looking for that bridge over troubled water


be a good girl.
think about others first.
don’t be selfish
or stuck up
or conceited.
play nice.
wait your turn.

it’s your turn now.
go for it.
who cares what other people think?
if it pleases you, that’s enough.

i’m so confused. i’m so damn confused.

write the book you want to read.
comes a time when you have to consider your readers.

so which is it?

if i do something just because i enjoy it, that’s okay, right? well, what if i want somebody else to like it, too?
what if i want somebody else to value my work, my creativity, my contribution?

back in the days when i was trekking around speaking professionally, some high falutin’ fella made money hand over fist by saying something like you can accomplish anything – anything at all – as long as you don’t mind who gets the credit. to which i always thought: bullshit. i mean maybe that’s true on paper, but if i do the work, make the effort, create something that didn’t exist before, by golly i want credit for it.

then somebody throws “ego” into the mix and scolds me for having one.

they remind me that i’m supposed to look the other way, turn the other cheek and all that but hey, let me tell you something: according to my cousin who is Somebody Who Should Know, to turn the other cheek was actually a call to civil disobedience back in the day. it wasn’t rising above and refusing to wallow with pigs knowing that you’d both get dirty, it wasn’t letting yourself be a doormat or a booster seat for somebody else, it was a means of entrapment.

maybe it’s supposed to be enough that i value my own contributions, but maybe that doesn’t always play out in real life. maybe that’s why i’m so angry lately when i get to stewing about aging and leaving a legacy and not having one to leave on account of i’m supposed to be downright giddy with happiness that somebody else took the credit for something i did or said pffffft to something i created or overlooked me cause let’s face it, unless it says something real cute, how many people actually look at the doormat anyway?

whoever said aging isn’t for sissies
sure knew what she was talking about.


  1. Renae C

    What if it’s not age, but awareness?  I feel your anger.  I see you in your raging grief.  And it taps into the anger that sits just behind my voice box, strangling me into a whisper for some number of days this past week.  We should not have to choose silence to stay in community.  Your voice needs to be heard.  Mine does too.  

    Have you seen the Avengers?  Banner’s Hulk is well done.  And before he steps in to save the day, he turns and looks at the others, one of whom has just encouraged him to get angry, and shares his secret.  He says “that’s my secret, I am ALWAYS angry” – and then his rage takes over and saves the day.  

    It resonated.  But I am not sure mine will save anything, but rather set everything it touches on fire.

    I don’t know what to say except Burn baby Burn!

  2. Sarah

    Loud and clear: the struggle with worthlessness. There it is: that tidal wave from within that wants some kind of external weather to calm it down.

    You have used your energy and that has had an effect, an impact, setting off radiating concentric circles of reactions in the world around you.  Many of those impacts remain unseen and unattributed, some wrongly attributed. All  you do… beautiful, joyful, clever, as well as painful and ugly, all has an impact … bursting forth and vanishing along with the people influenced and eventually even the language in which it comes. 

    So will we all vanish. Those who claim credit for your work… whoever they are… you… me … the work, whatever it was/is, disappearing as the last word fades away. 

    Does that make it less wonderful to be alive? Or less meaningful to do anything? Can we allow the being alive to be the goal/product, the fact of our deep and genuine energy spilling into everything? “Ego” is to me a way of separating from this joy of experiencing the present moment, even if it is in the pain or feeling of loss or unfairness. No, I’m not kidding, nor am I “thinking positively.” How many meals have I made that I and others have eaten and no one will remember yet our very lives depended upon them? So many for so long have so done. I could go on with this line of thought but not here.

    Wanting someone out there to make it feel that I have done something worthwhile is okay if I acknowledge that what I am doing is seeking that external nod, using the “something I have done.” There are times when that is totally true and there is natural disappointment when that nod does not come in my direction. I could spend all my energy seeking it… or choose to turn my energy elsewhere. 

    Grasping for external validation can not stop the whirlpool of worthlessness in which I can so easily catch myself. That is the ever present abyss. Please walk the edge with courage, with open eyes and heart. There is so much yet to come of your strength and passion! And know that the edge is there for you to grab onto if your foot slips…

    I am there walking as well. 

  3. Meredith

    To this I say “pshaw.” To say you’re not leaving behind your legacy would be to say the sky isn’t blue. You’ve touched my life by encouraging me to share, and you always share such lovely words, crafts, and pictures. Stew not for the legacy for you’re weaving it very well from where I sit. Stitch by loving stitch, you’re inspiring many woman to love themselves and their talents.

  4. ☆little light☆

    I read this day ago, and I still can’t find the words…

  5. Little L

    sorry darlin’…you’ve already touched my heart and left your legacy here…and i’m spreading it around too…

    i’m in love…you had me at “bullshit”….

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