Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Life Comes At You Hard

Changing careers in mid life has not been easy. I certainly see why so many just float along the same career path even though they'd rather not. It's easier. But to change the direction of your life is sometimes out of your control. As it has been with me.

My life, had I been able to look through a crystal ball back in the early 80s, is NOTHING as I imagined it would be. Nothing. There are but few shreds of that period of time that prove its existence to me. Other than two children, it's for the most part, all but a memory.

But because of those memories, and the events that transpired afterward, I have evolved into what I am today. A writer with a past to draw from. Life came at me hard, but I persevered. It still comes at me hard. Decisions about this new career path still have to be made and I can only hope that the wisdom that comes with age is helping me to make better ones.

It seems, though I am a writer that speaks and NOT a speaker who writes ... that I'm destined to deliver my voice to the masses ... speaking about my stories, my work, and my life. I have a plethora of appearances scheduled from now until next April. And the requests to speak continue to come in. I will blog more about this in the days to come, but I think I'll just begin by saying ... Church Shouldn't Hurt. It's a spin-off of my speeches that is starting to cause a stir among many who share the same view.

The doors are opening for me to speak about it. I feel as if I'm stepping into an abyss that must be stepped into with caution and love. There's so much hurt, and so many who are wary. My message is a very simple one. But I'm not a preacher. Not at all. Just a simple speaker with her own story. But that story in itself is a powerful one. I've known it for a long time.

When life comes at you hard, you have to recognize it for what it is. A learning experience. You either make the changes and grow from it or you dissolve into the universe ... leaving nothing behind to prove you were here. I often wonder where my strength comes from. Then I laugh and shake myself as I'm gently reminded.

I work a seven-day week, most weeks. From 9 a.m. to midnight ... usually. Life has always come at me hard ... it's not let up, not one bit. But this time ... I see a beacon light in the mist. I know what it means. In the meantime, there are books to sell, people to meet, places to go and speak, and more stories and books to be written.

That hardness in my life has broken me down many times, molding me into the woman I am. For better or worse. It's pushed me around and thrown me up against a wall a few times, bruised my ego, and blackened my eye to the future. Slapped my mouth and told me to shut it before my foot gets stuck in it again. But it's also held me by the nape of my neck and kicked me in the ass a couple times too. I've felt the soreness it's left in it's wake. I also know the muscles of determination that have strengthened and hardened because of it.

It's what makes women into tough old broads. And softhearted grandmas.

I see glimpses of my life's purpose. It keeps me moving forward. Despite the hard road. Today, there's editing to do and obligations to writing groups and other writers that has to be squeezed into time I'd rather be spending on my own work or even in the garden that has suffered from neglect this summer. But in the end I know ... this is my path. All writers follow their own paths their own callings every day. We're all so different.

But there's one thing that all writers have in common due to the nature of the business itself. Life comes at all writers—hard ... because it's a profession we've not only chosen ... it's our calling.

Blessings to you and yours.

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