Backlash

If you’ve read my posts, Success Stories and Heat, among others, you’ll know I didn’t grow up on the same street with the Hiltons or Rockafellers. I scraped by, grappling my way from pauperism.

One might think that would be celebrated. The truth is those who know where you came from aren’t that joyous that you abandoned them. While some of them will smile, rarely will you hear “good job.”

Many of my childhood friends have remained in childhood, a distant memory of what was. Sometimes, when visiting, I’ve run into them in a shop or store. They say, “Oh my goodness, we have to get together!” but then don’t answer my call. One of my running buddies (and I don’t mean exercise) pretended not to recognize me, couldn’t remember the years we held on to one another for safety and sanity.

One of my mother’s friends sat in our yard and said, upon hearing my college plans, “sounds like someone thinks she’s better than us.”

And so I’ve heard it all really – “you brag too much,” “no one really cares,” and the silence. The silence that states they have nothing more to say to you because you are not one of them. You’re a traitor to the cause, in some strange way, as if you abandoned your friends in the war.

There’s a backlash for getting out, staying away, becoming your own version of yourself.

Change is all kinds of hard. Changing the way they see you, makes them have to gaze at themselves. It’s really not me or you that’s the problem. It’s the mirror they have to face when they can no longer see themselves in us.

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I explore this concept of reflections, families, and mirrors in the story “Mirror People” in my book of short fiction, How to Throw a Psychic a Surprise Party.

Stay Strong. Stay Well

Fear

For many years, I have walked confidently on the stones in the stream, believing the fall not that deep, won’t hurt that much.

The truth is that the fall might not be very deep, might not hurt at all – it’s the fear of the fall that worms it’s way into the squirmy regions of my brain. That’s where all fear starts – somewhere deep inside the brain which is supposed to warn us of danger. We begin to feel it all though our bodies.

I come from a legacy of anxiety.

I, however, have never subscribed to the fear. I’ve never allowed it to control me or my life. In fact, I pushed back by crashing through obstacles of all sorts, by caving, and diving with sharks, traveling to far away places, and teetering on the edge of canyons for selfies. Yes, I’m one of those!

This past year, however, those rocks seem far more precarious than I ever noticed. The water rushes past so quickly, loosening the stones, unsteadying the path.

When I take one step at a time, I’m okay. If I look at the other side, if I concern myself with two or three stones ahead, I begin to panic.

Walk steady. Walk slowly. Head high. Believe it will all be okay. The other side is nearer than it seems.

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