When I started HGM I did so for my sanity, my soul and to satisfy my need to write. In August 2011 I asked The Universe to deliver to me the subject about which I could write passionately. I imagine ‘them’ sitting at a table, batting back and forth the possible options. Then one of ‘them’, the one with a sense of humor and apparently great confidence in my ability to handle anything ‘they’ toss my way said:
“Now’s the time to clue Cleo in on the path The Genius has embarked upon. She will understand, eventually, why her world is about to be ripped apart like a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos in a dorm room at 2AM. She asked for fodder, let’s give it to her.”
And off I went. Not off the deep end, although I can describe it in great detail, but off to create the next chapter of my life.
Since that time I have kept secret this delicious part of my life. Only you, my family, Mr. Jackpot and a small handful of close friends know of HGM. That worked for a while. Until I decided to ride this pony to the finish line, unloading my deepest emotions, thoughts, fears and desires on these pages as we gallop forth.
I’m not good at keeping secrets. Especially ones that involve writing a blog about your imploding marriage, your in-grown hairs, your wounded heart, for all the world to see. I’m betting that’s not a big reveal for you.
The Genius has cornered the market on deceit. I don’t wish to compete in that arena. And, as my Mother says, “The truth will always out.” I made the decision to tell The Genius about HGM because I had to be honest. It’s the only way I know how to be. By being honest I would also be giving thanks for the opportunity to write passionately and the opportunity to heal through words. I validated my work by owning it. I wanted to come clean. I was proud of what I had done. And I sure didn’t want to deal with the ramifications of The Genius discovering he was being deceived. He’d hate knowing I took a tool out of his tool box and used it on him. It was best on all fronts to simply come clean.
I had good butterflies the night before our conversation was to take place. I was excited. It was a strange feeling to have since I expected to be trembling with nerves that were furiously searching for bullet-proof vests, not wanting to be at the mercy of a ticked off Genius.
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I started a book once and got to 50,000 words and then shelved it as I embarked on a new creative journey that ran its course over a 5 year period. The urge to write never left my being. On a day (oh, about 4 years ago…imagine that) which was filled with questions and doubts, and feelings of inadequacy centering around what I wanted to do with my life, I told The Genius that I wanted to be a writer.
“I know it’s what I’m meant to do. I’ll find my sweet spot there. It will make me happy. I have a story in me that has to be told. I’m not sure exactly what the story is, but I can feel it trying to get out.”
“What makes you think you should get to follow your creative dreams when I can’t follow mine?”
Um. Gee, maybe because you believe in me? Because to see me happy makes you happy? And who says you can’t follow yours? You make that choice all on your own, punkin. Nobody has you in a strangle-hold.
His comment stung. And stung. And stung. I never forgot it, and I forget a lot of stuff that doesn’t feel good. I might need to work on that.
As I reflect back on it, it was a potent moment in our relationship. In that single sentence he laid out for me exactly what I meant to him. I was competition, not a partner. We weren’t on the same team anymore. Why didn’t I understand that then? Because I would have had to take action? Somehow I was able to take that sentence and put it on the compost heap where even the worms refused to touch it.
Funny what a little thing like divorce can do. Fast forward to the here and now:
“Since your pocket call I have been writing. I started a blog in November. It’s struck a cord with a lot of people. A whole lot of people. I needed to tell you because I don’t believe in keeping secrets, and because this blog has become a huge part of my life. I don’t know where it may lead, but I plan to write this blog for a long, long time with the goal of sharing my journey with the world. And while it is under a pen name, someday it may come out who I am and I would not want you to feel that I kept it from you. I want you to understand that it’s not about you. It’s about me and my journey through this divorce and beyond.”
His face did not change measurably. But I could see a stiffening of his torso and a look that either said, “I already know.” or “I figured you would.”
“What’s it called?”
If I tell you that I will basically shred my whole “It’s not about you” angle. No can do. Besides, you can’t come here. They’d run you out of town. My kittens, they’re ferocious!
“I don’t want to share that with you. This is for me. And I would ask that you not share this information with anyone else.”
“I don’t want to be fodder for you. If this is about your experience and it helps you then I support it. But don’t make it about me.”
At that exact moment in time the world tilted on its axis. The Genius did not want it to be about him. I guess that whole ‘negative light’ thing played into it, but you gotta recognize the tiny glimmer of a dust-like particle of hope that may have drifted ever so close to The Genius, as perhaps a sign that a heart beats within.
Could it really have gone that smoothly? If I had known conversations like this were going to be that easy I would have divorced him long ago. It would seem that smooth sailing is in the forecast, no? The Genius supports my writing, this time around (and it was the perfect time to do so), and the stars have aligned, in a black comedy sort of way, to support my need to write.
I think now is a good time to remind myself that nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems. But I am certain it will all be worth it.