5 Silver Linings

I can’t speak for you all, but I have yet to see a cloud with an actual silver lining. If you live in the midwest and you’ve been stuck out in a cornfield during detasseling season like I have, the last thing you want to see is something reflective coming off a cloud, because you’re about to get struck by lightning or nailed by something that fell off a weather satellite. Storm clouds pass. Reflective things that bounce off them, however, tend to have permanent and unfortunate effects.

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Julia Cameron is a New Yorker. I would not expect her to know this.

That said, this task was actually helpful in that it clarified something for me: indeed, I have been projecting. The exercise to is to list five things where you’ve felt thwarted/cheated. I’ve been mulling my lack of accomplishments, and I had some insight:

I feel like I’ve never met my potential, and I usually quit organizations when I realize that they’re not going to reach the potential I see for them. Yes, it’s absolutely a pot-kettle-black scenario, but I’m somewhat triumphant: I’ve finally pinned down my crazy! I am indeed a whackadoo, and despite the broad strokes of my personality this issue is subtle and hard to nail down. Now I KNOW I’m a nutjob, and I do belong to the rest of the world!  This isn’t comedy, I see this as a genuine joy – now that I know what the hell my problem is, I can work on it.

It’s bigger than this, of course. I’ve run into scores of situations about what I might do, what things I write might mean… It isn’t just me suppressing myself alone. This has been trying to surface for the last two weeks as I find myself reflecting on the times I’ve screwed myself out of advancement, blowing a job interview here, getting blacklisted there – I’ve been treated and treat myself like I’m a nuclear bomb. I’m not. “I am a channel for God’s creativity and my work comes to good.

“My creativity heals myself and others.”

“My creativity leads me to truth and love.

As they say in the magical arts – A-HA!

So, here are 5 scenarios where I felt thwarted:

1. Getting turned down for the UU job, and finding out it was specifically because board members were literally scared of my religion.

Silver Lining: I could still be in Mankato to this day if I had gotten that job, and Mankato is just not a healthy place.

2. The rejection of the Pagan Student Handbook.

Silver Lining: that’s hard to figure, especially since a year later I found a publisher who had printed such a book – and mine was better. Now, looking at it, I would have been published before I was ready and before I had developed a good way of taking the publishing industry’s pulse; back then I had a lot of illusions about publishing that I have much less of now. (I need to take some classes, get in a workshop and find an agent. No idea how on the agent, but I know it requires some actual completed work.)

3. Being turned down for an assistanceship within my MFA program.

Silver Lining: I did not like the majority of the MFA students I was exposed to in Mankato. While the International Student Office job had some really bad stuff and one really bad person in it, I made friends and had experiences I will always cherish. It also gave me a lot more to write about then petty politics that actually revolved around grammar and endless games of “who’s more rural? Who’s more Minnesotan?” This last part was particularly unfortunate since I still identify as a Hoosier.

4. My inability to land a job in radio.

Silver Lining: I really don’t think I would have done as well as I’d hoped. While being fat is OK for male jocks, women are obligated to look like someone that management wants to fuck. That was not me. That is still not me.

5. Various organizations where I’ve slammed my head into the wall trying to get them to do basic things in order to reach the goals they have for themselves.

Silver Lining: It led me to this epiphany. I recognize unmet potential because I have a lot of it, and I also share that self-destruct button.

I found the WMD! Now, is it the red wire that disables it?

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