I still feel every time I walk into a church. I know that’s why we made this decision and picked this school. We wanted something safe and familiar for them , I was just not ready to face my own questions about my convictions so soon. Like I said earlier, a naïve assumption.

When I was a girl growing in the Catholic faith I knew even then that I would never agree with everything I was being told but I also knew that I knew this Jesus, that I sought him in good and bad times that I chose to BELIEVE.

I hear the boys singing Call Me Maybe followed by This Little Light of Mine, they like both songs, sing both with joy and vivacity in their off key voices.

I smile.

I wish I still had that kind of Faith. I wish I had something to truly believe in these days.

But I’m glad to drink from their well of conviction for the time being until I find my own way.

 

 

 

 

Half of My Heart (Pour Your Heart Out)

 

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Earlier this year my mom and stepdad got into their car and spent the better part of May cruising down the east coast with states like North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in their sites. They had carefully planned their excursion, their eyes starry and wide open to the beginning of the third chapter of their lives.

I say third because I always think that the first chapter of their lives was the one that involved different spouses and raising the children of those marriages. The second chapter of their lives began ten years ago when they married one another and now as they stamped “RETIRED” onto their resumes it was time to give serious consideration to the place where they would grow old together and write that joyful third chapter.

I’ve known this was coming. Our whole family has known that as soon as my stepdad put away his button down shirts and ties that the plan included the sale of their houses here in the northern half of the country and a move south.

My brain knew but it seems my heart still hasn’t gotten the memo.

I remember being an angsty twenty-something and declaring quite emphatically, that “I never wanted (or needed for that matter) to live near my mom.” I was a typical woman-child and completely convinced that I would be independent and capable of taking care of myself for the rest of my life. I certainly didn’t need my mom.

Of course, I was wrong. Completely, utterly and thankfully WRONG.

Mothers are the ones who give roots and wings. Just read any back- to- school post that has been published in the last month and you’ll see that. Our children are moving away from us from the moment we take them in our arms. We, as their moms, are put in charge of making a heart and a home that always welcomes them back, from the time they wave to us from the bus on that first day of school.

It’s a delicate, heart-breaking and heart-filling, dance that never really stops.

It didn’t stop when I went away to college or when moved into my first or seventh apartment, it didn’t stop when I endured my first or my sixty-eighth broken heart. It didn’t slow down when I went from being a single girl to an engaged woman or a blushing bride. The music still played and we still tapped, shuffled, swayed and waltzed as I survived those years of infertility and welcomed a pregnancy and then the boys into our family.

Plus with every dance, I ended up moving closer to her; emotionally and geographically. While my siblings are hours from her, I revel in the fact that my mom can watch the boys grow up from twenty minutes away. She is never too far; she is available for dinners and celebrations, birthday parties and last minute babysitting. My mom can drop in on any given night and when she does my heart is happy to have her not only in our home but in our lives.

She has always been my compass. My North Star and having her close is comforting.

She is the other half of my heart, the part that completes me.

But her new chapter is starting.  For Sale signs hang in the windows of their houses and two venues have been chosen, Georgia or Florida. None of them is only two towns away so each one feels like it’s just too far away.

Just like you’d never stop your children from taking their first steps or blazing their own trails, I am reminded that my wish for her to stay close is born of my own fear and selfishness.

While my mom was making her way down the eastern seaboard my I was reading the sequel to Life From Scratch, called Measure of Love by my good friend Melissa Ford. There was a line in the book that hit me in the chest and has stayed on my mind for months now.

“I can’t believe that she left me to the most important grieving I may ever do on my own. Without her next to me.”- from Measure of Love by Melissa Ford.

The simple truth is that my mom is not dying or even leaving me, she will be only a plane or car ride away. Phones, emails and face time will make it possible for us to talk and see one another whenever we want. Plus there will vacations/visits in beautiful places.

So why does like half of my heart hurt so? 

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Pouring My Heart with Shell from Things I Can’t Say. 

Help Make a Difference for the World’s Children with Shot@life and Some Incredible Bloggers

In case you were unaware, this week is World Immunization week,
the perfect time to talk about the importance of global vaccinations.

Sisters from Another Mister in DC for shot@life

Nicole of Sisters From Another Mister,
together with shot@life and the United Nations Foundation
are very happy to announce a link up to share our stories about motherhood.
A Mothers day meme
link up opening on May 8th and running until the 18th.

We invite you to join us on this journey.
And just who are WE? And what is this quest?

With a mantra of,
Every twenty seconds a child dies of a preventable disease.
Only twenty dollars saves the life of a child.
Twenty bloggers are making a difference!

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to these amazing twenty bloggers.
Each one looking to make a difference in the world.

Twenty bloggers were invited to be a part of this link up, I am ONE of them!
And here we are.

shot@life and Sisters From Another Mister

In spite of their very busy lives, they have all pledged to make a difference.
Not only donating to the fundraising for this campaign,
but also donating their time and blogging resources.
I hope that you find it in your heart to do the same!
Our words will raise awareness for global vaccinations and raise money
for those who do not have the means to help themselves …
because every child deserves a shot@life

On May 8th, the link up will be live on Sisters From Another Mister.
Each photo on the grid will take you to the post on the blogger’s own bloghome.
Linkers and commenters will have a chance to win one of several giveaways.

Set aside some BIG chunks of time over those ten days – they are a fab group of writers.
You will want to share them all!

 Supported by shot@life and the UN Foundation

Supported by shot@life and the UN Foundation

Please write a post and come back between May 8th – 18th to link it up on the main page.
Write it about being a Mom, having a Mom, knowing a Mom,
what being a Mom means to you, about wanting to be a Mom.
Write about your mom friends, or a mom who makes a difference.
Write what is in your heart and think of this gift of life …

Please make donations to both link and comment - all donations are tax deductible.
Donating is explained on the shot@life donation page.

Tell your friends, share and tweet, and read them all.
Leave lots of comments, maybe win a prize and …
know that YOU are making a difference!

The donation page is up and running should you wish to contribute now, please visit here.

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I hope you each take the time to do this, it’s such an incredible (and easy way) to make a difference.
XO

 

How I Tell My Story {Pour Your Heart Out}

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My voice.

Everyone is busy searching for their voice right now, pouring over their words, choosing the ones that said something this year and hoping that they spoke to the heart of their audience.

I did it too; I took a journey through my words and realized that my voice was missing.

From the outside, I saw a blog that bulged with fiction. Stories and tales, their free fringes hanging loose and ready for a prompt, a picture or a provocation to move the plot along.

Characters and people who existed in my imagination filling up the spaces of my corner of the internet.

I used fancy words, I designed poems and sentences that spoke of strength, wisdom and heartbreak, but none of those pieces will be featured in the Huffington Post, not one of them is going to earn me the right to write for a parenting site or produce a viral sensation.

No, my stories  might have been beautiful, intricate, intimate and heartfelt but they were not written with a journalistic touch.

They were very few memoirs this year that told my story.

And so many things happened this year in the world(in my world) that were worthy of my words, but looking around this place it seems I chose to put them in the mouths of characters, their personifications acting like a stand in for me.

I have never used this space as a soapbox, not even when I was in the middle of my infertility. I spoke about it of course, it was after all the reason I signed into BLOGGER and brought this corner to life, but I never became a voice in the wilderness for it.

Not here.

My life has many stories that could use a soapbox; parts of me that have been exposed in tiny amounts and cloaked in verbiage but never given the spotlight they deserve.

I think it’s because I never wanted to have those things become my whole story.

I didn’t want the labels of what I had endured to become my story.

Survivor of domestic violence as a child

Survivor of molestation from ages 10-12 at the hands of a relative

Child of an alcoholic father who suffered from PTSD

Daughter of a working mom of the 1980’s with big ambitions and precious little time to attend basketball games or be home in time to make/serve/clean up dinner.

The girl with a reputation who was “promiscuous” and probably deserved the 5 times she was date raped in her life. (Women like that ask for it don’t we?)

A young woman, who was talked about, judged and bullied long before that word went viral.

A woman who has suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety on and off her whole life

A woman who takes an anti depressant

A woman who has endured heartbreak and been too naïve or gullible to realize that blaming only herself is a cowardly act

A woman with a checkered past

An infertility survivor

A mom who works outside her home

A mom with children in daycare

 

I have several posts inside me that are burning, reaching, possibly even screaming to get out. Yet I have found that this year I made a clear choice to put tape on my own mouth and I gave the microphone to the muse inside my head instead.

Or at least I thought, at first glance, that I had.

Until I looked again and there I was.

Nestled neatly inside 33 character sketches, bellowing out among 100 words or 17 syllables, asking forgiveness, clarity or acceptance with every keystroke, sharing parts of my story every time I hit publish.

There they were; my thoughts on gun control, my opinions on gay marriage, the love I had not only for my children but for the children of Newtown, the horror (and long subdued shame) I felt about date rape,  and the depression I was desperately trying to climb out of (again).

For various reasons, I turned to the clan of my imagination, allowing them to bellow, cheer, love unconditionally, negotiate, pontificate or seek revenge or closure for me. I don’t know it that was courageous, cowardly or just plain lazy but over and over again this year it was the way I chose to express myself.

In retrospect I believe it was simply a way to heal, to process and still be able to tell my story.

To think:  my words, my voice, my thoughts were here all the time.

I had just chosen a different way to express them.

So if you ever came by to read and all you saw was fiction, chances were that story was just one way that I was  writing my way out.

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This is a post I have wanted to share for a long time.

I am so glad that Shell gives us a place to do that with POUR YOUR HEART OUT.

(thank you my friend)

Who’s That Girl? (Ketchup with Us #14)

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It’s no secret, I am quite fond of my new friend, Mel of According to Mags.

She makes me laugh, she gives the best virtual hugs and she’s SMART, Creative and funny!

Her friend, Michele of Old Dog New Tits, ain’t so bad either. (who am I kidding I love ‘em both)

I really enjoy their bi monthly link up..Ketchup With Us.

It’s it’s inventive and let’s us all have a little fun.

This time, they wanted us to share 57 words

(that’s what KETCHUP is all about , after all)

about who we think we resemble from the world of celebrities.

I have 2,  Well at least 2 I’ve been compared to often enough that I see a resemblance.

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Perhaps it’s just wishing thinking:

The pure desire to emulate your talent, verbosity and badassness.

You’ve loved and lost, hurt and healed.

Sacrificing nothing, remaining strong & unique.

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From Dawson’s Creek to Brokeback Mountain, you quietly stole the show.

You kissed a Ledger & played a sex symbol Legend.

Honestly I’d be proud to be compared to either of you.

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Michelle Williams & one of my Idols : P!nk.

I’m still not sure…

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what do you think?

Come and Play Ketchup With Us  with Mel and Michele. They are pretty awesome.

For a quick explanation of this link-up, click here. In short, Michele and I will post a picture or video with a writing prompt on the 1st and 15th of every month. You can write your entry in any form. We love creativity. And, with each prompt, we’ll feature a writer from the previous link-up.

HAPPY WEEK, HAPPY WRITING

Sister, My Sister {Trifecta}

There is bitter on your tongue, sister.

Looking upon me with judgment filled eyes, you refute the simple truth:

All windows are made of glass.

I pocket the stone I will never throw.

 Trifecta

This weekend, we want you to give us a thirty-three response using the word stone as one of your thirty-three words.  You can use any definition of the word that you’d like, but we are specifically looking for serious, well-conceived entries.

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day.

A day set aside to celebrate every female and her extraordinary existence.

Many times, we as women pass judgement on one another for our lifestyles, our opinions, our behaviors.

As often as I can, I choose to bring empathy to the table and to accept that we all bleed the same, while we may live, hurt, heal and grieve differently.

The  heavy, hurtful stones of judgement offer a choice every day for each one of us, the ones we throw and the ones that we pocket in the name of empathy, compassion and understanding.

 

Source: plus.google.com via Sam on Pinterest

On Being a Phenomenal Woman {International Women’s Day 2013}

Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com via International Women’s Day on Pinterest

Once upon a time, a lifetime ago, I graduated from college with a degree in Government with a minor in Women’s Studies. My lifetime love and admiration for Dr.Maya Angelou buried deep in my heart.

Fresh faced and newly diplomaed (yes I just made up that word) I took a job with the college that had bestowed my Associates Degree as a Resident Director in the all woman residence hall and  proceeded to celebrate everything female.

Quotes scrawled on the bathroom mirrors, bulletin boards changed monthly to inspire, motivate and become the subject of thoughtful, lively, heated discussions that I would lead every month on the floor of my office and my project for March that year that consisted of giving each girl in my care a picture of a woman with the phrase , “I”m A Phenomenal Woman  because…” at the top and asking them to fill it out, color it, embellish it as only they could and share it during our “discussion.”

It was breathtaking to watch each young lady; White, African-American, Indian, Asian, European, thin or overweight, tall or short, outspoken or painfully shy, social or guarded; listen, encourage and find the similarities between them because of their gender and to ignore, even for an evening, the differences in their circumstances, upbringing or opinions. I watched them all take in Dr Angelou’s  words as I read the poem  below and then invited them to share their thoughts on what made them extraordinary.

I look back on that year of my life as one of DELIGHT, FASCINATION and TRUE LEANING about other people. I watched 53 young girls turn the corner into the womanhood of their lives and I did all I could to make that path smooth and well lit for nine months of their lives. I am extremely humbled to have been a small part of their journeys.

Today, March 8th (which is also my amazing husband’s birthday) is INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.

 

A day where we celebrate women all over the world, we work as ONE WOMAN to support, encourage, lift and motivate our sisters around the globe.

A lifetime ago, I thought that my role would be always be the same, but I am learning with every passing year that my existence in this world, as a woman , is a gift and privilege. My voice and actions are a part of the fabric that makes my very femaleness extraordinary.

I am the wife of a wonderful man who cherishes the women in his life. The mother of two young, impressionable boys who will look to my thoughts and opinions of myself and other women globally as their road map to the treatment of the gender that is different from theirs.

I know it is my job to celebrate and elevate the women of this world.

I hope you know it’s your job too.

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2013

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Just Be Enough: I’ll Show You Mine, If You Show Me Yours

  

 I told you, I don’t make RESOLUTIONS or say that I’m going to live another way this year as oppossed to last.

But one thing I do love, with all my heart, are WORDS.

Quotes and phrases, sentences and expressions that communicate who I am and what I’m made of.

When Elena asked me to join JUST.BE.ENOUGH  in the summer of 2011 I had no idea how much it would enhance my friendships,  my writing and my life. It seems every post I end up writing there helps me to see myself more clearly, to come face to face with a fear or something I fancy.

It was Life Changing.

I have learned more about myself by writing for JUST BE ENOUGH than by other words I’ve shared here in this space.

So being a part of that community of writers and friends was joyful for me, it was a good, empowering place. However, just any other person or personal space, it needed to grow and expand recently.

In order for our voices to be strong and purposeful, we needed to add more voices.

A CHORUS of them if you will.

Just. Be.Enough has become a CORNUCOPIA of women and their voices.

You can over (CLICK RIGHT HERE) and see all the new faces.

I, for one, cannot wait to see how their words, their STORIES are going to change my own.

In addition to that, as contributors to the site, we’ve each come up with a TRIO of Words that will be the roadmap for our journey this year. Now, I’m ok with this  because they are not resolutions, they are merely lexemes for the places that my life will take me in the next twelve months.

I feel compelled to say that although it’s not a word I chose for that journey that LOVE is always at the heart of my travels. If I had to pick a word every year that would be at the center of my life, it would always be those 4 letters.

But in order to enhance this adventure, on the way to being enough, I chose:

NOVEL

Yes, it’s true that I’d love to see one of my stories Self Published this year , but I also love this word becuase it talks about being UNIQUE, INNOVATIVE and NEWFANGLED (what a great word!). I hope that even the small changes that I’ll be making in my writing and over at JBE will inspire even more of you to BREAK NEW GROUND.

NOURISH

I think we all think about eating when we hear this word, but for me it’s about attending to someone or something. Whether it’s my friendships, my beautiful sons, my skin during these cold NorthEast winters or my own soul, I want to nurture each one of them to be the best they can be. One of my favorite things to do is to ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT someone else, my hope is to push others to do that too. Many times I learn that in NURTURING someone else, my own life is enhanced and there is no greater gift than that.

MEND/HEAL

I spent a lot of time choosing my last word. I will always be  an optimist and dreamer down at my core. In that vain I used to think that there was shame in feeling any kind of HURT, that while somethings might not turn out the way I wanted or happen in my own timeframe, there was much to be grateful for. However, I’m learning that some tears are too deep, some dreams that are ripped from you need time to recover and some disappointments (in situations or people) are just beyond ignorning. There are some parts of me that need to mend, they need time and care in order to heal. I also hope I can use my own  words to repair the hearts, dreams and smiles of the women/men of my village when they need it. All of us are broken, in one way or another, I feel like the best medicine is to give LOVE to one another.

 

Please go over and see the new website of Just Be Enough, (it’s gorgeous!!!) and then because I showed you minetell me your word/words for this year.

Hoping we can all learn from each other in 2013.

 JustBeEnough-Three-Words-2013

The gorgeous WORDLE that Elena made up of the JBE staff words for 2013. *LOVE*

 

 

 Something else I found online and had to share:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”  -Neil Gaiman.

A Girl on Fire

 

Make no mistake, I remain untroubled.

My exterior may flaunt sunshine, all goldenrods and canaries, but heed the redhead;

My scarlet twin; a spirited sprite who practices patience and loves to play with fire;  who is only now recognizing her own vim.

For there is a crimson tidal wave of persistence that churns beneath these still waters; surely you feel her crashing against your shores?

Look! Even as my ruby-red heart floats in salty tears, it beats on; it will survive this tearing and tossing.

And until I can find a safe harbor for it…

There will be no resolutions.

 

 

Trifecta has offered us the WORD:
SURVIVE:

3: to continue to function or prosper despite : withstand <they survived many hardships>

Typewriter and Logo for 100 Words

Velvet over at Velvet Verbosity asked us to use REDHEAD.

and the folks over at STUDIO30+ (I’m the Chat leader and proud member!)

asked us to think about Resolutions.


 

Three prompts for the NEW YEAR.

Whew!

HAPPY NEW YEAR my friends.