Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Women

Watched this movie tonight. I kind of wish I'd watched it long ago, like when it first came out. But I heard mediocre reviews, so I waited until the mood struck. Then I rented it. Then I waited til the night it was due and the pressure was on, and watched it. I love Meg Ryan's old stuff. Some of her new stuff I'm not a huge fan of, so I really wasn't sure what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised.

And inspired. I absolutely love movies where a woman takes hold of her destiny and forges her path and pursues her dreams and achieves all her goals, on her own terms. They are some of my favorites. Especially when there is some romance involved, not the case here.

In this one Meg Ryan's character ends up designing a clothing line, something she has always wanted to do. And, after a very successful opening show she essentially turns down an offer from the Buyer at Saks.

I get that lovely tight feeling in my chest in moments like that. I get that feeling every few months, if I'm lucky. And it always creates two things. One an incredible depth of gratitude for the blessings I enjoy regularly. Stability. Family. Friends. A depth of love unimaginable. A material blessing far beyond the vast majority of those in this world. Hope. And it makes me ask myself what my dream is. If I were to do what she does, if I were to 'do it my way' and pursue my most secret dreams, what would I be doing? If you read the previous post then you know my dreams are many and wildly varied and almost categorically unpursued and neglected. But that lovely feeling, it makes me wonder. It makes me ask and answer myself. And it sometimes makes me pursue that dream, even if only for a night.

I find value in that. In the simple pursuit. Maybe I won't ever apply to the UN or work in a 3rd world country or even get around to volunteering in my own local community. But, that simple pursuit is still much more than most of the people I know ever get around to doing. Heck the dreaming is more than most women ever get around to.

We've been talking about the book of Joshua in church the last couple of months. And Pastor has gone on and on ad nauseum (not really, but how often do you get to say ad nauseum) about 'Your Promised Land.' And what 'The Promised Land' is for you, personally. And we have this very handy printed page to job notes on regarding that question exactly. Condensed it looks like this:
My Promised Land
Is My Promised Land clearly defined?
Do I have the Right Habits to get there and stay there?
Do I have the Right Attitude to get there and stay there?
Do I have the Right Knowlege to get there and stay there?
Do I have the Right Relationships to get there and stay there?
Do I have the Right Resources to get there and stay there?

And last week I was pondering this whole idea of "My Promised Land" while he was preaching and I decided to release the 'minds eye picture' of my ultimate dream and break it down to the baseline of what that represents. I wrote down "I want to have a Ministry of Exhortation." According to Merriam Webster To exhort is to incite by argument or advice, urge strongly, to give warnings or advice, make urgent appeals.

I know well the power of words. I know well the influence a well placed word has had in my world. I also know well the damage an errant slip of the tongue can wreak. I have been on both sides of this at various points in my life. I will be the first to admit I do not have my tongue under any sort of true control most of the time. ( I confess, I swear like a hungover sailor ) But I do try my best to pour encouragement and love into people. At the same time I try to push them to be willing to make changes and consider a different point of view and pursue their wishes and dreams and see beyond today or this week or even this year to the eternity that awaits. Sometimes I admit I am incredibly selfish and shallow and self-serving and just plain want to talk about ME. But there are a lot of times when I literally feel like I am pouring myself into someone else, into their situation, into their struggles, into their dreams and fears. And when I can do that and walk away feeling like they have a bit more hope than when they started, I stand taller and walk prouder and smile bigger.

So I get to the end of The Women and I think, If I were to do that what would I be pursuing?

I would write.

I have journaled since I was a child. I thoroughly, thoroughly, deeply, incredibly enjoy writing heart-felt letters and notes to friends for special occasions. I especially love my profound entries here. I admit, I have a special soft spot for my funny anecdotes, but the serious stuff is what gives me that sweet, special tightness of chest.

And I write all this out and I get that exact feeling and I think 'Why don't I write more often of what is on my heart?'


Because I'm scizophrenic. No, not really. But I do feel like I have different personalities. I feel like here I am one version of my self. On twitter I am something else. On Facebook I am something different still. And because I swear like a sailor and I have an incredibly dry and often irreverent sense of humor and I am easily one of the most random people most of my friends have ever met, I don't feel like I can be all those things in one place. I read The Pioneer Woman and occasionally Dooce and I wonder how much effort and profundity and time it would take for me to get to that point. The point where someone (anyone) will pay me simply to write.

Problem number two is I'm incredibly, deeply moody. I'm moody about foods and movies and music and topics and writing and just about everything. I refuse to try a new food until I am actually in the 'mood' to try it because otherwise I can guarantee I won't like it. It took me at least 3 months to figure out I liked whole wheat pasta. I am just as moody about movies. Which is why my reviews for The Christian Manifesto are so sporadic. I have to be in the right mooooooooooood for a movie or it doesn't stand a chance of a fair review. And to somehow fit my profundity and amusement and dreams into a box that says 'write once a week. write 3x a week. write every time you have something to say' almost kills the desire altogether.

And, then, I do that. I talk myself out of it before I've ever begun. That's how I avoid pursuing most of my dreams. I look up job openings on the UN website and think 'I'm not qualified ... and I don't think I'd like living in NYC.' I look up degree programs to return to school and pursue and think 'I won't qualify for any aid so I can't afford it anyway.' I start a direct sales business and when it doesn't simply take off immediately I say 'well, I will probably kill it horribly eventually anyway, so just let it be a few bucks now and again until they stop paying you.' I watch this lovely movie and feel the bug and sit down here at 11 at night and type for a half hour and compose this piece and tell myself 'we should blog more often. we should start a blogger blog 'cause that's easier for people to find and follow and friend. we should write at least 3x a week. ohhhhh i wonder what templates they have available.' and i get 30 minutes in and think '3x a week? are you crazy? You don't do anything 3x a week that you don't get paid money in the bank to do.' But why not? Why not spend my time writing and sharing my opinions and my anecdotes and my wisdom with the masses? Why spend hours (yeah, probably, literally, hours) a day screwing around with a virtual (i.e. FAKE!) pet on Facebook instead of attempting at the most minimal level to pursue some version of your dream??

Why not? Because I am absolutely horrified of failing and equally unequivocally terrified of succeeding wildly. Because I don't even know what that success would look like. And if there is one thing I do not like ... it is change.

So, I'm going to post this, and I'm going to go play on blogger, and maybe possibly potentially someday in the not so distant future I will post something here saying I've moved over there. for tonight, au revoir. Sweet Dreams.

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