Thursday, January 22, 2015

Permission to Be Ourselves

I'm one of those people who loves that it takes all kinds to make a world. Negative reviews don't bother me for this reason. (Though I have to confess that's partially because I usually have about thirty times more great reviews.) I genuinely believe every person has to be different because we each have a purpose to fulfill in this world. And I've told my son, who is disabled and can't do much, that his may be the biggest, best purpose of all.

It's because of this viewpoint that I can come up with characters who are just a little bit different than everybody else in their world. I loved Suzanne Caldwell in BABY ON THE RANCH. Though she was young, just out of college, she was saddled with some very adult problems. So she didn't follow fashion trends or know what music was hot. She was busy with real life.

The same is true for Laura Beth Matthews in HER BROODING ITALIAN BOSS. She was pregnant by a guy who was such a creepy-crawler that even she was at a loss to remember why she stuck with him. Her attempt at making something of her life in New York City had failed. Her friends had found true love and good jobs and were moving on. And she was going to have to go home to her parents in Kentucky because she had no way to care for a child on her own. Ugh.

Her hero, Antonio Bartulocci, was in a similar boat. He wasn't pregnant and he certainly didn't have to worry about money. His dad was a billionaire, and Antonio himself was wealthy. A successful artist he'd already made his place in the world.

But he'd lost it. His wife had cheated on him before she was killed in a plane crash. And though he should have been able to say life goes on...he couldn't paint. No matter how much he wanted to be the artist he'd always been, he couldn't paint.

But in the way of all great stories (and real life most of the time), some of us have to hit rock bottom before we take a breath, look around and say...This isn't working. LOL That's when we pick ourselves up, take inventory of our problems and our talents and get to real work -- the work of becoming the person we're supposed to be.

Everybody believes that having a destiny is reserved for movie stars and football players, CEOs and Presidents. But about Bill Gates' mom? Or his teachers?

If you've read and loved a book of mine...then my mom was a very important piece of making you happy. So was my fifth grade teacher. And the nun who singled me out in high school and told me I was smarter than I behaved and I should stop that.

None of these women looked at me and said, "Oh, talent. It's my job to nurture her." Nope. All they did was the job they were given. Mother. Teacher. Women just living their lives.

So today...or this month, which starts a new year...take a look at your life. You have no idea if one of your kids or grandkids will discover a cure for cancer, become a rockstar, change the face of medicine with breakthrough software. You don't know if the woman you sit beside in the bus, the paperboy you encourage, and the waitress you treat well (and tip well), isn't in desperate need of the right word at the right time to take him or her to the place s/he might not reach without your advice, kind word, encouragement.

And doesn't that make YOU a superstar by default?

So today I give you permission to be you. Because no matter how small or insignificant we may seem to be to ourselves, we have no idea of our real mark in history.

Happy Reading...

susan meier


dstoutholcomb said...

Thank you!

Donna E said...

I need to hear this more often.