Saturday, July 31, 2010

Life After Death

Today marks one year since my diaphragmatic hernia repair. One year since they cut me open on a metal table. One year since I saw my Life flash before my eyes.

They had found the hernia accidentally on a x-ray after I had blown out my upper back. It was the size of a large orange. The doctors didn't know how I got it. Some said I may have had it since birth. Diaphragmatic hernias usually kill babies before they reach six months old. The doc told me mine had the potential to wrap around my heart and kill me within six hours. "When would you like to schedule your surgery?" " soon as possible?"

Surgery is the worst. The days leading up to it. The needles. Putting you under. Cutting you up. And then all that pain afterwards. Then, recovery. Learning how to walk, talk and breathe again.

My Life in some weird way had seemed pretty complete before going into surgery. I felt like I was on good terms with everyone I cared for. I had been working really hard on my latest script. I had gotten pretty much everything I've ever wanted. But as I thought these breaths could have been my last, I still knew I had so much more to do. And I think that's why I'm still alive today. All for a reason.

The surgery changed me. Not just on the outside, especially now since my scar has begun to fade it's almost like it never happened. But the memory and the lesson remain --

Take nothing for granted. Live each day like it's your last. Remember what's important and what isn't. Put all of yourself into all that you do. Just keep living. Do it fully.

You never know what tomorrow will bring....

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Beginning of the End

It's funny how when it gets to the end, I always think about the beginning.

That first step. That first breath. Those first words. That first choice. That first decision.

Sometimes when we move forward with a new venture, we have no idea what we're getting ourselves into. This could be a road to failure. Success. Heartaches. Headaches. Stomach ulcers.

Along the journey, one can be naive. Take things for granted. Overlook the details. Ignore past mistakes. Just push through towards a destination. Where we can end up on the complete opposite side of where we originally wanted to be.

What keeps pushing us forward? Our life force? Our stubborn wills? Our faith? Our beliefs in what we're doing is right for us? Our desire for something? Our yearning for change? Maybe all of the above.

Our wants can grow with such persistence that they can even form into the words we speak every single day. Projecting our plan. Divulging our secrets. Telling our agenda to the world. How little we think of how those words could affect other people. Change their feelings. Change their plans. Change their desires. And how their words can change us.

Then comes the choice. Left or right. Up or down. Black or white. Laid out before us on a silver platter. Waiting for an answer. Staring at us until we make up our minds.

Finally, the decision. The ultimate engraved stone carving on our paths. It could be years later before we can know if we have made the right choice. It could be seconds. Then we always have the power to switch ourselves once again. Different circumstances. Different choices. Different decisions.

Will this one lead us to our self salvation? Or will we just have to start from another beginning again? More lessons to be learned. More roads to develop before us.

It's funny how when it gets to the end, I always think about the beginning.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Letting Go

Something I've never been good at. Do you get better with practice? But what does it say about someone who can easily let go at will? Perhaps they were never that attached.

How can you let go of something that's the weight of a mountain on your mind? A box of chains around your heart? A steel casket around your soul? Or those ever elusive claws in your back?

Not without strength. Persistance. Overwhelming will power.

I strive to become that person that can let the constrictions of attachment fall all around me. To just keep moving forward. Nothing to drag me to the ground. Nothing to slow me down.

Banish the negative thoughts that pull me. Dismay the heartbreaks that have wounded me. Break through the past and people who have tried to darken my spirit. Kill the creature with those sharp digging talons once and for all.

And just keep moving forward...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Injections on Rejection

We all must love that burning stake through our souls. We should all adore the piercing agony of needles through our hearts. We know we all want a heavy hammer fallen on our heads. Right? No. Not at all. No one likes rejection.

Not with our careers. Our relationships. Our lives.

I know that we all love a warm glowing sensation throughout our core. A consoling hug of success in our thump-thump. A mind at peace, knowing we did everything we could to get everything we wanted. Somehow rejection doesn't fit into these categories. But it's a part of Life we must learn to live with.

May our rejections be harmless. May our rejections be small. May our acceptances be great and may ourselves, still stand tall!!

"Bala: Z's dead. You don't have to worry about him.
Colonel Cutter: Dead? Well... he was an ant with ideas. Too bad for him."

-from Antz.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


A career. A job. A lifestyle. Money. No money. Success. Fulfillment.

If you are lucky enough to do what you want in this Life, kudos to you.

If you don't know yet or are still trying to figure that out, kudos to you too.

I've known that I wanted to be a screenwriter since I was 15. That was 11 years ago. Do I feel lucky to know that? Sure! Could I change my mind in the future? Nothing is impossible!

A lot of my friends are still in school. Still searching for that ideal, dream job. Some are considering going back to school, to change directions once again. I've discovered it takes a lot of strength and courage to change your mind about something. Especially about something BIG. It's incredible what the human mind is capable of. To want a job. Work so hard to get it. And then work it dry until something new comes along. It's sometimes taxing. Sometimes okay. Sometimes enjoyable.

One could say our jobs define us. One could say our jobs are just a little part of us. Some could say our jobs are what drives us. Most would say our jobs are a necessity, of course... The Art of Survival. Personally, I enjoy defining my job, redefining and fine tuning it, again and again. I feel so lucky to have a job that I love so much with so much freedom. What a rarity it is. I know this. I am forever grateful.

A career of being a great mom who raises amazing kids. Success. A job that makes you feel important. Success. A lifestyle you've always dreamed of. Success. Money. No money. Success. I pray that all can find fulfillment. With work, play, love and Life.

"You are not an indentured servant! It's not a whim for you, you prove it to him by your conviction and your passion! You show that to him, and if he still doesn't believe you - well, by then, you'll be out of school and can do anything you want."

- John Keating in Dead Poets Society.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Never Thought...

Ever use the sentence: I never thought... blah, blah, blah..?

Seems like we use it a lot in this household.

I never thought I'd be back here. Especially, if you had asked me a couple years ago. I would've told you that I'd be sitting on a sandy beach right now. But alas, I'm amidst glowing grass as far as the eyes can see. Sometimes the idea of "never thought" can seem negative. However, it isn't always. I do absolutely love it here.

I've discovered you have to TRUST the PATH. No matter how rough and rocky. Nor how smooth and winding. But it's amazing how it could change. In a second! In an instant!! And you just have to deal, cope, get through it. And you can never know the ending, the destination, the outcome. How scary. How exciting. That's Life!

I never thought I could possibly now be living half the time in the place from whence we just came. I never thought I would love so much the place where I am now. I never thought a lot of things.

I trust the path. I have faith. I have optimistic hopes for the future. Why? Because it's in me to keep believing. Deep down through me. Every waking moment. Every step I take. It just is.

“Luke: I can’t believe it. Yoda: That is why you fail.”

- from Star Wars.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Purity, Balance, Passion & Strength

Guess what I figured out! My three closest friends and I were all born consecutively in 1983 - September, October, November & December!

Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Capricorn!! How amazing!

Virgo - The Virgin -- Purity.

Libra - The Scales -- Balance.

Scorpio - The Undertaker -- Passion.

Capricorn - The Persistent -- Strength.

This makes me think of the movie, The Craft. Corny, I know. But if you remember, they were all a different direction in their witching practices. North, South, East & West. And only when they were all four together were they the most powerful. Hmmm...

Which brings up a major theme of my Life lately, BALANCE. It's incredible how important balance is to have in one's Life. One should rest as much as they work. Work as much as they play. Live as much as they love. Love as much as one lives!

"All for one, and one for all." Hehe.

I had told my friend, The Libra, how much I would love to be the women in the film How to Make an American Quilt. Women tied throughout time. There for each other no matter what. No matter what happens, what relationships, what places, what situations. Bound by an everlasting friendship. This has always been a long time goal of mine.

The Virgo, reminded me that time and distance can change people. I completely agree. But I feel that with these particular three... nothing could change so much that I would ever not want to see them or know how they are doing. That purely, I could never imagine not caring for them.

Last, but not least, The Capricorn. We met 15 years ago. We reunited strongly this year. How we've grown! And miraculously, we couldn't be more alike! I couldn't be happier with us. So although Capricorn is my newest close friend, I feel extremely blessed to have her in my life. Plus she lives right down the street!

I've never felt more lucky than to have Purity, Balance and Strength in my Life.

I am eternally grateful for each and every one of them. And hope we stay that way....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Whine, Wine, Whine

What is it about wine that can make us divulge our secrets?

Not just alcohol. In my opinion, they're each horses of a different color. Vodka can give you energy. Gin can make you sleepy. Tequila can make you crazy.

I don't know about you, but WINE makes me open up.

To say things I would ordinarily never say. Not because I never wanted to, but just because I felt like I couldn't. It has the power to take off that shielded armor we wear everyday. It also helps if the person listening to you is drinking wine too. Chances are they will tell you things you've never heard before. It's amazing. Like truth serum. And oh so revealing....

Also, wines of different colors can make me feeeeel differently.

"Blushes" make me emotional, passionate.

"Reds" make me boisterous, rebellious.

"Whites" make me more silly.

Wines have powerful anti-oxidants, especially REDS. It's been called the "Drink of the Gods". It's use in the Bible definitely made things happen. In moderation, it's considered healthy. Too much of anything is a bad thing? Maybe. But I suppose wine's exact purpose might just be another sweet mystery of Life. To be explored again and again by enthusiasts everywhere.

"plug my piece in boys, then we can drink the wine
drink the wine, drink the wine-
music, good friends, I'm not dyin' today."

-Tori Amos

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The "M" Word

Give up? Know what I'm talking about?

Okay, okay... MARRIAGE.

Seems like this has been a HUGE topic among my little circle of friends lately. No, I'm not an expert on the subject. I've been married for almost five years. So for me, I think of our marriage like a little five year old. Walking. Talking. Potty trained. Still learning how to share.

For a while there, I had lost favor with the idea of marriage. Yes, I know... I'm a hypocrite. But it was largely based on the fact that when you're "married" there's this little piece of paper that states you will be together forever. It's just a piece of paper. If you love and are fully committed to the person you're with, why does this governmental paper hold you together more than love itself?

But after some much needed discussion on the subject... I actually do believe in marriage. And no, it's not for everyone. I completely understand that too. But it is a statement to the world. Your commitment made known. In the face of the people who agree or disagree. And it's courageous to openly say you want to be with someone for the rest of your life. All things I can believe in.

In these discussions... I've often stated that NOTHING IS FOREVER. Now this may seem like a completely negative statement. But when you really think about it, it's relatively true. This WORLD you stand on isn't forever. This BODY you live in isn't forever. This government, this society, this culture, this day... not forever. The only exception may be the "MAN UPSTAIRS", and I'm not one to refute that!

I think the exact idea of marriage is founded in the idea of forever.

Does "'til death do us part" ring a bell?

But I have begun to think of life (in my older age), as a day to day process... and my marriage as a day to day process. Not to focus all of my energy on the future at the expense of the moment. Don't get me wrong... marriage until death sounds wonderful. I think it would be an amazing feat! Mission accomplished! But I still rather think of putting all my attention on my relationship today, not what it will be years down the line....

Marriage is work. Marriage is comforting. Marriage is binding. Marriage is courageous. To be that old couple on the front porch still holding hands after decades of being together. It's enigmatic. Endearing. Magical even.

Most of my friends are married. Some a long time, but most just a few years or less.

But regardless of whether or not you are married, I say... communicate... live in the moment... and show your LOVE to your LOVE like there is no tomorrow.

Because no one can know what the "MAN UPSTAIRS" will choose to change next.

Next stop -- a five year old marriage coloring between the lines! What a thought!

Cruel, Harsh, Brutal, Dry Hollywood

A wanna be, gotta be, gonna be feature film screenwriter. That's me.

I had my first cold pitch to an agent on Thursday. Talk about a stereotypical conversation with one of Hollywood's finest. Brutal. Blunt. To the point.

"Sounds cliche." "Sounds expensive." I can soundly and quickly answer. "Yes." and "Yes."

But all factual dominance aside... what movie isn't cliche to a certain extent? What movie isn't that expensive? I've been told my entire screenwriting career... Hollywood is a clone factory. You can't be too original. It's too risky! And... movies cost millions of dollars! I don't know for any one person a couple mil was ever cheap.

So I agree with the agent. You ARE right. Okay, so now what?

"Well, I 'd still like to read it." Success. Objective complete. Then... "call me in a week."

Thank you so much for giving me the time of day from your hectic, crazed, money driven schedule to talk to an amateur like me. Yes, your excellency. Write a novel first to establish a fan base? You got it. However, I'm really a screenwriter and didn't really want to be the next J.K. Rowling, but whatever you say. Jump through a hoop of fire for your entertainment? Of course I will!!

But all kidding aside... I knew selling my first script would be exactly like this. Harsh. Painful. Rejections galore. And I'm sure as it continues, I'll just get more used to it.

The point is, it's all worth it. To be your dreams come true. Sitting on the highest cloud amidst the world of chaos below. Feeling the true meaning of success rattle through your core. Seek and you shall find. Find that person that believes in you as much as you believe in yourself.

They're out there. I can feel it.