“When a woman tells the truth, she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.” — Adrienne Rich
Sometimes you have to surrender.
We all get stuck from time to time. If we could just lighten up a little, and stop speaking so harshly to ourselves, we might realize there’s no shame in it. Getting stuck – hitting an impasse – is part of the process of growth. It’s like some cosmic entity knocking on your skull and saying, Hey, you. The usual stuff isn’t working anymore. Time to try something new. click here
So I agreed to write a blog post for a company I respect on a topic that fascinates me. While fitting ideas together and outlining the post, I started thinking
Who the hell am I to be writing on this?
Why should anybody care about what I think?
I wasn’t considering the post so much as the bio that might accompany the post. What were my credentials? Where was my real-life experience? How could whatever expertise I might have accrued in another, very different domain possibly apply to this one?
Why should anybody listen to me? click for more
Many moons ago, I was having a drink with a male friend in New York when I told him this idea I still like to kick around. It’s for a nonfiction book. It would be a personal investigation of the ‘golddigger’ myth: where the stereotype comes from, how it evolved, how it gets institutionalized and plays out in the culture.
My friend then introduced me to the term ‘dinner whore’.
Urbandictionary defines it thusly: “A girl who is exclusively after a free meal or an expensive gift. She actively seeks out dates with well-off men who will wine and dine her at upscale restaurants. She is usually physically attractive enough to make the man fall for her feminine wiles. She will rarely have sex with these men, until they spend a certain number of dollars on her. Nobody knows exactly what that number is, so the man keeps spending and spending, while the dinner whore keeps living it up.” click for more
I met President Clinton last week, at a cocktail party in the presidential suite in an ex-pat hotel in Haiti. Later, I was part of a group that had dinner with him, and the next day toured the Academy of Peace + Justice. (The Academy is a free school sponsored by Artists for Peace + Justice for kids from especially poor and troubled parts of Haiti. They get three meals a day along with an education. You can’t nurture the mind if the body is suffering. The body is the mind and vice versa. But I digress.)
“Nice bracelet you’re wearing,” Clinton said to me at one point, referring to a Haitian-made bracelet I’d bought for ten dollars at the hotel gift shop.
“Thank you. It’s made out of safety pins.”
What strikes me about Prez Clinton is his singular voice. We were at a table with extremely accomplished and high-powered men (they were mostly men), but as soon as that throaty, smoky voice rose through the conversation, people were instantly attentive. You could be blindfolded and not even know that Clinton was in the room and recognize that voice. You’d wrap your sense of Clinton’s personality around it, as well as all the history and associations the name ‘Bill Clinton’ has for you and whether those associations resonate or piss you off. Chances are, you would not have an indifferent reaction click for more
There’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right. — Charles Duhigg
Things fall apart.
On the day my ex-husband left a voice mail for my therapist telling her to tell me that he was filing for divorce, I started smoking again.
Of the vices available to me, smoking seemed the lesser evil. Besides, I’d kicked it once, I told myself and others, so I knew I could do it again.
I declared to anyone who caught me in the act of lighting up that I would quit on the day my divorce finalized, which I expected to take less than a year.
It took two and a half.
I had read that it takes the average smoker about 8 or 9 failed attempts before they stop. I knew that my brain would have to throw down new habits over the bad habits – it would have to learn to automatically drive past click for more
If you’ve ever been legally deposed, you know it’s a brutal experience. The night before I was deposed for the third time out of five in a case that stretched on – and on – for over two years, I was terrified. I was going head-to-head with one of the best lawyers in Los Angeles who seemed determined to trip me up, break me down, and make me cry (and then, afterwards, would be vaguely apologetic about it, in a “just doing my job” kind of way).
That night, everything about what I was going through seemed to gather up inside me and pitch me to the edge. I couldn’t sleep. I fretted and smoked. I might have cried. I am not proud. click for more
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