Saturday, November 18, 2017

Aggressive Optimism

***Note: The following is one of many blog posts I started once upon a time and did not make public for one reason or another.  I am sharing now because although unfinished and imperfect, it made me smile tonight and helped me to remember some important lessons. So cheers to quieting the inner skeptic and continuing to "fight evil with flowers" the best we know how.   ***

Back when I worked at the magazine, my editor and I often shared a private joke about my use of what we coined 'aggressive optimism'.  I'd chuckle about "fighting evil with flowers" as I wrote a lengthy email back to some disgruntled reader dissatisfied with my perspective/hair color/use of pronouns.  And though - thankfully - not many retorts were required throughout my employ, I learned valuable lessons by responding to critics.

Namely, you can't please everyone.

Also, readers should find something more constructive to do than counting the number of times the word "because" is used in any given story - you know who you are.  But I digress.

Somewhere between the cryptic notes left in my editors' red ink and the sweet smell of the latest edition literally "hot off the presses"- I learned to be brave.  I learned to tell the stories I believed in - despite the ridiculous 'letter to the editor' which would inevitably come.

And at the end of the day nothing else matters beyond that - speak your truth and do your best to leave the earth a little brighter.

Weeds are all about perspective.

When I became sick, in so many ways I believed I had failed.

I could not protect my children from darkness.  I could not save them from fear, or the cruelty of a world that could so easily strip them of innocence, of a childhood without a mother's protection.  

In fact, I couldn't even save myself.

I agonized over my decision to be open with the children. 

But then, one day, I found this scrawled in the driveway.

And I knew - without a doubt  - I was doing something right.