Through the back window of our London house, I can see snapshots of other people’s lives in the windows of their homes.
I can see the young couple who fight in the kitchen over who is washing and who is drying, who takes the garbage out, who stays home for the delivery man. I can see the mum who planned a birthday party for her daughter, where a guy from the London Zoo came over to the house with different lizards and chameleon type creatures. The children tried to act like they were too cool to show their excitement, but I could feel their eyes shining. I see the single guy who eats alone every night, but has started working on a rooftop patio conversion. I see the old lady who watches the news every night and then falls asleep on the sofa.
Everyone packed so tightly into the converted apartments of the Victorian home, where only a wall divides you, but you barely know each other exists. If this were a game, I would pluck you all from your homes and place you where you should be.
The old lady invited for dinner by the family with two children. There she could tell them how she once was a marine biologist, studying the lives of dolphins. Now that would impress them!
The single man invited to a house party at the home of the fighting couple where he meets his future partner – the brother of the woman – and they soon celebrate their first anniversary on the newly finished patio.
“If you hear a voice within you say “You cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
― Vincent van Gogh
I am sure we hear this voice all the time. In fact I just spent a day trying fight past those words just so I could get done real words down on my page.
This Spring, F and I had a rare trip together without Little Bee. Of
course I missed her, but she was in good hands. My mother took care of her for two nights while we adventured through the city of Amsterdam. Pure heaven to be free of little feet for a few days! The freedom was good for my creating soul and I did lots of writing while free of household worries and to-do lists. And the long wine filled dinners with my handsome date, helped a bit too!
We visited the Van Gogh museum and I learned so much about this amazing artist that I have loved for so long. The thing that remained with me was his determination to get better. He refused to believe that he could not paint. His early works were highly criticised, but he kept on at it until finally he was a master. He maintained that the more he did the unfamiliar, the better he would get. The only way was up, basically.
Now why do I want to be perfect the first time? What makes me so special that I don’t need to practise?
The masters of creativity were great because they believed that they could succeed through hard work and determination.
And they never listened to the voices that told them that this plan wouldn’t work.
Dear President Obama,
I am not really into politics. But, the night you were elected four years ago, I was the one who woke my husband up to tell him the news. I knew it was history in the making and I wanted to remember where I was when it happened.
I am not even American, but I know that the world depends on America having the right man in the lead.
Since you have become president, our lives have also changed dramatically in more personal ways. We moved countries and welcomed our daughter into the world. My husband stopped working for the man and started his own business. I gave up a job I loved to raise my beautiful baby. And on this election night, four years later, we have another kid on the way! A lot can happen in four years!
Especially now that I have a child, I want her to grow up in a world where the best man does win.
I know you didn’t do everything you said you would do. Some people seem to be bummed about that. But hey, I haven’t yet done what I set out to do yet. It doesn’t mean I am not going to do it. I think you will get your work done, if you are given the chance. Maybe people forget that you are human also and learning on the job. Maybe some people can’t remember that getting to where you are right now was huge. A game changer. A chance to do things differently.
I hope you do get the chance tonight, because I think Americans need you to finish what you have started. Good luck from us on the other side of the ocean.
I am sure that I’ll again be the first one in our house to find out that you are still president in the morning!
I am so guilty of trying to write instead of just doing it.
So many bloggy folks are doing Nanowrimo and I got excited and wanted to join in! I even told my hubby to do it too! Well, he got on the case….he actually got writing. And he doesn’t even want to be a writer….he is a business dude, for goodness sake. He is in the middle of starting a business. But yes, he got on the case and frankly, I am jealous that he is writing with abandon. Not worrying if the right word is on the page, but just getting it all down. He is going at it like the business guy that he is. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be started. Perfection can wait. It is a project to be completed for him. Just like a business.
I guess I want to be like that. I don’t want to worry about each word. But I am a writer, a worrier, and an over thinker. I can take a few lessons from him, but in the end, I have to accept that I do it my way, otherwise I just end up getting so disappointed at myself. I am impressed at how he taps away at the keyboard, words flowing out all over the place. I can only try to take what I can take from the way he does it, and that is, perfection will have to wait. Getting it out on the paper can only bring more satisfaction than letting it sit in my head.
There is a lovely, little place in my head that remains forever muddled. That is because it is the real me. I don’t mind being a bit muddled. But lately, it has become a thing.
On the outside I have a great husband, a beautiful daughter and another baby on the way. I am a teacher taking time off to raise my kids. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, an in-law, a sister. I am a lot of things I didn’t use to be.
I used to be just a girl trying to figure it all out. Just me, on my own. Responsible for just myself. And that muddled, little place that was the real me was still a little hard to figure out, but I think I was getting there. But lately, all these other hats have made it even trickier to get to that little part that is the old me. So forgive me if sometimes I don’t act like I used to.
It’s just that I am finding my way past all the hats.