...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

and i hate the good times that you wreck

So the last time we were together here, I asked if you wouldn't mind visiting Polite Fictions, where I'd written a little something about a cowboy for the theme this collection of (far better) writers and I are approaching this time, the Alphabet of Regret. I should have chosen cringing as my subject when I learned I was up for C, because I cringe a lot when it's my turn over there. Especially after I also cry and curse and eventually commit to getting something written, drop it over there, and then see it in contrast to the thoughtful and thought provoking works that go up around it by the others.

A few days after I'd finished my effort, I was still dwelling on it - and still cringing - and there were hours throughout the days when something I felt I SHOULD have written about instead would pop into my head. Like crying and how I always (always) stupidly weep because writing fiction is ghastly difficult for me (yeah, that cowboy piece should have had one of those 'any similarity to persons either living or dead isn't so much a coincidence but is, rather, a large chunk of the author's life between the years of 1989 to 2002').

Or I could have written about commitment, because there's some issues there. Craziness. Competition. Cravings. The collection of cassettes I still own but cannot play. Clearly, there could have been better topics than a cowboy.

What I kept coming back to while standing in the shower or driving in the car or making my breakfast over the last week, though, was the topic of courage.


Maybe it seems trite. I know. And why write around the theme of regret when it comes to courage? Well, how about the way I regret how utterly not courageous I feel. Constantly. From the little things to the big. My oldest son talks often about how he can't wait to be old enough to jump from airplanes and dreams of climbing mountains, and I grin and bite my tongue so as not to scream "You'll shoot your eye out!!" every time he brings these ideas to me. Me who is in my house where, according to my future adventurer, there's a steady supply of oxygen and the risk of perishing in a crevasse is minimal.

If I was courageous, I'd have called the doctor about the lump I found under my left breast a month ago and just be assured of what it likely is rather than run my hand over it every night and allow my mind to conjure up what it could be.

If I was courageous, I'd scream that if this is supposed to work (or better yet, last) than someone has to start talking.

If I was courageous, I'd ask you to realize that just because I don't talk I'm not a bitch.

I'd not care so much about what you thought of me because if your head is filled with as much stuff as mine is most days, I know you're not even really thinking about me in the first place.

I'd not panic the way I do every time I have to put myself or my thoughts out there for you to see them.

Or read them.

I'd say yes to everything I wanted to say yes to rather than to just everything.

If I was courageous, I'd not still care so much what she thought.

If I was courageous, I wouldn't have done the things I have to myself.

I'd show you who I really am.

I'd probably know what I wanted to be and I'd be it by now.

If I was courageous, I'd not always make the joke.

I'd ask you how you do it

I'd let you see me weak.

But instead, I wrote about a cowboy. And it's fine, albeit it a little bit regrettable. It's really, really fine.




Blogger Chris said...

Awesome post. I don't have much courage, either.

Now make that doctor's appointment, please.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 9:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

Courage is over rated. Let's make that our motto for the coward club I'm thinking of starting.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 9:48:00 AM  
Blogger Leandra said...

Don't make me come over there and kick your ass. Make the doctor's appointment woman! This is srs bizness. Seriously. Seriously. I will hunt you down and drag you kicking and screaming. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 9:54:00 AM  
Blogger D. Gage said...

I think if we all had courage the idea of courage would cease to exist. So, by not having courage you pave the way for those who do, to shine. Just a thought.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

Can I just echo the others above re going to the doctor? For the second time in my young life, I'll be burying a friend who succumbed to breast cancer, tomorrow. Yeah, it's probably NBD, but it's worth knowing that it's NBD. . .

And really, when you boil it down, Courage is just doing the right thing when it's not easy. And you can certainly do that. . .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher.

Please get the lump checked out sooner rather than later.

Cowboys was great; you belong with that group of fine writers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

Are you okay??

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Brian o vretanos said...

I'm constantly lacking in courage, and get annoyed with myself, but there are compensations. Such as not falling off mountains...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, what the hell? You found a lump and you haven't called!! What is wrong with you? Just go make the appointment so you can stop worrying about something that is probably nothing. And if it does turn out to be something then you can take care of it!

It's a novel idea, I know. I'm not sure where I get these gems of brilliance.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jett Superior said...

I'd not care so much about what you thought of me because if your head is filled with as much stuff as mine is most days, I know you're not even really thinking about me in the first place.

Hello? That. But, y'know, not in the disregardy way.

You fit just fine among the PF crazies. In fact, I am thrilled that you were a 'ground-floorer'. You are a delicious human.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 1:01:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

(((Hugs))) It sounds like maybe you could use them. Wish I could deliver them in person.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 2:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I love this post.

And I've been there too. I finally went to the doctor and it was nothing, but it took me months to muster up the courage to go.

Go now. You need to know either way.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 3:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with everyone else...of all the things you need to be courageous about your boobies are number one! Go get it checked out ASAP!

Thank you for the thoughtful and insightful post. I'm sending you virtual hugs 'cause I think you deserve them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 3:07:00 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

It took me 3 months to call the first time I found a lump. It took me 3 minutes to call the next time. Please please make that call.

Courage is hard to find, but when you find it (IF you find it), hold onto it and use it. But I'm begging you to muster up the courage to call about the lump.

Talk, yell, cry, cringe, curse...but CALL. That's the most important C word you need right now.

More virtual hugs coming from me...I think you need them right now.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 3:16:00 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

Here's the thing about courage. You can't be brave unless you are scared. And people often don't realize that they *are* courageous because they are so conscious of feeling scared. Also, courageous people tend to focus more on what they're not doing than what they ARE doing. So courage? You probably have far more of that than you realize. Listen - I first started reading you when you posted those prom pictures and girlfreind - if that's not brave, I don't know what is...

But seriously - as much as I understand (because I too have many regrets for being so timid in the past), I would urge you to dig a little deeper on that subject. You'd be surprised at how often you've taken your courage forgranted.

AND - just to chime in...get a mamogram pronto!!! They're really not that bad.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 5:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

I've been thinking about this all day off and on and just came back to read it again. It must have hit home.

You were able to say it eventually. It doesn't really matter where it went. I'm glad you did.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 9:11:00 PM  
Blogger Pgoodness said...

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

You have more courage than you think.

Now call make that appointment. Please.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 9:56:00 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

You want to know what courage is? It's sharing your inner most thoughts with strangers and being vulnerable. Come over to my place, I'm not nearly this raw. This my dear,this post, this is courage.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Phyllis Renée said...

That comment from bernthis, yeah, I was just thinking the same thing. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there where everyone can see.

Lumps. I've had a few. Just had one removed Tuesday -- from my back. Nothing serious, but it's done and over with now. I can move on.

That's the thing about worry: We hold on to it like a security blanket, but in reality it is suffocating. So it's not really so much about finding the courage as it is getting mad and taking control; taking your life back.

I'll make the call for you, if you like ... Hell, I'll take you to the doctor myself, if I have to!

Love you!

Thursday, March 11, 2010 6:28:00 AM  
Blogger Monique said...

Call about the lump, you are more courageous than you think. I too put it off, but luckily I finally did call. Here has been my experience:


Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:02:00 AM  
Blogger Bee said...

Life is so hard sometimes. I like cowboys.

Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

You were courageous in simply writing this post. Now, use that courage to call your doc, get an appointment and find out what that is that's taken up residence in your under-boobage. It needs to be evicted, pronto.

(Tell Tool Man, I'll bet he'll help every step of the way)

Thursday, March 11, 2010 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger justmakingourway said...

How can you say you don't have courage and have written this post? I know others have said it too - but putting this out there takes courage, FADKOG.

Also? If it helps the tiniest bit? I completely can relate to the feeling of not being courageous. Completely.

Thursday, March 11, 2010 1:41:00 PM  
Blogger María said...

Alright woman, it's been a day. Did you make it?!

I loves you. Courage is totally overrated, but I'd say you're stronger than you give yourself credit for. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Homemaker Man said...

We don't bloggy know each other very well, but I agree with the above comment. Courage is way overrated. Most times, when people do brave things, they are scared sh*tless. People who walk around all courageous all the time are patently annoying. And go get your boob checked.

Friday, March 12, 2010 6:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Sammanthia said...

I'm coming out of hiding long enough to tell you to not make me kick your ass. Make the appointment. Today. Now.
You've got more courage than you think.
Much love to you.

Friday, March 12, 2010 8:55:00 AM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

You were a cowboy in '89? Didn't know that. How did you get away with it? No group showers?

Friday, March 12, 2010 8:07:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I see all kinds of courage here.

Friday, March 12, 2010 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

Z's going to be a cowboy first for halloween, and then again when he grows up. I'll send him to you for tips.

Now please make that call.
Thinking of you.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 3:23:00 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

The course of my life has been decided by choices I made in fear. If you discover how to be courageous, let me know.

Wait. Scratch that. We write for Polite Fictions. If we're not courageous, we at least can fake it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 7:28:00 PM  
Blogger anymommy said...

I'd call this pretty damn courageous. No one does "it" in their own minds as well as you think they do. I'm not going to tell you to call, since 30 people already have. I'm going to tell you to let us know that you are fine.

Sunday, March 14, 2010 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger A Vapid Blonde said...

I totally do the late night feel my self up and panic. I had a mamo about eight months after I thought I found something and for the entire time (all 8 months) I felt like I was feeding the thing with bad energy and in my mind I was convinced it was something. Turns out it was fine but they did make me come back for a second. I still sometimes don't trust that it is all fine even though they say it is.

I hope you know how much everyone in this crazy bloggy world loves you AND your writing. I never comment over at PF because I feel highly inadequate when I read all of the wonderful things you all write.

(very long comment...sorry)

Sunday, March 14, 2010 6:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

I think we tend to think courage is selfishness.

Which it totally is not.

You, my dear, are courageous. Laying it all bear here.

And I love you for that.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 1:55:00 AM  
Blogger Amy W said...

Jeez, woman.... I assume you've made the appt by now. You must've, right?

And I've been there. And I really can't recommend therapy any more highly. It IS different than talking to friends. It IS different than blogging nakedly and courageously (like this post). A year of therapy has made me a better, braver, and way more honest person. And did I mention happier? Because oh my darlin', I am so so so much happier now. :)

You and I have shared some tears in the past. I am so giving you like a million hugs right now.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger TwoBusy said...


I get busy for a couple of weeks, stop finding time to visit my friends... and then I come back and find this.

*slamming face against wall*


1) Call the fucking doctor. CALL THE FUCKING DOCTOR.

2) Courageous is being afraid to do something, and then plunging in and doing it anyhow. And being awesome at it. Which you do... um... constantly.


4) About everything. We care for you, and about you, and want you to be well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 7:30:00 PM  
Blogger That girl from Shallotte said...

Correspondent: Something I have failed at lately. I can't make up for all the times I've read your posts, fallen in love with you a little bit more and couldn't come up with anything clever to say.

You amaze me. Like you told me once, fight! Come out swinging. Mr. Sweetypants and I totally have your back. With love and admiration -- TGFS

Thursday, March 18, 2010 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous mommygeek said...

I am incredibly late to this, and I'm sorry for that, because you need a HUGE hug, and a pat on the back for even admitting all this. And you damn well better have a doctor's appointment by now lady!

Friday, March 19, 2010 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous EarnestGirl said...

visited over there, which led me here, which had led me to comment. which I rarely do. even though I have dropped in more than a few times. i just try not to dirty the teacups.

the thing is, it takes strength to look the scary thing in the face. sometimes it takes strength just to lift the bedskirt in case there is a scary thing underneath, never mind getting around to looking into the beady little eyes which might or might not be under there. with this post, you lifted the bedskirt.

hopefully now you have also lifted the phone & made a call.

i don't often invite the internet to look under my bed, but for the sake of just this sort of thing, i did here: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/in_praise_of_pale_legs

one last thing: you are stronger than you think. for sure. and on the days can't even crawl out from under the covers, there are clearly many here with flashlights and hands extended.

Friday, March 19, 2010 6:38:00 PM  
Blogger Swirl Girl said...

Whoa FADKOG!!! Geez, a person takes a few days off the blog, and the whole things falls to shit!

Please call the doctor. PLEEEEEEEEEEZ!

if its' nothing (which I am sure it is) it makes for good blog fodder. if it's something (which I am sure it is NOT), take care of it.

Friday, March 19, 2010 7:10:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Have the courage to pick up the phone and call the doctor. It could be nothing, it could be something. But please go and see a doctor. Yes, that takes courage. We're all behind you. And praying for you.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

You all make me cry weepy, happy tears, and that's a good thing. I can't succinctly explain why that is, but it just is, and explaining it like that saves you all from reading all my rambling words if I were to attempt to.

Does that make sense?


Anyway, please know that I've been re-reading your comments from time to time, and you're all wonderful and brilliant and the other way around.

Sunday, March 28, 2010 4:56:00 PM  

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