June 27, 2007
"Did you get what you wanted?"
My mother was a complicated woman. I mean, she was simple (like most Depression-era kids were), she saved everything, she always worried she was being abandoned or undervalued, and she was also really smart. And maybe that's where it got complicated.
It would've been so easy for her to have just been broken and country. But instead, she was also fiercely intelligent. And she did groundbreakingly cool stuff in the field of Esoteric Astrology. But being country, she was embarrassed when Oprah asked her to join John Gray and Iyanla Vanzant in the late '90s when she was doing the "honor your spirit" series. She was sure she'd be judged and called a fool.
Cut to a decade later and her simple-but-smart daughter feels all sorts of personal turmoil and wonders how much of it is inherited and how much of it is learned and--most importantly--how much of it has to stick around a moment more. Oh, how I love being in my "nine year." Those of you reading who don't know numerology, pardon the shorthand. But I'm actually thrilled, because the first half of 2007 has been all about seeing evidence of what I don't want to take with me into my next nine years. And the keepers headed forward with me... wow. I'm just thrilled. (And really eager to get going with the purging of the other stuff.)
Beautiful, brilliant, lovely, goddess-like Frances Uku reminded me yesterday that there is value to cutting off what isn't working. That it is hard to make the break, but that in the end our personal strength comes from our ability to show up and give (which means that sometimes we DON'T give).
So, I think back to a year ago, when I joined the MySpace (which turned out to be a great idea, since doing so--and then promoting stuffs there--more than tripled my column's readership) and ceased visiting all online forums whose moderator didn't send up a flare asking for my attention. (Believe me, I had been all over the 'net. So paring down to about nothing was a huge cut.)
But now, it seems that it's time for me to make another cut. I've had to bring on more helping hands than I ever thought I'd need. So, maybe I need to do another round of "gotta go's". Be less accessible. Yeah, the idea makes me shudder (and I'm not sure that I can actually do it), but perhaps self-preservation is the theme for the end of my 9 year.
Anyway, I think back to one of the last things my mom said to me before she passed away. I was in the kitchen with my stepdad and one of my brothers, crying over how I'd been--yet again--lied to and screwed over by another family member. Mom--fading in and out from a room away--asked what I was crying about and I said, "Momma, don't worry. It's the same old so-and-so bullshit it's always been." And she asked the same question she'd asked anytime I wanted to be upset about that family drama.
Did you get what you wanted?
And this is when I stopped crying and said, "Y'know what? I did. Thanks, Mom. You're right." I got past the emotion I was feeling and embraced the fact that--even though I got hurt along the way--I got what I wanted out of the encounter (in this case, a ride to the airport, after having commuted home to be with my dying mother; the fact that I had to deal with the bullshit baggage that had nothing to do with me meant nothing, in the final analysis).
All this to say, another round of cuts is coming. I love being accessible. I love answering questions and being available and building up my readership through my posts and creating "brand loyalty" through having such a transparent process in all things. But maybe I now understand that there are parts of the job that require inaccessibility. Maybe it's okay to be full-on out of touch.
Then, when I am in touch, it's a seriously big deal. And it's a choice made from where I'm supposed to be--not where I *think* I'm supposed to be, being all filled with perfectionism.
Hmm. Something to consider, as I move into the "taking better care of me" part of my nine year. And next year, when I ask myself, "Did you get what you wanted?" perhaps I'll be okay with the being called a snooty bitch, which has already started happening.
As Uku mentioned: "The best thing you can do is step out of the ring. It can be hard when you are a naturally helpful person. There are plenty people who appreciate your time and insights. Unfortunately they don't make as much noise!"
So... I'll come back around to answer the question: "Did you get what you wanted?" at some point. And today the want is this: HAPPY.
Posted by bonnie at June 27, 2007 1:49 AM
Hearing that people are calling you names makes me mad!!! I've been there though--it will always sting, but like you've said, it does come to a point that you are perhaps less bothered by it because you know, deep down, that it simply isn't true. And I also think it's really brave to be willing to take a hard look at what isn't working and make changes, because change is hard.
Love the artwork in this post too!
Posted by: Hannah at June 27, 2007 6:24 AM
a snooty bitch?? NEVER.
Posted by: jamie at June 27, 2007 7:48 AM
I read Millman's book over 10 years ago and said "30/3--total bulls**t". And of course, I've picked it up since then and been a little creeped out over how accurate it turned out to be.
So I did some quick cipherin' and, yup, it's a 4 year for me--the Year of Hell...er, hard work. And just as I was headed into the "taking care of my health" part of it, I get struck down by my first flu in over a year.
I may have to rethink the trade part of our dealio, now that I know you're a ninja numbers chick.
Posted by: communicatrix at June 27, 2007 12:44 PM
Tell them "that's QUEEN bitch to you"!
Posted by: Amy at June 27, 2007 2:50 PM
Very spirutual Bonnie. You were so blessed with a mother full of wisdom and love!
It's hard to let go of things for are growth and moving forward. I have about seven planets in cancer so I have a hard time getting rid of the old baggage LOL RIGHT!! Personally and on a proffesional level you have to honor that growth.
The people who are really your rocks and support will always be there cheering you on.
Thanks for that part of your life!!
You know your a rockstar!!!
Posted by: Mary Carlisle at June 27, 2007 4:39 PM
I saw your post on MySpace but thought it better to post here, since your post is so personal, and my response will be in kind. Hope you don't mind; I'll strive to keep it short.
This post had a resounding effect on me; I've been going (and have gone) through a lot of what you're talking about here: exhaustion from trying to be available and giving, proving you're more-than-_____, and the backlash. And the whole process can really blow.
But then I got to one of the points you mentioned: learning to say "no." Learning I have to leave a little bit of me for me, and learning how to say "f--- off" to the naysayers. It's the art of letting go, and while I haven't come anywhere near conquering it, having the idea enter my psyche as a possibility - and following it through - has made me stronger, more confident in myself ... and knowing when to stop. The value of something can go up because of its rarity - even marketed as such. Look at diamonds.
Anyway, hope that doesn't come out as too much hooey longwinded crap. My point: I feel ya. And I hope you got a patch of happy today.
Posted by: Jennie at June 27, 2007 10:56 PM
Does this mean you won't talk to me in the halls, Claire? ;)
Posted by: Hal at June 28, 2007 2:27 PM
You've always had a lot of irons in the fire, and you've always contributed a lot to a lot of people. If this isn't contributing to you as much as it was - if at all, then by all means you should pull back. You wouldn't be helping anyone - especially yourself - if you didn't.
I really admire and respect you, Bonnie. As Barbra once said, "You're one of the real ones."
Posted by: Hal at June 28, 2007 2:46 PM