Sunday, March 13, 2011

Is Your Life a Romantic Comedy?

This is another in my inspirational life-coaching posts. Here's a little story.

I had just left my ex's home that we had bought when I was pregnant and had lived in for 23 years. I moved into an apartment. I took no furniture with me. I let him have the house and the furniture. I wanted a fresh start, no wandering around the house I raised my son in or looking at things we bought together. But, I also did not have any experience at being on my own, paying bills, adult responsibilities, all the technicalities of life. I was two weeks into it and exhausted. I barely slept. Things weren't working well between the court paperwork for the divorce and making deals without lawyers and then trying to get things done with my hookups for banking and cable and all the other "stuff."

One day, I plopped down on the living room floor, sun shining through hotly from the huge picture windows. I had no furniture and so I laid back on the carpet and had a good cry. I cried for a while, staring out the window at a tree and a thought poked at my mind faintly, "how long are you going to do this? You have a shit load of stuff to get done, you know?" The sad part of me wanting a pity party said back, "leave me alone, I've earned this." The logical side said, "Well, I'm just saying, I don't see anyone else around here to get this done." I had to smile at that thought. No one was coming to rescue me. My life was not a romantic comedy.

Or was it?

I thought about the heroines in romantic comedies. The director and writer throw all kinds of obstacles in the character's path. She looks like an idiot. Does everything wrong and awkward. Says the wrong thing. Makes the wrong decisions. She bumbles through the whole movie until at the end if all turns out okay. My every day so far was like a stumbling heroine trying to make a new life and find happiness.

I was a character in a romantic comedy.

I didn't have to look great at what I do, but I was at least doing it. I might be a mess on my living room floor with no furniture, but I got to choose what would fill the room. I got to clear up the ongoing issues and master new skills. And, somewhere in all of that, a loving man would show up and add to the rewards of the romantic comedy of my life and love me in spite of my blundering and my goofiness and my lack of home decor.

I thought of Meg Ryan in "Sleepless in Seattle" when she fumbled with her awkward boyfriend turned fiance and daydreamed about Tom Hanks. She made bad decisions. She had very awkward moments. She blundered and nearly missed him at a critical moment.

Our lives are not flawless and smooth. They have drama. They have self doubt. They have moments of total collapse. Somehow, in the story of our lives, those are some of the most endearing moments.

That shift in perspective on that living room floor turned my life from some kind of pathetic tragic "Steel Magnolias" mood to a "Under the Tuscan Sun" moment. I was a woman bumbling in her first place, like Mary Tyler Moore or Rhoda or Laverne and Shirley. I was in good company and I was leading my own life.

Roadblocks now are just the director in the romantic comedy of my life throwing plot devices at me to make my life story more interesting and challenging. To make me more deserving of the rewards when they come.

"Let's throw it at her and see how she comes out of this one."


  1. My wish for you is for your life to be an "action/adventure" that TURNS into a "romantic comedy"...I'm thinking more along the lines of "Romancing the Stone".
    I hope that you spend a little bit of time to discover what YOU like and learn to take care of yourself. Then when you have enjoyed that time, I wish for it to shift into the Romantic Comedy mode. I hope I'm not coming off too preachy or motherly (but I am older! LOL!) and I just know that I spent way too much time looking for Mr. Right when I should have just enjoyed my life and not worried about it. You've got to know yourself before someone else can really know you.
    XOXO - Cindi

  2. Keep a baseball bat handy at all times. When life throws you a curveball, just knock it out of the park.

    Sorry about all the romcom drama. I've been there and done that, so I know your pain all too well. One phrase that has always helped me was "Bite off more than you can chew... and then chew anyway." It keeps my mind from thinking overwhelming thoughts, because I always set myself up to be overwhelmed. And you know what? I always get through it.

    Which means I don't get overwhelmed anymore. Just whelmed.

  3. Hey Cindi;
    Yes, dear, most definitely. I am a Romancing the Stone kinda gal. I am evening just now finishing writing a paranormal romance. Haha. Oh no, a man is icing on the cake and I do adore men for being so easy to get along with, but the tone of my life is definitely a romantic comedy. I'm clumsy, I'm goofy, I'm awkward. Sort of Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman," but the storyline, it's definitely more like Under the Tuscan Sun meets National Treasure. I think my problem was that I always knew who I was, I just wasn't safe or comfortable being me. Now, I can be me, warts and all, goofy, nerdish, gawky, confident, sassy, and all those parts without censorship. I've always been way too complex for the simple man I had.

    You have probably grown several decades in a few years time. I've handled high drama and tons and tons of passing of loved ones and so many kinds of tests, but I never realized I wasn't done having all the tests life throws yet. There were still some more I needed. I like it. I'm more confident for having a body of experiences and I love that little voice in me that won't allow self pity. I really abhor self pity because it means someone wants to lay blame somewhere else and has a cognitive distortion that life should never shit on you, but hey, shit happens and if you're in the right place and the right time, it shits on you. So, now I'm just enjoying the romantic comedy unfolding with moments of laughter, moments of tears, moments of awkwardness, but it's my story and I own it. You own yours too. I can tell. You're a wise man.

  4. A movie! Definitinely a movie, With a baseball battle lots of action and comedy! You could see if Julia Roberts would be willing to be you! Or at least stunt double for ya; anyway.

    Love the tattoo, by the way!

  5. Hey Brenda; Hope all is well, dear. Yes, with me writing the story of my life, it's a convoluted mess, but definitely entertaining.

  6. Thanks! All is well; have just been busy! Finally trying to catch up on a few biogs. Maybe you could do a movie with a seque!.

    Give Dale a hugs and one for you, too!

  7. Brenda, dear, I'm not sure Dale will accept hugs. Perhaps I should kick him in the shin for you, hmm?

  8. Poor Dale. How about if you just say hi. From a distance....

  9. If my life were a movie, it would be awfully dull. At least, dull from the perspective of an audience member.

  10. HN;
    It will turn into a regular drama when you get college age. It's hard to not get caught up in the flow of life when you let interesting characters in, take on new responsibilities and try new things. My first job at Dunkin Donuts when I was 16--hilarious in retrospect, but at the time overwhelming and scary. I was usually left alone in the store with no cameras or security so occasionally, I would push open the door and call out into the baking room as if someone were there.

  11. Anything that does not kill you only makes you stronger....and anything interesting that doesn't kill you will make a great chapter in a book

  12. G;
    You said it dude! I have to look at all things that happen to me now with humor. It's all really not that important when all is said and done. It's just a momentary diversion.

  13. I am so glad to hear you had the strength to realize your in your own hands and only you can make the changes you want to see in your life. Fantastic post and beautiful photo!!

  14. Nicole;
    Thanks, dear. I am a happy character in a romantic comedy. I'm hoping it's somewhere between "The Sweetest Thing" and "Under the Tuscan Sun" and not "There's Something About Mary" hee hee

  15. My life's usually a comedy, but not always a romantic one.

  16. Eric;
    It's what you make of it. Turn it into slapstick, black comedy or romantic.

  17. Still rom-com is better then horror.

  18. Echo;
    Most definitely. I've had the horror and the drama. I'll take a romantic comedy any day.

  19. your life is a inspirational comedy where at the end your message rings true to so many people. you strength and will to survive will set you free. oh the comedy part, you find out that there is a ghost living in your home... who likes to tell jokes... so you laugh all the time!

  20. Izombie;
    I would so love to have a humorous ghost, just so long as he doesn't leave a fart bag on my chairs and ask me to pull his finger. I'll take someone with Lewis Black's sense of humor, please.

  21. You know sis, I keep thoughts of you in my head when I feel like things suck beyond belief (like literally...NOW). It is very hard when you left your situation, asked your ex for literally nothing, and got just that and you are still struggling. No job. No prospects. No way to pay bills any longer as you have been denied not only extended unemployment benefits, but they screwed up your appeal as said you didn't get it in, in time...what am I going to do????

    Well, first I'm going to stop with the self-pity party (eventually), and continue looking, and looking, and then hope someone will buy my engagement ring and wedding band (any lookers out there?)...and you'll stop being so damn proud and ask the beau, no TELL the beau, he's got to help you out financially (because you helped him) and just simply STOP WORRYING.....

    Hey, I'm's just easier said than done.

    On a happy note, I am incredibly proud of you and how far you have come over the past few months! I just know you will continue growing and having good things come your way! I am so excited for you! =D

  22. Sis;
    Just a lot of plot devices. When I was in that miserable prison of a marriage, he controlled every single thing. When I left, I realized I could own my entire life, every aspect of it, from my health to how I keep my home, to what I wear, to where I go, to what I do for a living. It was limitless. I wanted to go in all directions at one time. I take the responsibility of my own life very seriously because I truly believe that the way you do anything is the way you do everything, so no half-assed, no blame-game, no handing it over to others. Take it by the balls and live to your potential. Your potential is soooo huge. It is bigger than your body or your situation. It is your destiny--out there--reach! That's what I have to say to my little sis. I abhor when I have a pity party, it simply means I'm whining because I have to do something. That little voice reminding me, "you don't see anyone else getting this done, do you?" You will get out of the "snit" and move on. I know you too well. You're a dog with a bone when you set your mind to it, girl!