With the hurricane hitting the coast this weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about storms. There’s the kind of storm that beats on the walls of homes and uproots trees, and the metaphorical kind that rips through our lives and tears apart everything we thought we knew.
Both types of storm are crazy to experience firsthand, and both—if you look hard enough—have a small place of peace right in the center of the chaos.
I remember when I was 12 years old, I sat wide-eyed in my living room floor in South Carolina, surrounded by the warmth of my sleeping bag while Hurricane Hugo passed directly over our house. It hit us at night, for hours pounding against the brick on one side of our home. Then a time of deadly calm surrounded us. There wasn’t even a breeze as we sat waiting for what we knew would come soon, and then it did, hammering the other side of our home until early morning.
Lately I’ve felt like I’ve been living through a different sort of hurricane, the overly hectic life sort of hurricane. As many of you know, the construction at my house started in May and has been unrelenting ever since. Every day there are multiple crews of workers moving around me, and hammering things—always with the hammering of things. And the mess, dear God, the mess.
On top of the construction madness, there’s been my writing life… Bad Girlz of the World, will things in this business ever be simple? I’m pretty sure the answer is no, in fact I’m sure of it. LOL
In this constant fight to navigate my way through the current hurricane of writer life and real life, I’ve been feeling pretty run down, defeated even. I’m someone who likes to have everything in my life neat and organized. I select my clothes for a conference months in advance, I already know what vacations I’ll take in the next 2 years, and the plot of my manuscripts as well as my dinner menus might as well be chiseled in stone. But lately all of my plans and carefully sorted details of life have blown around until they’re unrecognizable, and the effort of keeping things straight has become exhausting.
That was until last week when the wind and rain came to abrupt halt for a day and I finally found the eye of the storm and peace for the first time since spring. It started with a simple text message from Heather McGovern: I need a break. We should run away from home for a night.
Sometimes that’s how times of peace approach us, with a gentle tap on the shoulder or in this case, a text message from a friend, for you to stop and turn around.
Soon we were meeting up in Asheville, NC for a full day andnight of fun!
The construction at my house was still pounding away and I had a deadline for developmental edits on my next book, but for a day McGovy and I laughed, shopped, sipped champagne, ate chocolates, and stopped to sit on the sidewalk with a poet for hire.
Sure, it was a nice break from reality and a good time with my good friend, McGovy. But more than that, our time away helped me remember that I’m not finding my way through the dark and rainy streets of the writer world or the real world alone. I have a tribe. Not only do I have a family who loves me, I have you, my Bad Girlz. Wherever the wind pushes me tomorrow, next week, or a year from now, I know now that I’ll survive the storm. And so will you!
Have you ever survived a hurricane? Which kind? I hope you found the eye of the storm in the middle of the madness.