Owning my Words

Dear Mom –

Hi. I miss you. It’s been awhile – 18 years ago today – in fact. I still remember that morning as clear as day. It seems this time of year I can feel it in my bones. There is no shaking it. It’s the same every September. It starts just after my birthday and ramps up over the next two weeks as I approach September 5th. Every year. Same thing. I smell it in the air. I see it in the shortening days and in the shift of the positioning of the sunsets. It’s particularly hard because it is back to school time. I’m supposed to be all organized – and instead I am scattered – in a fog – more so this year than in the past few. Maybe that’s not true – maybe it’s always like this. I can’t even remember right now.

You were 18 years old when you had me – and now you’ve been gone 18. Yep. I’m 48, Mom. Can you believe it? Forty-eight. The age you were when you left this earth and the age I have been fighting not to be afraid of all these years.  Now – here I am – feeling like this is something of a rebirth.  Hi.  It’s me – becoming “the woman of my own.”

Your death rocked my world. It crumbled around me for awhile there, Mom. Then I started to rebuild. Bit by bit. I have rebuilt on a much more solid foundation. I am fairly certain you are proud.

Oh – and please – don’t think I am blaming my scatteredness on you for something you could not help. There are many things going on right now – and honestly – I just want to talk to you. So I am – in a way – talking to you.

Why here? I have a feeling you know. Did the title of this blog spark anything for you? Last night I realized that this would be the perfect place for us to meet.

Do you remember that book you gave me at some point in the last couple of years before you died? You gave it to me for Valentine’s Day. It had the pretty shiny maroon cover and the little lock and key. It had the words “Passion Journal” written in cursive on it? Do you remember?

Do you remember how you told me that the journal was not to write about “passion” in – in the way I might think of passion in my late 20’s – that I wasn’t to write about my boyfriends. You told me I should write about what I felt passionate about in life. It was pretty, and I kept it on my shelf. I am fairly certain I never wrote a word in that book. My memory of it is one of fear. It brought up such a blank in me. I’m pretty sure it is in a box in the garage that I haven’t opened yet. I didn’t think about it much. I remember seeing it during my moves – that’s about it. I didn’t feel I had worthy passions to write about, Mom. If only I knew, then, what I know now.

Back in 2010 – I was in therapy – and I had started exploring my passions (or what seemed like a lack of them). I was moving through a horrible depression. It was the culmination of many things. Come 2011, I was starting my own business and really wanting to write – so I thought. I decided I wanted a blog so I took one on Blogspot and named it Her Passion Journal. I had decided on the name in the year before and bought the domain – as well as A Passion Journal and My Passion Journal. It took a long while to settle on “Her.”  To me – it brought the two of us together somehow. I wanted it to be mine, but I also wanted anyone who might read it to know the blog’s owner was a woman. I was unable to commit to the website domain.  Blogspot wasn’t workin’ for me either. I took this space. One day I’ll get up the balls to write at herpassionjournal.com. One day. Not today.

Super long story only sorta long? I’ve written 2 entries in 4 years here.  I sometimes think about how I think I may have lost the key to that Passion Journal you gave me, and feel like now I keep losing the key to this.  Uh. Yeah. I write everywhere but here.  I write on Facebook – on my own wall – in long comments on others’ walls. I write in FB womens’ groups. I write thoughtful responses to Blog posts. I oftentimes write big ol’ long things on a “public figure” wall and then cut the whole thing out and paste it in a Word document and file it away – because I have actually come to realize what I am doing is blogging, and I should put it here. But I don’t. I don’t put it here. I’ve been scared to – or something. There is a big ol’ block that I have got to crush. You know why? Because I am a writer. Grandma was a writer. You were a writer. I AM A WRITER.

You would force me to write when I was young. Letters and journals. I’ve always written good papers. Way back when – my teachers told me I was a writer. Mrs. Burns told me I was in 7th grade. I went on to AP English classes and loved writing in college. You know who doubted me? You. There was the time you helped me retype a research paper I wrote in nursing school. You told me it was really good THEN you asked me if it was really mine. That was a slap in the face. It may have seemed like a small thing to you – but I’m sure you can see now – knowing our history as you do – that that was all it took. I had worked my ass off on that paper. I was so proud of it and -just like that- I was off and running with the self-doubt again – because Mom – it was that easy.   For most of my life I have not felt good enough. For most of my life I have doubted every little thing I’ve done.  I have second-guessed. I have felt someone might point their finger and laugh. I have been afraid that someone might call me out. I now know that you were just like me. It’s hard, huh? Chasing and hiding. I digress.

So – yeah – who would of thunk it – I am now calling myself a writer. My confidence comes from outside sources saying they want to hear my voice. This has been a common theme.   SO – for the next month – I am going to post something to this blog every day. It might be a long rambling thing like this – or it might be a poem – or it might be a picture. I probably won’t be showing my skill as a writer. The purpose is not to show skill. The purpose is to crush the block while excavating and collecting some of my many passions. The purpose is to crush the fear – the fear that steals my creative expression – the fear that silences me so that I feel some need to skulk off and hide my words in the comments of others’ posts rather than claim them as my own.

The purpose is also to help quiet the sadness of September.

I miss you Mom.

I still love you so much.

See you in my dreams.




13 thoughts on “Owning my Words

  1. debra morrison says:

    What a beautiful post, Suzanne. I get it! Boy, do I get it! “For most of my life I have not felt good enough. For most of my life I have doubted every little thing I’ve done. I have second-guessed. I have felt someone might point their finger and laugh. I have been afraid that someone might call me out.”

    Thanks for sharing your truth.


    • Hi Debra! Thank you for reading, responding and encouraging me. I am just now figuring out that I actually have to approve these in order to respond to them. I didn’t remember doing that before – but then – hey – it was probably over 6 months ago that I posted last. Learning curve. I think we are going to be “seeing” a lot of one another. I think that’s great. We seem to have quite a bit in common, and I look forward to getting to know you better through the magic that is the internet. Peace, love and joy out! ~Suzan

  2. Joyanne says:

    From one woman writer to another, your pen is a mighty sword; may you use it powerfully in the next 30 days to conquer your every doubt and fear.

  3. Thank you for this. I feel like this from the middle of May to the middle of June. My mom died on 6/4/2001 and her birthday is 6/16.

    I’ve taken to telling people and apologizing in advance for anything and everything I may (or may not) do during that time. It’s like a Season of Grief for me.

    I hope this September is full of everything you need it to be. I hope you find some peace and laughter through the sorrow.

    And please keep pursuing your passions. It will feed your soul and give you precisely what you need.

    • I just now figured out that I had to approve these in order to respond to them. Learning curve. Thank you so much for reading and responding. I am so glad it resonated. Healing through community is huge. I felt such a surge of connection yesterday and, honestly, that grief produced lump -that’s been hanging about my solar plexus the last week or so- seems to be gone – at least for the moment. I’m feeling healing through connection. It’s amazing. Let’s keep on keeping on. Peace, love and joy to you. ~Suzan

  4. I saw comments here yesterday from some people I know and some I don’t. I want to respond, but now I can’t find the comments, and I can not figure out how to respond. I am super new to this – but – a few posts back – comments show up – and my responses to them show up. ????? If you responded to this post – thank you so much. Means a ton to me. Yes it does.

    • Stephani Adams says:

      Thank you. I needed…seriously needed to read this tonight. I am…let me rephrase that,… I AM a graphic designer. I just don’t happen to be making money with it or paying my bills with it. I have brought my passion for graphic design up off the back burner here and there over the last 7 yrs, since Graduating from college back in ‘o8 . I love art. I love decorating, designing & dazzling things and making things pop out! Making things say…”LooK @ M£!”
      I’m also a cleaning lady and pay bills, feed my kids, and get by that way. But after reading this, you’ve given me hope that even if I’m not so competitive, and better than the rest., I don’t have to totally give up on my dreams., and that my passion is always there waiting for me to dive in, even if just for a while. Thank you.

      • Hi Stephani – Yeah. Never give up. Ever. And you are right – letting the perfectionist (or whatever inner critic) in you stop you? Been there. Done that. You have your art. That is your creative spark. I have my writing. I finally had to stop looking at other peoples’ fancy websites and pretty blog pages with a bunch of sponsors and a long list of archives – and say, “You know what? I just don’t give a s#@t if mine doesn’t look like theirs. Get your words out. Period. “Comparison is the thief of Joy.” ~Teddy Roosevelt. So true. Yes. Just jump in with what you’ve got. Have you looked into Etsy sites? Maybe you could sell some of your “dazzled” up stuff. I think you just pay a percentage of each sale – nothing else. I have various passions, and I just want to explore them. My day job is as a recovery coach. Now that is passion-fueled for me. I’m new to it, though. My credentials are new anyway. I feel like I’ve been coaching for years. 🙂 Business is picking up a little steam, but it has been slow going. I was a nurse for 17 years and had to step away from that. I am a Mom of two and went through my housecleaning, personal organizing, personal cheffing stage to get to a place where I could take my coaching classes, call myself that and move forward. I fought it – the title. Another story that is. I could not be a Mom, be a nurse and take classes. Some can. I knew I could not. My self-care is already something I have to keep in check and pushing myself to do more than I know I can pushes me right over the edge. So doing the odd jobs to get what I wanted worked beautifully. What I am realizing is that I don’t want recognition for what I do. That’s not what I crave or desire. I want to help fellow souls live the life they desire. I can do that through coaching and writing. I can inspire by just being me and doing what I love. It sounds to me like your desire is to bring beauty and sparkle to others’ lives. That is awesome. That can be as intimate or grand as you’d like it to be. I’m feeling today’s blog post coming on. Challenged myself to 30 days straight – just to get some sort of habit and commitment going on. The post you read was Day 1. Today will be day 3. One tenth of the way there. Thank you so much for reaching out. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Peace, love and Joy out!

  5. Dayna Muller says:

    Dear Suzan,
    You are an awesome writer! Not to mention one of the best chefs on the planet! Wish we had time to chat. Love and miss you~Dayna

    • Thank you, Dayna. That made my morning. 🙂 We should MAKE time to chat – phone – home – lunch? I’m around. I’m just off my personal FB account for awhile. Life got too noisy. I love and miss you, too. Hug!

      • dayna says:

        Hi Suz, Yes, I am up for making time to visit. I am on vacation next week part of which is at home time. I’ll check in with you re your schedule/my schedule. ❤

  6. Heidi says:

    I see some of my own truth through your truth. Up until recently I always felt no matter what I did or how hard I tried my best was never good enough. Even when I was told how unique, special, or what a huge heart I had. I was humbly embarrassed and did not know how to handle compliments. Even when I responded with “thank you” I never actually believed it to be true..I still don’t, at least not completly. Its funny, viewing this from your eyes. I always thought of you as beautiful, smart, kind hearted, confident, and perfect in every single way. I wished some day I could be half the person you are. Even though we don’t talk much you have always been in my heart and an inspiration to me. I hope some day you see the true mirror and can see how awesome you really are.

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