Growing up, there was one feeling I remember feeling the most out of all the others. Alone. I felt alone. I felt like I was a burden to others around me because I always had something going on. There was always something. I don’t know how I learned it—but I learned it was a negative thing. I was the only one I knew with a mentally disabled brother. I was the only one with a terminally ill mother. I was the only one in my neighborhood who was going through, well, everything. Everybody else around me was all smiles and happiness and easy. Oh my gosh, how I just wished for easy.Continue reading “What is Writing Out Loud?”
Merry Christmas Eve! Christmas is almost here! Are you excited? Do you have all your shopping done? Are the presents wrapped? Gah! I’m a little sad this season is almost over but I’m also excited for what’s coming next. It’s a weird feeling. Mostly, I’m excited for everybody to open their presents!
In the spirit of Christmas and to stretch out my writing muscle, I’ve decided to write a Christmas poem (also I’m extremely competitive but I’ll explain that later). Well, hubby and I wrote this together. It was really fun actually. Minus the staying up late part. (ahahah)
And now I present, for your reading pleasure, The Unnamed Christmas Poem!
Twas the night before Christmas
As all stories start.
Let’s peek on our friend,
Who is making some art.
“I’m going to stay up so I can meet Santa.”
He says as he colors at the table with mom
Making his plans as fast as he can
He must act quick, he heard that Santa was over Guam
His biggest dream, is to meet the fat man who brings all the presents,
Who drives a sleigh and lives with elves.
On Christmas morning, he thanks his parents
But he wants to thank Santa as well.
Tonight’s the night, he’ll sneak downstairs
to meet the white bearded man.
The room is bright with colored lights
The tree is empty, there is still time
Across the floor he crawls staying as quiet as can be
Finding the perfect spot beneath the tree
Soon Santa will come
And leave tons presents
He closes his eyes, for just a moment.
It’s late and he’s tired but he is determined
He isn’t sure how much time has passed but when his eyes open next-
It’s him! He’s here! The big man himself!
“Santa!” He yelled, his excitement growing
The man turned, smiling wide, finishing his task
“You should be in bed,” he said. His voice a whisper.
Our friend just nodded, “I wanted to thank you.”
The man looked surprised. This was a first.
“You’re welcome, little one.”
Our friend gave a very quick hug and ran upstairs, his goal accomplished.
He was at that last step when he was struck by a thought.
Santa- who wore a suit of red- was missing the red!
He thought for a moment, and the knowledge came rushing.
It was his daddy who he saw, not the king of the North Pole.
Back in May I celebrated my 28th birthday. Normally, I want to make a big deal out of my birthday. I want to plan an awesome party, have all my friends over and do all the cool birthday things. Every single time, once April turns to May, I give up on the birthday party deal and decide we aren’t going to make a big deal about my birthday. Which, in all honestly, makes me feel sad about my birthday. I want to make a big deal and have a party and invite all my friends. It doesn’t need to be a huge deal, but a deal would be fine. Ya know? I just give up because I’m always afraid of being disappointed or upset. The song “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want to” comes to mind. My memory tells me I’ve had a few birthdays where I’ve cried and I don’t want to re-create that feeling. Although, I cannot remember what made me cry in the past.
This year was different though because I was also publishing my book on my birthday. Once I learned my birthday fell on a Tuesday, I pushed my original plan to publish in March to my birthday because traditionally published books get published on Tuesday. This might not be the 100% rule but most, if not all, the books I’ve followed or pre-ordered or got on the day they published, have been on Tuesdays. Now, even though I was self-publishing I didn’t see why I couldn’t publish on Tuesday and heck yes, publish on my birthday!
I wanted to celebrate both of these things. Writing a book is not easy. Any writer will tell you that. I’ll tell you that too, just in case. The whole writing process is deep and I left my heart on the pages of that book. Since I self-published, I was also in charge of all the formatting, design and planning of everything that came after the writing part of my book. (This is not a complaint. I loved the process, but I’ll write about that at a different time.) Producing a book from start to finish that I loved and was proud of was a huge accomplishment and I deserved to celebrate it too. Now, I knew that I was going to most likely tell myself I don’t need a birthday party this year like I always do. I was also wanting a book launch party but I already felt myself debating on whether or not it mattered.
IT MATTERS. It matters so much. I should be celebrating accomplishments even if that accomplishment is getting from May of last year to May of this year. The crazy thing is, I want to celebrate the things my family does. Husband got a promotion or military award? Celebration time! Little Man scored a goal in soccer? Special lunch time! I want to celebrate all the things, big and small, for my family but then I go and act like the things I do don’t matter. Friends, I’m starting to force myself to believe they matter. I’m so used to making myself smaller. I’m a loud person and I’ve spent the majority of my life trying to not be too loud to those around me. I’m too much and I was trying to not be too much. So the things I do were not big deals, which might be why I am so quick to cancel making birthday plans. I made a big deal about something once, and I heard about what a big deal I made it (my 18th birthday) from everybody around me. I didn’t know if they were complaining but it made me feel like I was ridiculous.
It’s not ridiculous to celebrate things. It’s okay to want to celebrate yourself and your own accomplishments. In my house, I’m the party planner. I even went to school for it and have been professionally trained. In my house I do the parties and events. It always sounded odd to me to plan parties for myself. However, I’ve learned that planning parties is just not in my husband’s wheelhouse. He tried to plan a surprise party for me once and it was not the greatest. He tried so hard. I figured it out and once I got back to my apartment, we planned out a dinner out on the Strip. It was fun but I have a strength in party/event planning and my husband does not. So celebrations fall on me and that is okay. I struggled to do things for myself to celebrate though because the thought of doing a party for myself seemed prideful. (It’s not. Celebrating with people who are proud of you and love you is not prideful. You are not shoving your success down someone’s throat or even gloating. I say that for myself really and maybe someone else needs to hear it. Just because I plan the logistics, because it is in my wheelhouse, doesn’t take away from the joy of celebration. I just thought it did because fear. It always boils down to fear. Friends, in the words of Zach William’s- Fear is a liar.
This year, I threw away that fear. I combined my birthday and book launch wants and gave myself a vintage library themed birthday party & book launch. We played a game I found on interest. I had ice cream cake and a candy bar because I’m five at heart. I had a bookmark making station where my best friend made me a beautiful bookmark that I’m using in all the books I am currently reading. I had my book on display and my friends bough a copy and then had me sign it. (That was surreal.) I had a blast. I celebrated my book and my birthday with people who loved me and were happy to celebrate with me.
Now I am challenging myself to celebrate all the things. Not just stuff for my husband and my son but for me too. Life is meant to be celebrated.