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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Kick-ass Friends

A friend tells you what you want to hear, a kick-ass friend tells you what you need to hear.

It takes an incredible amount of trust and vulnerability to let people see our personal warts—the blemishes we develop over a lifetime as a result of bad choices, actions that are inconsistent with our value systems, embarrassments, self-imposed pain as well as hurt inflected by the people closest to us. Taking off masks and allowing our most authentic selves to be seen takes courage, but it also takes a reciprocal trust you can’t share with a casual friend.

I’m blessed to have several kick-ass friends in my life. They are the people who will offer a supportive shoulder, hug me when I’m down and humor my mental-stew muddling. These are also the same people who call me out when I’m making bad choices, when I’m not being the best me I can be—basically they are the people who have no problem telling me very directly when I’m being an idiot. These are the people I need in my life even more than I need a cheerleader or sympathetic ear.

It’s not easy when my kick-ass friends kick my ass. In fact it hurts. I have to breathe deeply, open my mind and not fall into a pit of defensiveness. I have to listen and remember constructive criticism comes from an intentional place of well-meaning, of love and support. Relinquishing enough self-control and being openly vulnerable with someone else, letting down my guard, is always my most challenging personal struggle.

A few days ago one of my kick-ass friends confronted me about why I was no longer writing creatively. I threw out a litany of reasons, excuses really, all of which he basically brushed aside and instead of buying into my pity party, he pelted me between the eyes with several “remember whens” of different times in my life when I faced adversity and won, and then he challenged me—always a sure-fire way to tap my pride and get me to take action. He challenged me to write something, anything, by sundown today. “I don’t care what you write,” he said. “I don’t even care if it’s one line just to say you’re alive, but it needs to be something because you’re floundering, you’ve lost some of your confidence and you’re letting fear dictate what you do. That’s not who you are.”

I have about an hour left before sundown.

What about you—do you have friends you trust enough to let you know when you’re being an idiot? Are you a kick-ass friend to someone else, or do you shrink from the responsibility of giving pivotal, honest feedback when you know your friend is not being honest with herself?

Young Man Needs Help Getting Sexual Abuse Awareness Campaign Off the Ground

I read something tonight and it really struck a chord. Matt Pipkin and his dad, Chet, a commercial pilot, plan to try to break the world record for non-stop flight, staying in the air for 65 days to help raise awareness of child sexual abuse. How cool is that, and we can help make it [...]

I love You, Too.

I tell my son I love him so many times each day the words simply whisper across his ears without regard, but in the quiet moments before he falls asleep is when the emotion seems to resonate.  I’ll breath, “Mommy loves you more than the moon and all the stars in the sky,” and in [...]

When Wanderlust Strikes

Do you ever have this overwhelming need to do something crazy?
Every now and then I go through periods of time where I’m discontent, incredibly hyper, and I start to drive myself a little more insane. I love my life and family but let’s admit it — Suburbia can become a tad monotonous. For someone who [...]

Let’s Just Talk About It

Words strung together become clichés for a reason; they’re repeated and digested and generalized as stones of truth. They hurt or caress when the intent for either is nonexistent. We’re all simply trying to communicate, to tell our own truth, but for good or bad there’s nothing more powerful than our words.
I just started reading, [...]

Knock, Knock

It’s been so long since I logged into Shout, I forgot my password!!
This place feels like the arms of an old friend you haven’t seen in far too long, but whose embrace erases all the bubbles in time and you’re exactly where you left off. I miss it here in the land of blog and [...]

Falling Out of Love

As deeply as I fell in love with blogging, I seem to have suddenly fallen out of love with it.
Eventually the pull to meander through multiple ideas, stories and the issues I care about will bring me back to this space, but for now I’m simply not enjoying the clicking and hopping required to be [...]

First Day of Kindergarten

My son started kindergarten today and after a complete melt down by yours truly last week, today came and went with no over-the-top sentimentality. He was ready for this and I’m probably more ready than I wanted to believe. He’s in an amazing school surrounded by people dedicated to educational excellence and character development, and [...]

Friday Funday Dinner Story

Even though Friday is half over, it still calls for a Friday Funday post.
We started calling Friday “Funday” because at Aaron’s school Friday afternoons are reserved for activities that are thought of as traditionally more fun. Of course I’d argue that a good book is the most fun, but hey…what do I know?
To carry the [...]

I’ll Show Mine If You’ll Show Yours

If I didn’t have to focus on making a living, this is what I’d do with my life. Georgia doesn’t have a Child Help facility and I’d LOVE to be the person who creates one here.
What is your altruistic dream? Would you feed the poor? Save the planet? Reform education? Cure cancer? Stop domestic abuse? [...]