The Rest is Still Unwritten

Sometimes, in life we look around and realize that a new chapter is beginning.  Chapters may close simultaneously leaving room for other things, people, places, experiences, jobs…adventure.  And this can be scary, but exciting at the same time.

And this is where I find myself.  Suddenly I look around and the life I have led over the last four years is not the landscape which I see.  It has all changed, chapters have closed, and I look at the blank canvass before me.

I have long said that we have the ability to write the life that we want, The Life We Build. Still, though, sometimes things happen outside of our control and we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, living the life we did not write ourselves.  And that also happened to me, over the last 4 years especially.  While I do not regret anything, and know I did the best I could, it was very hard. The emotional cost was very high.

When we love and experience pain, life carves out deep spaces within us and imprints our soul forever. We carry those experiences with us and then slowly, surely, as doors close and others open, and those new expereinces and people happen to us, love fills in the cracks and and makes us whole, makes us stronger.  But that also requires some letting go. And that letting go has poured out of my soul, out of swollen eyes and onto wet cheeks, even onto the shirt of a good friend. And just like the rain, those tears have cleared away the dust and pollen and left everything clean and fresh.

Now that I look around, and realize the tough times are over, I want to spread my wings and celebrate.  I want to make that that I wanted, and start to build 4 years ago.  And I am starting now.

A new job is starting, with new writing assignments, new people and new adventures.  I am in a new house, a new back yard, new patio, new grill and new garden with new little flowers blooming.

I am taking new kickboxing and belly dancing classes. After cleaning out and letting go of all of the old, I am now ready for all of the new. I am working on a goal board, which I have not done seriously in many years.  I am setting goals visualizing and creating the life I want. I am writing this new chapter and it is going to be spectacular. It feels so good to have my life back.

And Love, Yes I am putting myself out there again.  I’ve joined a dating site, something I said I would ever do again. But this time with a new attitude.  I am searching not from a place of emptiness, but from a place of full.  I don’t need anything from anyone, I don’t need a partner…I want one.  I want someone real, and deep, and strong to make me a part of their life and for them to be a part of mine.  I want to laugh a lot, take new adventures together, grow and love together. I want to dance in the kitchen, talk all night until we fall asleep, snuggle up on the couch and travel too.

But most of all, I want someone who sees that I am worth it. Who isn’t afraid to be 100% committed to being in a relationship and seeing where that goes.  I am tired of little boys who are afraid of everything in a relationship, afraid to be open and have others open up to them.  Afraid to be needed, or wanted or depended upon.  I am ready, and I want someone who is ready too.  And if it doesn’t work, that’s OK, at least I took that step and believed, and tried and trusted and jumped.

So this is it, the first page of this new chapter.  Sometimes all the new can be scary, and that’s OK. I am scared too, and excited.  So what’s in store?  Who knows…the rest is still unwritten…

But I can;t wait to see where this story goes!

Remembering Rex Holiday

The world lost a great soul today. Rob/Rex as many called him.  I called him friend, and it was an honor.  He ‘discovered’ one of my best friends and me, hired us and put us to work at the local radio station in my hometown- and inspired me to start what would be a 15 year career in broadcasting.  He was one of the best bosses I have ever had and he constantly encouraged others to be the best they could be.

I wrote a piece called Your Awakening several years ago, a piece about my search for love. And his response is below; describing his life and reassuring me that nothing was passing me by, that life not going as planned is a blessing, that I am, and what is inside of me right now, is enough, that I need not keep searching for what I thought I was missing in myself.  For he was a great writer as well.  Please enjoy the glimpse into the soul of a beautiful human being.

Your Awakening Response:

I see it this way: from a guy who has pissed away more great chances in a week than most men will see in a year: I’ve been allowed to see incomprehensible scenery connected to a brain that “gets it”.
Without those missed chances I would have: never been able to speak of the pain of an aborted father in the throes of post-regret, nor spoken to others who are bleeding the same way. Never known the kind of fervor and spit and fire it takes to speak my mind into a howling wind and actually made it slice through.
Never known the dubious pleasure of bringing down a pseudo-Napoleon living as king of his particular hill in a school system I pay for.
Never heard the voice of a now-relieved-son thanking me for helping his invalid grandmother out of a winter storm
Never had the ocean-powered wave of gratitude wash over me when I, alone, stood with one, wrongly accused, against a courtroom full of antagonists. (Not-guilty, by the way)
Never known the sheer power of being the one in the fray who is COMMITTED.
Never been able to speak of true, unrequited, ripped-apart love to an adolescent who’s going through the same thing.
Never known the joy of vocally and VERY audibly cheering a teenager when they finally excelled at something and got their due for it.
Never seen the pain in a true friend’s eyes when they buried their youngest. Never been able to hold them and let them cry the way they would only in a true friend’s arms.
Never been blessed to help bear the pain of someone you love on any level.
Never felt so dirty and ashamed as to chase even my closest friends off.
Never felt the heat of a South Georgia summer.
Or the cold of a Kentucky ice storm.
Or the power of an Alabama thunderstorm.
Or the thundering beauty of a Mississippi sunset.
Or the caress of a Tennessee mountain morning.
Or the complete release of a hearty and block-shattering “KISS MY ASS” to authority.
Or of watching the pain
the pleasure
the ecstacy
the victory
of discovery.
Would never had heard the crowd’s approval swell like a big gentle wave in the warm Gulf.
Or my new bride, taking such care to dress in some kind of frilly underpinnings complete with garters and white stockings say, “…do you mind if we don’t”, on my wedding night.
Not a bit. I just drove three hours through nowhere, Mississippi to say to the hotel clerk, “I’ve waited 31 years to say this: I just got married, and I need a room.” I was tired. Be real.
I would have missed words like, “I do”, “You may take your planet home”, “Would you hand me the piano?”, “I want to try everything, tonight.”, and “Honey, wake up. Hannah Newton was killed last night in a car wreck. John was right behind her.”
Not all of these are pleasant or desirable but they are rich. A mosaic of life. If we didn’t like imperfection and character, photographs would far outsell paintings. It’s what we’re here for.
I would have missed the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd, and the cussing of the GM.
And I would have missed you and your smile.
Most of all.
Stop searching. It’s already there.

Rex Holiday


The Story of Life

Life is messy. We have to, in our lifetime, deal with betrayal, lies, heartache and false friends. But in the end, those that try to harm us and hurt us only make us stronger. Better. And they hate that. The best revenge truly is simply being happy and living a fabulous life. And when you move on, happy and confident, it is your life returned to you. And each time we feel pain, we feel it a little deeper in our soul, until we are the beautiful, complex works of art we were meant to be. But life must carve out those deep spaces in us first.

When I was 19 I read a book called the Prophet. Amazing book. It changed my life. In it was the passage that said:

“But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.”

I decided right then and there, at the tender age of 19, that I would live a life that was full – full of love, sorrow, joy, tears, laughter and much, much more. I decided that I would make my life the great epic novel it could be. I have been soared above the clouds and crashed below the ocean. I have made mistakes and paid dearly for them. And I would do it all over again. Because in the end, everyone, those who like me and those who do not, will never be able to deny that I lived and loved with my whole heart.

But this life wears you out sometimes, wounds you, gives you scars. They heal, yes, but scars they leave just the same. And then we wake up, all tattered and torn, and wonder about our lives and get very introspective. I wonder if the choice I made to live life to the fullest, both the good and the bad, was the right choice? Then I read the following quote from a book titled Kisses from Katie:

I was like the Velveteen Rabbit. I was tattered and worn out. I’d been hurt and scarred and banged around a bit in the past year, but God was using all those things to help me become real. I was coming to understand that what it means to be real is to love and be loved until there is nothing left. And when there is nothing left, and we feel we’re all in pieces, God begins to make us whole. He makes us real.

These words spoke to my heart and soul. And I realized that only in living life to the fullest, can we truly honor God’s plan for us. Only in experiencing and loving till there is nothing left, can we honor the life we are meant to live. The desire to live a meaningful life of purpose is universal. It is in our bones, our blood, our humanity. We strive.

Because in this life, what really matters? It is not the big house or expensive things, though they may give us enjoyment. But they are not real. What is real is loving, playing, working, kissing, living, with all your heart. Those we hurt us show us who we are supposed to be, and give us the life we are supposed to have. They help us reach the heights we only would have imagined. So I thank all those who helped make me real.

Life fills us up, carves us out, makes us grow.  The pain we feel might crack, bruise, or maybe even break us for a bit, but then life, faith and love pour into us, filling up the cracks and crevices, making us stronger, better than what were  before, or even what we thought we could be. This is our journey, our story of life.

And Should I Fall

When you are a writer, you write on anything and everything you can get your hands on.  I have scribbles on napkins, paper towels, envelopes, note pads, receipts, scraps of paper, deposit slips…I have been going through my writings and found this gem from 2/2013. Enjoy!

If I Fall
And should I fall,
Hold my hand
Help me up and brush me off
Help me to dry land

And should I fall,
Treat me well.
Be gentle with this heart
It has been bruised before

Understand the fiercest of hearts
Is so because it is so tender
And so very vulnerable
But only when I feel safe to relax

And should I fall
Be ready for the best
Worst, scariest, most beautiful
Most amazing experience of your life

Ada Burch