Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What's Your Verse? Finding Your Own Voice #life #CarpeDiem

Rip it out! Find your own voice, even if it pisses some people off along the way. Refuse to give up your dream. "Words and ideas can change the world..." famous words from Dead Poet's Society.

It's a time of great change in my life: my daughter is moving to college, my father has had back-to-back strokes, and my career is at a crossroads. Everything seems topsy-turvy and, yes, I've experienced great bouts of sadness during the past few weeks. On top of that, there have been troll attacks on my books--venomous attacks coming out of nowhere by one person who seems hellbent to take me down and make me question why I'm in this business. So, yes, it's a tumultuous time to say the least.

I've considered giving up, pursuing new paths, saying to hell with the constant fight to live this life in this place...

But then I heard the news that Robin Williams--one of my favorite actors, not only for his humor, but for his depth in his dramatic roles--committed suicide. His manner of death mirrored my husband's, which struck an even deeper chord because I'm missing Sean desperately right now as our family once again goes through an upheaval. The news made me stop and put all of these present changes of mine into perspective. 

Depression is such an insidious disease. It takes a person hostage and hides behind the most beautiful smiles. It doesn't discriminate between races, genders, social status, or the facade of success.

What will my verse be? What will my verse be?!

What do I want my life to be about? Do I want it to be one of sorrow defined by the death of my husband? Do I want it to be one of struggle where I never seem to reach solid ground? Do I want it to be one where I hide or retreat because of what a spiteful troll has to say?


Do I want it to be a grand adventure where, yes, I piss people off, but am happy because I've lived on purpose and with great passion? Do I want it to be one where I tell the trolls to crawl back under their bridge where they can continue to live in darkness while I remain blatantly in the light?

Words and ideas can change the world! They can and they do. Finding your own voice and having the courage to rip out the pages of life's theoretical "book of rules" isn't easy. It's often a path riddled with obstacles and naysayers. Not everyone will like what you're doing--and they need to learn to shut the fuck up about it or at least be less hateful---and not everyone will be on your side. But unless you're connecting with your own voice and dancing to your own music, you'll always be living according to someone else's expectations.

A friend said to me a few weeks ago that she thinks I like "being out on a limb." I laughed at the time, but now that I think about it, maybe I do. Perhaps my verse is one about pushing the boundaries of the status quo and shaking the bars of conformity.

As for those who have passed via suicide, whose gentle spirits were too sensitive for this harsh world, I hope they found peace and, now that they're on the 'other side', know that their verses live on in the hearts of those who loved them. My hope is that the world becomes softer, more compassionate,  more loving, and accepting of those who dare to 'go there'. That's the verse I hope we can collectively sing together one day.

Carpe Diem! 

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