The Writer’s Only Responsibility

“The writer’s only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ is worth any number of old ladies.”
William Faulkner

Personal Year In Review

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I wish I had fabulous things to share here as I look back on 2016, the year itself as a complete “body of work”, as opposed to how I genuinely feel about it.

Here’s the unadulterated truth; I’m filled with mixed emotions, anger, pain, and the more I think about it, additional anger on top of the original anger, which is never a good sign. I make no apologies for my honesty. I’m many things in my imperfect human way, but dishonest isn’t on the list.

I take no issue with the company in my life, or lack thereof. I am a firm believer that we all go through hard times and that hard work, love, and prayer will get us through it. I take no issue with surviving (Life should be more than that though, right?) and having a few good days here and there (Though I am determined to not allow people to ruin my days when I’m feeling good and their moods aren’t meant for me. However, this is a process. It will not happen instantaneously.), but I do take issue with things outside my control.

I am a self-admitted control freak when it pertains to a lot of things in my life, and with other things, not so much. Overall, I’m tired of my best not being good enough, and having people remind me of my failures. Never look down upon someone unless you’re helping them up. Asking for help through tough times is not a grave sin. It’s honest, it’s real, and it’s admitting something vulnerable and scary is occurring that you cannot figure out how to face on your own. Why do we diminish that?!

I was raised to believe that as long as I do my best, it is always “good enough”, because it shows effort. And then I moved to another state where I know very few people, where “my best” is NEVER “good enough” because some unattainable level of perfection is expected at all times. It makes me feel like a bad Stepford Wife. 😦 I would not know what happiness was if a radioactive spider bit my ass. I haven’t known happiness in so long, it scares me. I feel emotions, yes, but happiness is almost never among them. How’s that for honest?

My brother has been through a torturous, evil kind of hell this year. I highly suspect that whatever was done to his heart set off a myriad of other health issues because I cannot recall a time when he wasn’t under the age of ten and on antibiotics as often as he’s been this year. He has been in and out of the hospital so many times that I’ve damn near had a multitude of nervous breakdowns every single time. I am currently waiting to hear back from a surgeon as he embarks on surgery number five in just slightly over a year; which is more surgery than he’s ever had in his entire life. It worries me on such a deep level, it’s difficult to convey.

I am immensely disheartened by how uncaring and unkind people are being towards him. At the beginning and end of each day, we only have so many family members in life, and as we’ve established, life is as short as it is long. My brother & I don’t have a lot of family, so we’ve had to rally around each other and be each other’s biggest support system through what has been, in essence, the gates of Hell. I may yell at him and get frustrated, I may say nasty things to him in the heat of the moment because he pushes my buttons, but ultimately, I’m not ignoring him or pretending he doesn’t exist in the hopes he’ll simply go away. I might not respond to a phone call or a text message when I’m sleeping, and sometimes I am guilty of ignoring him for a full twenty-four hours because I can’t handle the stress, but I do speak to my brother. I might not admit this to him, but he’s one of my best friends.

I say a painful goodbye to 2016, a year that has made me suffer in ways I can’t discuss; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I hope and pray that 2017 offers me more opportunities, better work, better pay, the same high-quality friendships I’ve maintained since day one (I’ve gotta say it; my friends are the BEST friends. They’re the first people to ask if I’m okay, to see through answers when I’m 100% NOT okay, and be as supportive as they can through crises. I would not have made it through parts of this year if it weren’t for the relationships in my life, both old and new, that have helped reinforce who I am as a person.), a real directional shift that leads me exactly where I need to be lead, and a year that allows me to achieve goals I have set for myself. The big goals, because at the moment, small goals aren’t cutting it.

I’d like to see some medical breakthroughs to help me better manage my pain and overall health. I was hit in the back with a shopping cart today at a local grocery store. This woman was on her cell phone and obviously thought she had enough room and/or didn’t even see me. I swear I am invisible to 99% of the “human race”. Initially my response was “Excuse YOU!”, but the lunatic just kept on walking, loudly debating stupidity on her phone. I did not feel it was worth pursuing in the moment, but now I am sorry I didn’t. I’m not sure if she did any real damage that wasn’t already there, but the level of pain I’m in is not something I want to take with me into the coming year, or any other year. I truly think CBD oil is in my future, as the “war on opiates” in this state is far too ridiculous to pursue with a doctor. I will, but I, like so many others, need a backup plan to help manage the pain in my life. No one should ever have to live like this.

Blessings to you all, as we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in what will hopefully a bright New Year! 

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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August Ends

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It’s no secret; I HATE summer. Unbearable heat, humidity, endless days of sun; they simply weren’t meant for someone like me. Fall is my favorite season (Two guesses why.), but Winter is a close second. That is why I am relieved to say goodbye to August and hello to the cooler temperatures ahead.

This year has been HELL. On some levels, I’ve made great strides and on other levels, I feel stuck, trapped, and genuinely unhappy. I look forward to new people, new achievements, new goals, new forms of happiness, new successes, and pretty much all things NEW. And while that means delving into my past and ridding myself of a lot of negativity, I am all right with that. I am all right with the hard labor that will involve, so long as it opens up a new, fresh chapter that can be lighter, fresher, and ultimately, happier. I don’t always like change when it’s forced upon me, as my recent changes have been, but I look forward to making lemon drop martinis out of the lemons I’ve been handed. If I look at it any differently, it will only continue to traumatize and harm me, so I am doing my best to place a positive spin on it, because to go in reverse is not how you move on to better things.

A lot of people in life settle. I’ve heard way too many people say they married someone “because they asked”, not “because I genuinely love him/her”, but “because they asked”. That’s not reason enough for me, or I would have been married in junior high school! Yes, that’s when the majority of my marriage proposals began, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I may not believe in marriage at the moment, but I don’t ever want to settle for things I’m not happy with, or settle for someone who I don’t fully believe in. That’s like going to your favorite restaurant and ordering something off the menu that’s passable, but something you know won’t make you happy in terms of choice. Just thinking about it makes it sour in my mind. I won’t settle in any aspect of my life. Perhaps it’s why I am so challenging and difficult. I know who I am and what I’m capable of, and when people try to box me into their thought process or desire for me to be their vision of who I should be, I’m always going to rail against it. I don’t have to be perfect for anyone, I just have to be able to live with myself.

This month has taught me who is truly important in my life. As usual, the numbers diminish a little, and that’s okay. As people show you their true colors, you’re able to see everything and everyone a lot more clearly. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may upset you or piss you off initially, but ultimately, assholes and idiots, on occasion, help you make big choices. Life is a labyrinth of learning. Knowledge is power, and I feel like people forget that sometimes.

I move into September focused on my health, on my brother’s health and helping him as much as humanly possible (I am in the process of setting the fundraiser up. A detailed post will accompany it for those who didn’t read my previous post about feeling like this was the right thing to do for him. If I wasn’t deeply concerned, I’d never do something like this, but I am.), and on trashing the old, keeping as many good memories as possible, and learning that not everything needs to be held on to forever.

We come into this world naked and crying. We leave this world alone, even if we are surrounded by loved ones. None of our worldly possessions can go with us, though I’ve seen many people try. So, take stock of your life and don’t forget to look after loved ones to the best of your ability. Sometimes it’s a struggle, but it would be far worse if you had to live with regrets for the things you did not do when you had the chance to be present.

If I didn’t have loved ones and responsibilities, I’d have checked out a long time ago. I will never lie about that, because it’s always in the back of my mind, but today, I am trying to focus on being rinsed clean of all the bullshit and drama.

Here’s to a new month! Goodbye, August. I am happy to see you go. Wishing you all blessings, good health, and happiness for the month ahead. 🙂

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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