Sunday, January 10, 2010

He stole my book!!

So I'm reading this book. I'm almost done. It only took me a couple of days to read most of it and now that I'm near the end I don't want to finish it. Not because it's a bad book. Not because I'm bored with it. But because it's so relatable (apparently that's not a word) to me I don't want it to be over.

It was funny, I was out with Smoky Mama and Pumpkin (my in laws) on our annual Christmas craft show and dinner date, when we were in a Christian book store.

Anyhoo, we were in the store and I notice a new book by a best selling author whom I've bought books by before. Some people love him, others probably wouldn't join his marketing team. I bought his 3 in 1 book and only got 2/3rds of the way through one of the books. The best seller.

I'm not sure what exactly made me think this book would be any different. I think it was the fact that initially I thought the book was written by a different author with a similar thought pattern and I got them mixed up. I pull the book off of the shelf take it over to Smoky Mama and say 'I wouldn't mind this for Christmas. It's on sale!'

We always let eachother be completely thoughtful when gift giving. Never make lists or demand anything. Always handmade. I was trying to be subtle, you know?

I went to put the book back where I got it from and Smoky Mama yells 'Well bring it over! This will help me get started'. I took it to her in mild disbelief and felt a tad guilty for bringing it up. We briefly argued about her getting the book right then. We didn't use our fists though. She bought the book. I pretended to forget and was very excited when I opened it Christmas Eve.

Did I mention I had no real idea what the book was about? Yeah, I just knew it was more of a self reflective book about the author 'editing' his life or something. It sounded like his life got better in the end and I thought to myself: 'He's a best selling author and needed his life to get better. I'm ... well ... me. I suppose there's always room for improvement. Heck, maybe I'll finish it.'

I soon got reading the book and realized that this author had beautifully articulated so many of my thoughts on life. It was so cool to read something that in essence I feel like I could've written myself.

Then I got wondering if he had secret powers to get into my head and steal my thoughts. Then I realized that I wasn't a best selling author, didn't try and write a movie, and well could never have written this book. Relief ... I wouldn't have to sue.

The book was about writing your own story in life. That the power to write it is within your control (how you are going to deal with life and stuff). He doesn't say that you can avoid cancer by thinking certain thoughts, but that you can choose how you are going to make your cancer story go. How you are going to live it.

I completely related to what Don was saying (we're on a first name, abbreviated basis. Don't be jealous you can read the book too), when he spoke of creating a meaningful story in your life. I feel like this has been the exact lesson I've been learning during the past 7 years. I've been discovering that it's not your personality that determines what kind of live you have, it's what you chose to do with the life you have been given.

I used to day dream (and still do) about the kind of person I've always wanted to be. When I was young my birthday wishes, as far back as I can remember, were to be beautiful. When I was an overweight 10 year old that meant physical beauty. As I grew up that dream didn't change. My thoughts of being 16 years old were that of a beautiful girl. I wanted that. I believe I became that - though I'd never say that at the time. I had a pure heart for God. A sincere desire to do whatever He wanted. Love for my family and friends. I was a decently attractive young lady. Not a model, not a size 6, but I took care of myself.

As I have grown older I have had more day dreams. This time more about my life and who I really am. I have grown and changed , not all for the good. When I realized after my aunt died that you truly only have one life to live and God does not always intervene to save it (at least not in the physical sense), I realized that I was the one who would have to do something about it. A huge turning point for me was when Wally was unemployed and we hadn't gotten pregnant- at that point were a bit relieved about this. But I was looking at my life and I saw that no one was going to magically walk in and grant all of my wishes. I wasn't just going to go to bed one day and wake up the next as a stay at home mom. My husband wasn't going to magically be all that I needed him to be. I needed to put some work into it.

That's when I feel that I became an author. Re-writing my story. Wally did too. The thing that makes it easiest for me to 'write' my story is reminding myself what kind of person, or as Don would say 'character', I would like to be. I think that I unintentionally did this and held on for dear life with it. I kept running into people in my life here and there that showed me glimpses of what it looked like to truly LIVE a real life. There weren't very many at first. But as I kept writing and living and trying to be open to plot changes our story began to take some fun twists and turns.

I was out with a friend of mine the other day for coffee. I was telling him how looking back recently over the past 2 years I'd been in school how much I could see a difference in mine and Wally's relationship. How I was starting to see how Wally is becoming the man that I have always wanted him to be. That sounds selfish but it's true. Of course when we married Wally and I were best friends (sorry for the cliche but it's the best way I can describe it). We had eachother's backs, loved the same things, cheered eachother on - life had an ease. Then when life happened we changed quickly and found it more difficult to continue to put the other first, it's wearing after a while.

I have been able to witness God changing our hearts slowly but beautifully. There was a point in time I didn't want to be married to Wally any more, he was not the person that I wanted to raise a family with. I waited a long time to tell him this. I was ashamed and didn't want to hurt his feelings. He was still my friend. I told him though. I told him how I felt. I told him I wouldn't leave him physically because I made a promise. But I did tell him that I didn't want to have children any longer with him and that really we'd just live in the same house if something didn't change. I loved him but not like that.

Some men would take off after hearing this, or say mean things back. Wally didn't. Wally cried and apologized. I cried and hoped things would get better. Within a couple of months Wally got a job. He worked on a pig farm without hesitation. His focus was me. His heart was me. He did anything for me. After that I knew he was real. I knew he was a keeper.

Wally worked at 2 pig farms for almost 3 years without ever complaining about doing it. Then it was my turn. To do anything for him. I told him I was ready for him to go to school. He protested, worried that I wasn't ready for it. I thought about it a bit longer. Then I told him I was ready. I was. A great character would do that in a good story. A great character would love her husband that much.

Well I did and soon after when I went to Wally and told him I'd love to go back to school he didn't even hesitate. We bought a backpack and off I went. Wally was a great character in my story. I am really liking how things are being written.

Anyways, you know how things have ended up since. Struggles remain but in the end I see myself in the middle of an epic novel. Writing your story is very cool. Way better than succumbing to someone else’s.

My hope is that I never stop writing, that I never give up trying to become an admirable character. I want my character to be strong, funny, deep, wise, full of love, real and … know karate.


Anonymous said...

Powerful post! And so beautiful that you and Wally are there for each other. I love the story you've written so far (with your life and on your blog!)

Bex :)

Eva said...

Thank you Bex. Thank you so much.

Zoe said...

This is incredible. I love your blog, because even when we're together, I never get to see this much of you, because well, there's either my kids running around, getting into stuff, or we actually decide to talk about other people we know etc... and I just never get a dose (this big) of this kind of "real" stuff that's bopping around in your head. I love it.