Tag Archives: Breaking Radio Silence

I Need to Tell Myself (poem)

What I Need to Tell Myself

 

I need to tell myself the following:

 

First, I need to tell myself to take life one day at a time

Because today is all I have to work with

 

I will tell myself not to let the past gnaw on my ass

Or worry about a future that hasn’t happened yet

A future that probably won’t happen the way I imagine it will

 

I need to tell myself I made it through the day

Because I woke up with a roof over my head

And I was able to put food in my belly

And my car didn’t break down

And I had money when I needed it

And my pets didn’t barf on the floor

 

I need to tell myself I can change my future plans

Because they haven’t happened yet

I can tell myself it’s okay to let anxiety and bullshit play out

And it’s okay to sleep in a little

 

I need to tell myself to focus on doing things I want to do

To focus on projects that are deep in my heart

 

And most of all

I need to tell myself not to think about what people might say

When I break my silence

And tell of my changes in plans

Because it doesn’t matter why it takes so long to do something

Nor do I owe anyone an on-the-spot explanation

 

I don’t need to bow my head in shame

Or stand up with attitude

I just need to get through today

And know that changes can always be made

 

Guts to Change

Guts to Change

 

I know I need to have the guts to change

I need to find the courage to change my life for the better

Despite not having a lot to work with

And most of all

I need to find the courage to stand up to Fear

 

I need to find the courage to stand up for myself

I need to find the courage to stand firm in the face of criticism

No matter how well-meaning

I need to find the courage to tell myself I’m not a worthless idiot

 

I know I’m not perfect

I know I don’t know everything

But neither does anyone else

I need to push myself harder than I ever have

And if someone doesn’t like that

I just need to ignore them, and not engage them in any way

I know this is an old fear

But it is a fear that refuses to die

 

I need the freedom to write what I want to

Then find the pattern to put it all together

I need to do things without worrying about what someone might think

I need to tell myself I can not only survive

But that I can thrive

And that I can do it in an unconventional way

 

I tried to live a conventional life

A nine-to-five sit-down job with all the bullshit that came with it

And all I got in return were back problems that might have disabled me

So I have no regrets about walking away from that old life

 

So now I write poetry to think out loud

And I want to record my poetry for the world to hear

And I want to write social commentary

Individual pieces to get thoughts and feelings out

Maybe someday they’ll go into a book

A book of commentary on society, politics, religion, and other topics

My intention with this commentary is not to upset

So I’m still trying to figure out how to write it out

I will work my ass off to write well

To edit well

To focus and keep the profanity to a minimum

 

I will also go out on the road more

Hustle more for money

I will battle my seasonal allergies with lots of peppermint and water

And I will succeed

 

For although I’ve needed this time to rest and reflect

I know I can’t do that forever

I need to write

I need to hustle

And I need to make my dreams come true

And not let my somewhat mythical fears hold me back

For as I think the thought of ‘what will someone think’

I need to tell myself that thought is bullshit

If someone has an opinion about my life they can tell me

What I do with it is up to me

 

But to be honest

I live and work mostly in silence

On my own and out of everyone’s way

It’s not always what I want

But I’ve done it for so long I don’t know how much I can change

I want to believe change is possible

But I also fear that change could be upsetting

It’s not like I’m out to break the law

Or rain on someone’s parade

I just want to be a writer-gypsy someday

And to get on that road I need to make this writing of mine happen

And if changes need to be made

I need to make them without silence

**************************************************************************

I feel better after I write and poetry comes pretty easy to me as it’s just a stream of thought that I can lay out line-by-line. It can give me reference points that I can then go into more detail about.

So here goes:

The blog went silent because I couldn’t come up with an entry for the so-called ‘political book’ project. And when I began to avoid that project like the plague I had to go silent and think through to why that was.

I realized I don’t want to limit myself to just one topic and if I focused on just politics and crafting political arguments I’d be regurgitating a lot of what’s already been said. I realized I wanted to do something different, and I also realized I needed the freedom to just write and then once I began to see a pattern to look at putting it altogether at some point in the future. The term ‘social commentary’ came to my mind and it hasn’t left. In the past, I’ve written on just a single topic sometimes prompted from a news item or something like that and it worked well for me.

Now I’m sure someone reading this might wonder why that’s not the case with the ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ project despite that being much more personal. I’ve done a lot of writing in the vein of ‘Breaking…’ even though the vast majority of it has been deleted into oblivion. But the work has been done where the ‘political book’ book project hadn’t been. So the individual pieces of ‘social commentary’ that I’m now calling this are the work I need to do to get that project to come together.

I will also freely admit here when I do go silent from the writing a lot of old fears rear their ugly heads and I have to confront them, too. Yes, I do go silent when I’m trying to deal with things but that’s just what I’ve always done and like old habits, that silence will die a hard death. And right now, it’s still got some considerable life in it. I’m sorry for the slightly gruesome imagery but the good news is that this bout of silence was nowhere near as bad as what happened over the summer months. I don’t think I’ll ever get that down again because I did make it out of there and now know what to look for to stay out of that place.

So here I am back in the saddle after falling off my horse. And now I’m looking for the guts to change things for the better in my life.

Breaking Radio Silence: Reclaiming a Feeling

Introduction

Reclaiming a Feeling

 

A few months ago, I was in the car alone when the song ‘Flashdance (What a Feeling)’ by Irene Cara came on the radio. I didn’t change the station like I always had done before when the song came on because I was in heavy traffic. But I’m grateful for that traffic because for the first time in close to thirty-six years, the song put a smile on my face. So when I got back home I put it on again, listened to the lyrics a bit more closely, and bawled my brains out in my kitchen over a plate of breakfast tacos.

Why the tears?

Well, there’s a line in the song about crying all alone silent tears full of pride. And that made me break down because I’ve done that since I was a little girl, before that song came out even. But that day in the kitchen those tears began a healing process that has me looking back at my younger self with love and kindness.

The reason I grew to hate that song and never wanted to hear it again was because I heard it five days a week for an entire school year in gym class the year it came out. Every day we started class with exercises done to that song and I was always at the back of the class trying to keep up. And I could never keep up or do anything right physically because I was an overweight girl with terrible balance and coordination. I would always drop something, trip and fall, and get picked last for any team.

So you can imagine my childhood had some pretty miserable times. What saved me from drowning in that misery was my imagination. I have always had a vivid imagination and have spent a lot of time in my imaginary world. I used to think that was a bad thing but looking back I see now it was a matter of survival. Because I have never fit in anywhere and was made to realize that from as far back as I can remember.

For the longest time, there was a part of me that felt like I was at fault for not fitting in. That I could have been less klutzy, learned how to talk to people, or just somehow found a way to fit in. But for some reason, the Universe deemed me to be someone who wouldn’t be like most everyone else. I’m fine with that now and I see that being the odd one out didn’t make me a bad person. And as for all the bullies and assholes back then both child and adult, I’ve left them behind.

Leaving someone or something behind is my form for forgiveness. It’s saying I’m not staying back in the past and I’m not going to let my past define me. I’m not going to think any good I do is wiped out whenever I make a mistake or have a klutzy moment. Because I’ve come to realize no one has all the answers and if they say they do they’re full of shit.

When I talk about reclaiming my past I mean I’ve begun to think like the little girl I used to be. Because back then I didn’t look in the mirror and see a fat, shy, and klutzy kid. I saw a girl who could smile, sing, and dance without fear of failure. I saw a girl who found the courage to stand up and speak even if it meant risking failure, ridicule, or ostracization. I like the fact that she was stubborn and proud, but would have apologized all over herself if told that.

What I like about my younger self was that she wasn’t hard and cynical. She hadn’t let the world grind her down yet and she did that by knowing deep down she wasn’t a bad person. Granted, as a little girl I spent a lot of time in my imaginary world but it was time well-spent because I think it was my way of surviving the bad things. Because when I’ve gotten away from that imaginary world I get hard and cynical.

The feelings I’ve reclaimed from my past are a sense of wonder, of imagination, and of joy in the simplest of things. It’s a feeling of knowing I’m not perfect, but that I’m not a bad person either. And it’s an acceptance that I’m not destined to fit in anywhere, something I’m feeling much better about than I ever have before.

My silence wasn’t a bad thing. It was a way of surviving sometimes. But it was also a way for me to find my own voice, even if it was inside my head most of the time. And though I’ll never really sing or dance very well (my vocal chords have been trashed by my all my years of chronic allergies and being on the phones, and I can’t dance very well because due to my scoliosis I really am off-balance). But that’s alright because my world hasn’t ended because I can’t sing or dance very well.

Like back then, I know life will go on. And I can decide how I want to go on with it. One thing I want to go on with is looking at myself and thinking that at least in my own imagination, I can sing and dance.

 

 

Catching Poetry

Earlier this year I began writing poetry after not writing it for more years than I can remember. When I was around twelve years old I filled spiral notebooks with poetry and entertained ideas about becoming a songwriter-lyricist before I moved into fiction. I enjoyed writing poetry and when I began writing it again this year I wondered why I stayed away from it for so long.

Well, when I began posting it online in a writers’ group I belong to, I was ridiculed and bullied by a fellow member. And I let this bully silence and shame me because I didn’t want to upset the group dynamic. I didn’t have the courage to speak out against how terrible I felt for what he was trying to do to me. Now he’s out of my life and that group and I’m forever grateful for that.

I will not let anyone silence me again for whatever I write. I enjoy writing poetry and will share it here and elsewhere. I have discovered not only a love for writing it, but I’ve also discovered that it’s a good way for me to organize my thoughts from the sometimes-maddening whirl of them in my mind.

But to pay tribute to Monty Python here, I’m glad I caught poetry again. For poetry isn’t like an STD or anything else you don’t want to catch. It’s something you do want to catch and keep.

January 18, 2018

Catching Poetry

 

I write to say I may have caught poetry

I would rather catch poetry than a cold or the flu

I would rather quote a great Monty Python skit than be without poetry

 

It is fun to write verses

Even if they don’t always rhyme

 

Oh my, this is the third poem I’ve written in the last three days

Now I know I have caught poetry

And I don’t want to let it go

 

For poetry does not give me a scratchy throat

Or a stuffy head like my allergies do

It does not exhaust me to write

Nor is it hard to edit

 

Have fun with poetry, I say

Let the words flow

Read them out loud to find the perfect rhythm

Because I believe anyone can write poetry

If they just listen for the words

 

And though some of us are able to put them onto paper

(or a computer screen in my case)

Or even find the courage to share them with the world

I believe poetry is within all of us

 

For the world needs poetry, like it needs all of the arts

It is joy and pain, thought and feeling

It is the human experience in us all

 

I am forever grateful I have caught poetry

And I will never let it go

Breaking Radio Silence – Introduction – Leaving Fear

This is the introduction to my book ‘Breaking Radio Silence’

Leaving Fear to Find Questions and Answers

For a lot of people, if asked to visualize Fear it would be a huge monster with blood dripping off its’ fangs as it towers over you and blocks out all the light.

For me, Fear is a monster, but it’s a monster with an enormous cloak that envelops me in silence. It’s a retreat that’s always there for me and it’s always welcoming. But I can’t stay there forever, nor can I let Fear guide me in my life.

So breaking radio silence is leaving Fear’s embrace to live my life to the fullest. It’s about not running back to Fear’s embrace when something scares me or hurts me in my life. It’s about finding the strength and courage to do what I want to do and keep doing it for the rest of my life.

I won’t lie to you and say that I’m not feeling scared right now.

What am I scared of?

Anger, ridicule, doubt, good intentions.

I’ve always been scared of people getting angry at me. I’m very sensitive emotionally and since anger is very powerful energy I feel it at a very intense level inside me. My own anger scares me so much that I’ve repressed it more than anything and I don’t ever want to give in to it. But I’ve come to realize that anger is a part of me and that I don’t need to repress it when I can find ways of dealing with it constructively.

Ridicule is something I’ve dealt with as far back as I can remember. I was a very shy, fat, awkward, and klutzy child, which I’ve always said is not a recipe for social success. I’ve tripped, stumbled, and fallen on my ass both literally and figuratively so much if I had a dime for every time that happened I’d be richer than J.K. Rowling. But I also tell myself I’ve always managed to pick myself up off the ground and keep going though mostly in silence.

Doubt and good intentions go hand-in-hand because every time I’ve stepped out of my quiet little role wanting to do something I’ve never done before, people have asked me the following questions:

– Do you know what you’re getting into?

– Have you thought this through?

– Are you sure you can handle this?

The answer all three questions is ‘no’. These questions have always caused me to doubt myself in every way possible and when I challenged that, I was told those questions were being asked for my own good. And the reason I call them good intentions is because they’re not if they create fear and doubt in someone.

All my life I’ve felt like people have been so terrified of seeing me fail at something they’ll do anything they can to keep that from happening. I honestly don’t know what inspired this over-protectiveness other than being a fat, shy, klutzy kid because whenever I did fall on my ass I always tried not to sit there and cry about it. I always felt like I had to get up and keep going and keep trying to figure things out for myself, and do things for myself, too. Maybe it was that odd combination of independence and klutziness that some people just couldn’t understand or handle.

I will freely admit here I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I’ve learned on the job more often than not and had to think on my feet and solve problems pretty quickly. And if I do make a mistake now I don’t beat the living shit out of myself like I used to. I’ll apologize and make amends, but I’m not going to wear my mistakes like a lead weight around my neck for the rest of my life.

And that’s something I really want people reading this book to understand: it’s okay to make mistakes and if anyone claims to have all the answers to call bullshit on them even if it’s only inside your head.

Because as I’ve begun to look back on my life I’ve begun to ease up on myself. In fact, I’ve looked back on my past self with a lot of kindness and compassion. I see a person who somehow managed to get up off the deck and keep going no matter how hard life threw her to the ground. I’ve been told I have a shit-ton of pride stuck up my ass, but I will say that pride kept me going when nothing else did. The only bad thing was that stubborn pride kept me silent when I shouldn’t have been. That’s something I’m learning to overcome here now.

So breaking radio silence and leaving Fear’s embrace is about living with strength and courage that I’ve always had, being kind and compassionate to myself and the world around me, and living my life knowing I don’t have all the answers and never will. Life is learning experience, and I believe we learn by doing.

I’ve been silent for too long. And in homage to the television show ‘Doctor Who’, my silence will fall when not only do I ask the questions, but I find some answers, too.

No one should be silent, or feel they have to live that way. Because although Fear can be a warm and quiet place, it’s not somewhere you want to live forever.

Introduction – Breaking My Radio Silence

I’ve been blogging on and off for about a decade now and each blog has gone silent. The reasons for the silences vary and I won’t go into them here other than to say I won’t let those reasons silence me again.

The goal of this blog and website is to use it to establish my writing career.

There. I said what I’ve been wanting to do for the better part of three decades now. Yes, ever since I was about twelve years old and started writing in earnest I wanted to earn a living off of it.

So what stopped me?

A lot of things, which I will go into in the ‘Breaking Radio Silence’ book that you’ll be seeing a lot about here. I’m at a point in my life where I know I can make things up as I go along if I have to, but also know that I can keep going even if I get knocked down. Besides, it’s just me, my dog, and my cat and those two are pretty low maintenance though I wouldn’t go anywhere without them. Eventually when this writing gig takes off, I want to get a van and trick it out to where I can live out of it with my dog and cat while we hit the road.

Although I love where I live and seeing the city day in and day out, I want to see the rest of the world, too. And I want to be able to live and work on the road and I figure writing is as good a way to do that as anything else.

Am I nuts in doing this?

I don’t think so. I tried the nine-to-five corporate gig and all I got out of it was a slightly-messed up back and a ton of stress I couldn’t medicate with alcohol (I don’t drink alcohol because my body reacts to it like I’m allergic). Right now I’m a full-time Uber driver because it’s a gig where I can be by my own boss and earn money without dealing with too much bullshit.

I’ve spent all my life battling fear and doubts and I’ve gotten to the point where I see where they come from. And if anyone asks what took me so long to do this, I’m not going to answer that question directly even if the intent behind it isn’t an on-the-spot demand like it’s always come off to me. The answer to that question is a lot more complicated and deserving of a much-lengthier explanation.

And no, I have no real idea of what I’m doing past a certain point. But NO ONE has all the answers and if anyone claims to I call ‘bullshit’ on them. All I can do is study, learn, and do. I can change direction if something isn’t working and if I fall on my ass doing something then I can just pick myself up and keep going like I always have. And if someone has a problem with that, they can take it up with me directly or just be totally ignored by me.

But I will say I won’t be just posting willy-nilly here. I’ve got topics and categories I want to write under as well as book projects to put together. So I’ve got the focus I need and I know if I start to avoid something then I need to figure out why. But these projects I have going have been with me for so long and haven’t let go no matter how hard I’ve avoided them sometimes. And when things stick with me through thick and thin, like my dream of being a full-time self-supporting writer, I know this is what I really want to do with my life. Once I accept that something is here to say with me, I feel a clarity and a calm I know is true and real.

Because one thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that if I listen closely enough, answers will come to me. But I’ve also accepted I can change things if I have to, and that sometimes I just need to be patient and let things play out until I come to an answer. And yes, I know this sounds a bit woo-woo but expect a lot more of that here because although my woo-woo might be non-denominational, I believe in it.

So, what will I write about then?

Whatever I want to, to be a smart-ass in reply to that question.

In reality, I’ll be working under these main categories:

1) Breaking Radio Silence: Memoire/self-help hybrid topic so these posts will be going towards that book.

2) We Ride at Dawn: This is my political topic heading and these posts will be going towards a book, too.

3) Poetry: Yes, I write poetry. And yes, I will be compiling it into a book someday.

4) Writing: Since I’m a writer these entries will be about the writing process including grammar.

5) Short fiction: For the longest time, I didn’t think I could write short fiction but then I discovered I can.

6) Novel Excerpts: I’ve got one cooking right now and many, many more to come.

7) Life on the Hustle: This one will be about my time on the road as an Uber driver along with other entries about my previous incarnations as a call-center wage-slave and such.

8) Extras: One-off entries (or more) about anything not under the above categories.