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Summer Time Inspiration – For All Year Long July 2, 2011

Posted by msbobbieg in Uncategorized.
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This summer I wanted to provide my readers with a little bit of get up and go power or as some would say “You can do anything power.”  I am sharing my most tragic moments in these stories so you will know – Sometimes our greatest triumphs come from our most devastating moments.

LIFTING WHAT’S LEFT

By: Bobbie Jones

I

 can still remember that awful pain although, I try hard not to.  It’s sometimes so inescapable.  This pain I speak of is a pain many Americans know all too well.  With the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent these days, everyone seems to be touched in someway by the unstoppable feeling of a precious heart breaking in two.  That is the only way I know how to describe it.  How anyone can bear it is something remarkable in and of its self.

February 23, 2000 – I thought the worst for me was over.  I survived the millennium scare and was on to the next thing slated for what I thought was to be a bright and exciting new year.  I had recently singed a writing contract and was well on my way to fulfilling my obligations to my new editors and then it happened.  My world came crashing down around me.  9pm, the evening of February 23rd I arrived home from work, my heart already pounding from anxiety.  I didn’t know exactly what was wrong but I knew something wasn’t right.  I opened the door to the apartment that I shared with my husband of seventeen years and the unattended squeak of the door added to the pain that lay behind it.  There it was, all the hurt and stress I was feeling before I unlocked the door.  The place was unrecognizable – it took a moment to register in my mind that things were gone.  The place had been cleaned out and not with soap and water mind you.

Every single item my husband held dear had been removed from our home.  I’m talking big screen TV’s, stereo systems, freezers, VCR’s microwaves and all major furniture.  At first glance this was not immediately apparent, I just thought the big screen TV from the living room was gone, but as my shock waned and my natural curiosity kicked in.  I began to walk slowly into and through the apartment and things missing were just the half – some things were also added.  As I looked to the right – the traveling trunk I hadn’t seen since I graduated college, complete with all its stickers from my former travels.  There was also a box of my gardening tools left over from my first apartment right out of college.  All these items of mine had been placed in storage and I’d almost forgotten I owned them. 

Getting my heart to stop racing seemed hopeless.  As I moved toward the center of the apartment I knew what had happened but my heart didn’t want to believe it.  Then I saw it.  That mind numbing, sobering and final piece to the puzzle taped to the bathroom mirror. (I will be out of town for a couple of days.  Don’t try to find me, when I return I will be filing for divorce.)  That’s what the note read.  Fear, trauma and every negative emotion imaginable ran through my body.  Days of tears, confusion and deep sorrow followed and they seemed to go on forever.  One Saturday afternoon however, as I sat in my hollow apartment listening to the echo of my pounding heart.  I turned on the TV and the only station I could get a clear reception on was the local Public Television station.  So I decided to watch.  The program that was on would be life changing.  This program was describing a process, which detailed how to simplify ones life.  Getting rid of things that are not being used and getting things in order.

As I sat and watched I slowly began to realize that this process had already been started for me in my life.  When my ex took off for his other life, he emptied mine – not entirely a bad thing.  I had always complained how junky our small apartment looked with all the trappings of a three-bedroom house crammed into it.  However, now that everything was gone the space looked quite large.  How bright, how airy and how open it was now that the clutter was gone.  To my surprise, I had gained a newfound energy and began to turn tragedy into giving.  I got up and began to go through closets, cabinets, drawers and cupboards, any place unused items were stored.  I packed boxes, bags, pillowcases and whatever I could get my hands on.  I decided to complete the process my ex-husband had started weeks earlier.

Labeling the boxes and bags of clothes, shoes, towels and small appliances with my favorite charity’s name was the easy part, trying to get my swollen face to look presentable to the outside world was a different story.  My countless days of tears had only produced bags I couldn’t use to clear out the remaining clutter and these bags seemed to be placed firmly under my eyes.  Although, this didn’t matter, as I began to lift what was left I did pause for a moment to reflect.  Those bags full of items others could use, items earmarked for those truly in need – just made me realize how blessed I really was and still am.  Nothing could ever take away that pain I felt after being abandoned but, finding a light in the mist of all that darkness was the spark that brought me back to life.  Even till this day when I began to feel that nudge of self-pity rising up in me I start looking around for some things to give away and my spirits are lifted every time.

__________________________________________________________________ 

 

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

 

 By: Bobbie Jones

            It is truly understandable that when one sets out on a journey of uncharted territory, a little opposition will clearly follow.  But, must one face down right cruelty.  It deeply saddened me to inform you – the answer is yes.  It’s no mystery to those that know and love me of how my life has always taken on a quirky, yet creative tone.  I have with great vigor, searched out and have tried to surround myself with those creatively, touched souls, or just with those different souls, like myself.  However, this approach has not always worked.

            I would love to be able to tell you that on my journey to creative freedom, the many planted, still faces of solemn concern were always on my side – not true.  When I first began to write, in my naïve eagerness I shared my finished product, be it, poem, short story, or article with anyone who could read and had a spare moment.  Did I hear you say, not a good idea?  Yeah, well I know that now.  Not only was my fragile, undeveloped ego shattered, but also the shear harshness of the feedback I received threatened to end my writing career before it even got started.

            Pain at it’s worst.  It was the end of high school for me.  Two months before I was to call it quits and move on to the next phase of life – college.  I heard it for the first time.  Sure, nasty, unnecessary comments had come before but my youthful ignorance kept my heart sheltered.  Not this time, it was crystal clear.  I entered my school’s counselor’s office to discuss my plans for after high school.  I was certain that my ability to formulate a complete sentence would take me far, well at least get me into the college of choice.

            “So what are your plans after you leave here?”  I heard his voice crack.

            “College, Yes, that’s where I see myself.”  I replied with such certainty.

            “I think you should consider a trade Miss Jones, writing does not suit you.  And for the record you should not even entertain the idea of going to college.”  He enforced.

Oh, my God!  I could feel my mind cultivating the words – What did you say?  But my mouth could not even speak them.  I thought to myself, someone is paying this person to councel children.   Hummm… 

Well, that day was a turning point, I left that fool’s office in a state of confusion, as you can imagine.  I also left with a steadfast determination.  Whatever I had to do to make it to college, in college, and through college, I did.  If one job was not enough to cover tuition, I took three.  If winter/fall semesters did not offer my classes, I went spring/summer.  I went to school year round for two years just so I could finish on time.  When school officials told me that my full course load and job schedule were impossible, I just kept going.  Well, it paid off.

Surprisingly enough, years later when I had the ball tossed to me, sort of speak, and impacting a life was set before me, rising to the challenge would be and understatement.  A friend of mine set out into the unforgiving world of acting.  Yes, don’t let anyone lie to you, unforgiving it is.  You too tall, you too short, you too fat, you just don’t have enough fat.  OK, you get the point.  I saw my friend looking sad and depressed, we talked and the rejection was taking its toll.  Scared and ready to give up, I told my friend to hang in there, that it was just a matter of time.  I told him that his break would eventually come.  This advice flowed naturally and freely out of me, for it was all I knew to release, given what I’d been through.  The spirit of never let your dream die was planted firmly in me.  So, since we creative types have to stick together, a plan was devised.  I went about the business of emailing my friend acting jobs I found on the Internet and in the newspaper.  If I saw it on a billboard – he knew about it.  Secretly, telling no one about his auditions and prayerfully pulling for his success, it was just a matter of time.  To see the pure joy on his face now that his dream is a reality and acting is part of his ever, waking moment is worth every dagger of negativity I ever felt.

And, if you are wondering whatever happened to that high school counselor of mine.  Yes, I ran into him recently, and oddly enough he wanted to know if I had taken his advice, about the trade school and all.  I told him no, I had decided against it.

“So, what are you doing with your life?”  He asked.

“Freelance Writer here.”  I replied.

He could barely get the words out – but I heard them with crystal clarity.  It was his turn to ask those fateful words,  “What did you say!”

– Photos courtesy of Google Images on the web

– All Rights Reserved

Copyright – Bobbie Jones – July, 2011

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