I admit it... I laugh at extremely inopportune moments. I think this is something I picked up from my dad, sort of an inability sometimes to deal and instead cope with humor. It's not that I don't understand the enormity of what is happening. It's the enormity of what is happening that is inciting me to find something, anything, to relieve its very size and depth. My mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 12 years ago. It sucks. Don't mistake, MS sucks hardcore. To watch someone you love lose their abilities to do things years before they should have lost them, it sucks. To hold her hand while she cries because she can't do things she planned on doing, it sucks. But we have two choices... We can laugh or we can cry. Crying gets old, friends. So we laugh and we make jokes about walking slow and falling down, because what else is there to do? Sometimes laughing looks awkward and disrespectful... But those who don't laugh don't understand that, for some, laughing is how we pay our respects. Laughing is how we deal. And I'm not sorry that's me. Some days, I'd much rather laugh than cry.
...Picked up a Pen again...
writing and blogging several years ago, and I caught the publishing bug. Very into parenting essays at the time, I was intent that I was going to be one of those columnists you see in Family Circle, and I began going after that. I started writing small blurbs, submitting them for publication, building up my portfolio... and there was success. Though small enough to not be credited, things I've written have been published in magazines you've probably read.
I hated it.
The whole process of writing things so that they would be nationally published, writing for an editor, writing things that would fit the publication's criteria. It wasn't me writing anymore. All of it shot my love for writing right through the heart. I wrote because I loved it... And in the quest to get myself published, I lost my love. So I quit. I quit for a very long time. I'd write something here and there, but I wouldn't let myself WRITE. Maybe I was afraid I still didn't love it. Maybe I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it anymore.
But eventually, when the need was greatest, I picked up the pen. And I'm so glad that I did.
I'm 35 years old. Somewhere in the last couple years, I took a good hard look at who I was, who I had become and realized I really wasn't who I wanted to be. Not all bad. But there were big parts, BIG PARTS, that I wanted to be different. But I thought "You're 30-whatever! It's too late! Your character is developed, there's nothing you can do about it!"
As it turns out, that's a lie. You can. You can start over, even if you're 30 or 40 or 50, if you care enough to do it. You might have to tear yourself down first, break yourself apart and start again from scratch. Some people aren't going to like it, either. There are going to be people who liked you better the other way... and they will try to keep you from making the changes you need to make. But it's important to like who you are. Do the work to be the someone that you can.