I saw this on Pinterest the other night and it really struck a chord because as you’ve probably already figured out I’m weird. I’ve known this since I was a little girl. While all the other little girls were playing house and messing around with their mother’s makeup, I was under a tree somewhere with a book, or trying to get the feral kittens to let me pet them in the barn (don’t try this at home unless you don’t mind long nasty scratches on your arms).
For years I hid my obsessive compulsive list making, note scribbling, recipe collecting, physically awkward, animal dork, real person from the world. I raised a family, bred horses, kept a rather demanding job and dressed and groomed myself sufficiently that no one figured out just exactly how weird I really was.
One of the best things about getting older though is that I’ve quit caring what people think of me. I’ve talked to a lot of people my age who say the same thing. They feel secure enough about themselves they can actually be authentic, weird or not. In my case, that would be a definite weird and I’m ok with that and actually at this place in my life, confident about it.
For example, a friend of mine brought me some eggs from his daughter’s chickens. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I took about twenty pictures of them before I put them in the refrigerator. I could see by the look on his face he thought this was REALLY REALLY weird, but he just rolled his eyes. Something like that would have bothered me when I was younger. Now though, I just flip it off in my mind because my older self knows he’ll hang around to see if those eggs are going to turn into something good to eat and if I take another twenty pictures of whatever I make from them he’ll get a chance to roll his eyes again, but he won’t turn down the food.
Another thing that helps with the whole weirdness situation is to find friends as weird (or better yet, even weirder) than you. This gets easier as you get older, because older people don’t care about hiding their weirdness as much as younger people do. If I had figured this out years ago, I’d just have gone out and found some weird, old people to hang out with right from the beginning.
In some ways I did. When I was first widowed and breeding horses, the old farmers in town were all my friends. They’d stop by to see my new batch of babies every year and sneak a cup of coffee from the pot in my barn when their wives weren’t looking (I lived in an area that was pretty solidly Mormon and Mormons aren’t supposed to drink coffee). They drove flat bed trucks with hay on the back and the requisite Border Collie, Australian Shepherd or Heeler, pacing back and forth constantly on the truck, looking for something to herd. I loved these guys and they loved me because I understood what made them tick. They saw the weirdness in me and connected to it because they were weird also. Instead of wearing a suit and going to church on Sunday, they were hiding in my barn drinking coffee. Instead of wearing a dress and going to church on Sunday, I was sitting on a hay bale in overalls with a coffee cup watching baby horses pester their mothers which was and still is my definition of spirituality.
At any rate, if you’re reading this you’re probably weird too because you wouldn’t hang out here for long if you were normal. Confess up, dear virtual friends! What makes you weird? Inquiring minds want to know.
xxoo,She Loves, She Writes | 2 Comments »
It was dark in the bar, so I stepped carefully into the back room. There were two women about my age sitting at a table chatting. They looked up when I stumbled down a step I hadn’t noticed.
“Are you here for the writers’ group?” one of them asked.
“Yes, I am.”
“Well take a seat and join us.”
It was an innocuous start to something that has since become incredibly important to me. The group has grown quite a bit since then. We meet at a public library twice a month to critique each other’s work for an hour or so. I love this time and these people for various and assorted reasons, not the least of which is they make me feel normal.
Most of my friends don’t know I write. The ones who do know, don’t understand why I do it. I have a good job that I’m not planning on leaving any time soon, and lots of friends and family to take up my time. Why would I want to spend hours alone in my office scribbling away? Why indeed? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know writing is something I don’t just want to do, but need to do.
I’ve learned more about my craft from this group than I have from all the books I’ve read on writing and all the classes I’ve taken about writing combined. We encourage each other, believe in each other and sometimes even scold each other. Anyone who wants work critiqued, brings several copies to pass around. Each writer takes a turn reading what they’ve brought and then the others tell her where she can improve the piece. It sounds scary and it is. The first time I read anything to the group, my hands shook uncontrollably and my voice quavered, but now I don’t have a single butterfly in my stomach. I know the feedback will be honest and sensitive.
We have two conferences a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. I’ve never had the time to attend the spring conference, and unfortunately won’t be able to this year either, but I’ve been to the last two fall conferences. What fun! Lectures, seminars, workshops, other writers to talk to!
Heaven to someone like me and maybe to someone like you?
The moral of this post my dear virtual friends is that if you write, and want to feel normal, accepted and understood, seek out a writers’ group near you and join it. You won’t regret it.Posted in She Loves, She Writes | 9 Comments »
I have another cute label/wonderful red wine for you to try!
It’s got blackberry and vanilla notes, very smooth. Long lovely finish…
I really liked this one!
It’s a great sipping wine, but would be lovely with just about anything off the grill this summer!
This post is in honor of the letter “V” and part of Jenny Matlock’s Alphabet Thursday. For more V” posts, please click here http://jennymatlock.blogspot.com/Posted in She Drinks! | 15 Comments »