Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 76 of 365

Sometimes you need to tear it down…

…so you can build it back up again.

I started this journey with a simple goal – write My Journey with Lea, and have it published within a year. For those of you that have followed the blog so far (thank you!) you have probably seen me go through a bit of a journey myself in the past 76 days. Highs, lows, and lots of in-betweens.

This past year has brought to me more life changes than I could have possibly imagined. I knew it would be a year of change and adjustment, as I was starting a new career and a loved one was about to embark on a milestone journey of his own. But to look back and consider the layers of change that were piled on in addition to all that was expected, wow. Overwhelming when I stop to think about it.
But here I am, feeling stronger than ever. Starting over. 

The old foundation that I thought was rock solid beneath my feet is now gone. I am building a new one. 
The dreams I once had for the future have disappeared. I am creating new ones. 
The thoughts that once made me smile now make me sigh. I am thinking new thoughts.

Last year was the year of change. This year will be the year to rebuild. I have gutted the house. I am ready to put in new floors, new walls, a new ceiling. When all is said and done the house will be show read and better than ever.

I am doing the same with My Journey with Lea. The chapter by chapter approach was not working for me. I have decided to stitch the book back together, go to the beginning, and just write the story from start to finish. Holding on to all that was written, but taking a fresh approach to the project.

So for you, the reader, here’s part of the opening chapter. For Alex it marks the beginning of a very long journey.

After two quick, panicked filled gasps Alex shook herself awake, sitting straight up. Her heart was beating a mile a minute and she was sweating heavily under the weight of her cotton sheet and the textured, homemade quilt. She quickly discarded both and fell backwards into the pillows. “I’m here. I’m here.” She placed both hands on her chest, trying to control her breathing, finding comfort in the solidity of the flesh and bone beneath her fingers. 

Her mind drifted to the dream that had shaken the crap out of her world. “God, it felt so real.” She thought. “I was gone. I felt myself die. Surreal.” She shook her head, trying to clear the cobwebs and the anxiety that was building again. “But who the hell was that man?” Alex took a long, deep breath and exhaled slowly. “I have to stop reading Steven King at night. It’s screwing with my sleep.”

She glanced at her clock – 5:15 am. Alex groaned. “Game tonight. Way too flipping early to wake up on a vacation day.” Her sweaty, coverless body was now cold, so she retrieved the discarded quilt and bundled up again, tucking her knees into her chest and rolling herself into a protective ball. “It’s going to be a long night.” As she started to drift off again the man returned to her thoughts, his brown eyes looking up to see her leave the room.

Alex had no way of knowing it, but her long journey had just begun. There would be many adjustments along the way, but the good news for Alex is that she would always…

Believe in forever.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 71 of 365


I was really stewing on a problem a few days ago. It’s an old issue, one that has dogged me for some time now. No previous attempt to solve this complicated, Rubik’s cube of a puzzle had led to success, but there I was, once again twisting and turning the facts around in my brain, hoping that the colors would miraculously line up and the puzzle would be solved, once and for all.

Didn’t happen.   

But within the next hour something very special occurred. I received a text message from a good friend, an email from another, and a third sent me a message via FB. The simple fact that I heard from three different friends within an hour is certainly not newsworthy. What made me sit up straight and hum the tune from the Twilight Zone was that these three VERY different individuals all had the same identical, poignant words embedded in the respective messages. And the message was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in time.

Now, you might be thinking (as I would be) “Hey…they all knew you were wrestling with a problem, so they all offered the same solid advice.” Nope. Only one of the three knew I was stewing on something, and even she didn’t know what I was spinning about. The other two sent their respective messages out of thin air.

So I have taken their advice to heart, (why mess with fate!) and have found that their beautiful words have made an immediate and significant difference in my life, and in my writing. Ahhhh….peace at last. 

Did it solve my Rubik’s cube? All I can say is that the colors are starting to line up and I feel that with just a few more adjustments I will see 6 solid sides. When it finally happens I will do a little happy dance, hug the next three people I see, and tuck the cube away in a special place in my heart. 

What was the message? I have heard it dozen of times before, but never with the clarity that this serendipitous event brought to me. When the student is ready perhaps? Their message to me was this:

Let go. Let God. There is a plan, and it’s a good one. Stop trying to force fate. Surrender.
Simple. Truth. And I will be forever grateful for their timing.

Now back to the story of MJWL. There was a time when Alex and Lea were also fighting against the current of their shared destiny. Fate was trying to bring them together while logic was striving to keep them apart.

Alex took a cautious step towards Lea. The attraction between them was intoxicating, and the four-foot space separating their bodies had become more than she could bear. Lea put both hands up in protest and the response momentarily stopped Alex cold.  

”Listen, don’t go falling for me... “

The guarded words were not congruent with the unmistakable longing in Lea’s eyes, and the soft tone added a layer of sensuality to her cautious words. Then, as if she could no longer control her own emotions, Lea sighed, reached out, and gently grabbed Alex by the hand, finishing her thought.

“…because I have already fallen for you.”

It took Alex a solid minute to recover from the blinding shock of that moment. The scope of her existence for those 60 seconds was the feeling of Lea’s hand holding hers, fingers intertwined, and the last six words she had spoken. Once Alex could see again she realized she was staring into brown eyes filled with love, laughter, and desire. She quickly closed the remaining gap between them, gently wrapping her hands around Lea’s waist, still staring into those deep brown eyes, trying to say a thousand things with one tortured glance.

Sometimes you have to just let go and give in to the journey, knowing that destiny, God, the angels, the Universe, or whatever else you may call it, has your back, and always will. And always, without hesitation…

Believe in forever.