I’ve missed you.
I told you, “I will never leave you” and then I did. I didn’t mean to drop off the face of the planet since my last post on September 2nd. I have actually gone through withdrawals, kind of a “post” traumatic syndrome, traumatized by not writing and hearing back from all you folks whom I truly care about.
But I got sucked in. I got sucked back into the frenzied vortex of nail-biting normal, even though I stuck my legs out, stiff as a board, pushed against the sides as hard as I could, grabbing the rim of that dark tunnel, holding on for dear life, clinging to images of fiery desert sunsets, fog draping the green hills of the Shenandoah Valley, my golden dog waiting for her next bite of pancake in the back seat, the 50th time I’d played my favorite Jackson Browne song. I tried to go back there. I tried to put my mind in reverse, as I’d do yoga in the family room, but Louie licked my toes.
He broke my concentration and there I was, worrying again, sucked back to reality, down, down, down, the swirling spiral of being a grown up who, now, after the road trip to revive a life, has to pay the piper, and the gas man, and the mortgage, and the car payment and the past due doctor bills. Forget the cable guy, I sent him packing. We don’t need no stinkin’ cable.
Okay, don’t yell at me. I know we all have to be grown ups. I just have to figure out a way to earn a living, that will keep a roof over my head, (plus the two college kids and two dogs) but will spare enough energy and brain matter to write the book, but won’t gunny sack me. That’s what my brother Don used to threaten to do with a good-for-nothin’, misbehaving dog. “Gunny sack it” he’d say. As if he ever could throw a mutt in a burlap bag, tie a knot and toss em’ out by the side of the road, according to some perverted Texas rural myth he’d heard. Anyway, that’s how I felt before I went on my recent excursion. Remember that Jean? I do and she wasn’t worth killing, as my mama used to say.
So, today, I just said no. I just said no to a job offer.
They had actually called when I was in Lake Tahoe. I was thinking, “Man, that’d be great! Not to have to worry about actually LOOKING for a new job? Just waltz back into town, start outlining the book, land an agent, do some more blog posts, organize 1,500 photos, send thank you notes to all my hosts and backers, edit a video reel of all the incredible stuff I saw and share it with everybody, oh, and actually WRITE the book and start a new job. No prob.”
Oy. This is what I’ve been doing for the past ten years and I’m here to tell you brothers and sisters, it does not fucking work.
So, I just said no.
It’s not that it wasn’t a good job, an honorable pursuit, actually it was, working in politics again, for someone I actually admire, who is on the right side of the issues and by that I mean correct. But, hypocrisy reared her ugly head, as I’m preaching the gospel about listening to your gut, following your intuitive self, paying attention to the signs! Like I don’t recognize the signs, when a ball of stress wads up in my stomach, while I’m updating my resume and I’m telling my inner voice “don’t make me come down there! Just sit down and shut the fuck up!” Well, the gut won. Score one for the gut, who said: “Jean, you can NOT be anybody else’s pitchman anymore! You can not promote another product or cause or candidate except you. There are not enough years left in this lifetime for you to take on anybody else’s campaign but your own. You have to do this. Now. ”
That’s what this whole trip was about, challenging our fears, going for our dreams even if it meant going against the grain of convention and common sense. Right? But if you thought I was scared on the road at times, this is worse! It’s not the boogey man, it’s the bill collectors! I wake up every morning saying, “what am I going to do? How is this going to work?” But, I’m telling you like I’m telling myself; we can not give in to fear.
I see people hunkered down in fear every single day. And the funny thing is, when I was out on the road, the people who seemed the most relaxed were the ones who had the least to work with. I’ve already picked up some freelance work and I’m thinking about being a checker at the grocery store. I’d rather do that than be a political press secretary again. At least I can work a night shift and write during the day. I am as serious as a heart attack.
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I am happy when I write and I’m happy when I’m with my dogs. It’s as simple as that. My pledge to you is that I won’t cop out. I will continue to work on crafting a life around what I think I’m supposed to do, rather than shoehorning that dream into the threadbare scraps of leftover time at the end of the day. We know the folly in that. And this would be my wish for you, to be engaged in meaningful, life affirming work that makes you happy.
Because, truth is, this is all about you. At least this post is. I’m much too self-absorbed to make the whole damn thing about you. I just wanted to tell you tonight, how much I appreciate your spirit and your encouragement and support. I write this with tears in my eyes, swear to God.
Since I began this journey, we’ve grown into a community of nearly 10,000 eyeballs. Well, it’s really more like 9,999 cause my little brother Jay, can only see out of one eye. (Trust me, he’ll laugh about this. He’s the guy who told me on the tennis court, “pretty damn humiliating being beat by a one-eyed man.”)
So I want to thank all you eyeballs from the bottom of my heart for taking a peek at this website. And on my Facebook page, holy Toledo, (that saying will never be the same for me) I’ve had more than 62,000 post views. These kinds of numbers on the tote board REALLY help me with prospective agents.
And guess what? I’ve actually had a conversation with one. It’s an early “look-see” but we’re talking. This is thrilling. The journey continues.
You can help me by continuing to post links to this site or my Facebook page on your blogs or Facebook pages. And, in one last shameless plug, I will have the prequel, “A Woman With a Past: The Post-Apocalyptic Approach to Men” available on Amazon soon. Here’s the book cover.
Look for a button on the site as soon as Sean, my son and Web dude, gets it done. (I know, I’ve been yammering about this for weeks) But I will have a “button” for you to receive an email when it’s available for sale. As in cha-ching, like at the grocery store. I’ll thank you when you come through my checkout line.