Missing: My own business. Have you seen it?

Dear—

Can I just say: frustration! It woke me up today. In the wee hours this was me: toss turn toss turn… cold arm hot arm cold arm hot… too much fan too much blanket… skunk… skunk? skunk! yes, being blown in by my trusty fan, at that point turned on high. Oh my. The smell. The having to breathe through my mouth when I hate breathing through my mouth on account of— oh, never mind.

So yeah. I woke up with thoughts all over the place.

Warning: Disparate and disconnected ensues. Segue? Never heard o’ one.

When I was growing up we used to refer (in Spanish) to crazy-talk as “disparate.” When you add an accent to the first a, the word becomes “dispárate,” which is the command form of “to shoot.” So if ever you find yourself in need of telling someone to shoot themselves? Yeah: Dispárate, which yes, I almost felt like doing (not so much for real but like in a comic strip) while tossing and turning in this morning’s wee hours with the smell of skunk being piped into my bedroom.

One of the things I learned in Mark Silver’s Heart of Money (link in P.S.) course was to ask for/find a next action step in an area I am bringing kind attention to. We did it every week in his class in relation to money, and this morning, in all my frustration about a certain area of life-stuckness, I muttered to myself, to life, to what/whoever hears heartfelt, insomnia-induced prayers:

What’s an action step I could take in relation to ____ ?

Don’t do a drum roll here. OK? If you are looking for choirs or angels, voices from beyond, do not get your hopes up because what came back was beyond mundane:

“Clean your apartment.”

“Wha—-?”

No, that’s not what I said. I might have, a year ago, but these days I have somehow managed to begin trusting in the little nudges and inner voices, maybe even moreso when they seem ridiculously simple.

So I breathed a sign of relief and muttered “OK” and rolled over hoping to sleep, only to have Marilyn Monroe pop into my mind. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Disparate. Dispárate! Just shoot me, really.)

Marilyn. Beautiful, talented, troubled Marilyn. I wonder if she ever thought: what the hell is my strength? What the hell is my talent? How can I give voice to all that’s inside? What is my part in life? What do I have to give?

I wonder if she ever doubted her acting. I wonder if she said to herself: I’m only halfway decent at acting because I’m a queen of melodrama in real life. I wonder if she discounted her ability, chalking it up to coping strategies she developed so early in her childhood that she didn’t even know what she was like before the coping-stuff showed up…

Yeah, pro’bly she did. (R.I.P. dear Marilyn). And yeah, I’ve been thinking on that lately. I have such dreams of writing writing writing. And I am writing. But also I am discounting the writing I do, the only writing I seem able to do, by saying things like: “no one is interested,” and “it’s too personal.” As if being personal makes writing not as good as, say, someone who can write amazing stories and movies, which is what I dream of doing.

Waaaaah. Like I said, Frustration.

So my pattern has been looking like discounting my writing by saying that I’m only any good at it because it developed out of unhealthy needs. To cope with loneliness. To hang onto a thread of connection, writing letters home as if my little 11-year-old life depended on it.

Which gets me wondering about back then in relation to now…

I’d always had others to focus on. Others to mother. Others to take care of. Others to worry about. And now here I was at boarding school, alone. With me. What now!

I’d only ever been good at pleasing people and being good and taking care of others. (I so didn’t know this then).

Now, at school, my younger-by-10-months-brother, someone who’d never needed my caretaking nor appreciated my “goodness,” (smart boy!) was in another world called the boy’s hall where, apparently, he was having his head pushed into toilet bowls by the big guys. And, even there, he took care of himself, thank you very much, even in the worst of it, without his big, good sister.

When I turn to look at her, by which I mean me, at 11, what is there? Who is there? A girl far from home who spoke English with a Spanish accent and whose clothes looked funny. A girl who started getting up early every day to write letters home. A girl trying to stay a part of things, feeling so apart of things, and as adolescence fell, falling more and more apart inside herself.

When I turn to look at her, by which I mean me, now, what is there? A girl-woman without anyone but herself to take care of. A woman with no business other than her own. Which is probably oh-so-good but can feel oh-so-scary.

Ahhhh: 11: 41: Life comes full circle. No business but my own.

So, what IS my business? WHAT is my business? For years I’ve been seeing through the ever-skimpier facade that is caretaking and minding other people’s business, but now here I am, truly with only me. And, hello! Do you mind? What the hell IS my business?

Who am I, after those who would define me are no longer here? Who am I, falling asleep and waking up in my own company? What do I love when no one else’s preferences are considered?

What is essential to me? That is the question. The beautiful, hair-pulling question.

If you catch a glimpse of my business, would you kindly tell me?

Love,

Heidi

P.S. I want to tell you about 2 things that are somehow related to the above. These are affiliate links, which means that if you go to these sites and end up signing up for a course or buying material, I will get referral monies. Wheeeeee!

1. Mark Silver’s Heart of Business — mentioned above. I recently took Mark’s Heart of Money course, which he is now offering in an e-book, and it shifted many things inside of me in a very good way. July was my best self-employed month ever.

2. When we need help with cleaning and clearing out clutter (even, and maybe especially, the kind we can’t see!), I highly recommend the ever down-to-earth, ever brilliant, and ever hilarious Lisa Baldwin, @zenatplay on twitter. Lisa is offering a decluttering e-course that is starting in September. (Psssssst! There is an early-bird sign up going on right now!)

————
Heidi E. Fischbach ~ mmmm… massage!
Discover what it’s like to feel at home in your own skin
Do you twitter? I’m @CuriousHeidiHi
Call me for a massage 617.297.2266
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7 Responses to Missing: My own business. Have you seen it?

  1. Eileen says:

    Ooooh, Heidi! As usual you swirl me along on such a journey with your words. I love these connections you’re making, and the way you tell your powerful story. Delicious!

  2. I have been waking up in the morning scared because I have lost my business of taking care of 2 boys ~ they are all grown up now and On Their Own Now, thank you very much! I suppose I’m the one to mother now, but I’m a bit clueless. Would love to hear how you mother yourself, Heidi. Love you, M

  3. Hiro Boga says:

    Heidi, you are a truly wonderful writer! And the sacred mystery at the heart of writing is that it is its own purpose–it doesn’t need any justification for being.

    May your gift guide you to your heart’s calling, my Very Talented friend!

    Love, Hiro

  4. Mmm… Hugs again Heidi. A good question. a very good question. And I have a "14 yr old" I’ve been tending too for many years as well. I think she’ll be okay, and now I’m getting the freedom I’ve been chomping at the but for the past 20 years, to tend to my own business.. instead of hubs and kids (yay) but, um… well? What is it that I was such in a hurry to do? Not the busy-ness.. but the business. Sigh.

  5. So beautiful how you’ve brought together these different different experiences. Delicious connections you’re making.

    Echoing Hiro – you are a wonderful writer.

  6. Heidi Fischbach says:

    Thank you, dear women, all.

    Marianne, that is an excellent question: how I mother myself. Deserves some thought. And also, I sure would love to hear from others about that! I promise, I will give that some thought!

    Gina, funny how I can be jealous of women with families of their own–partners and kids… Yes, that has joys but also hard stuff, and no less difficult being in and knowing your own business. Dare I say, maybe a bit harder because, as Marianne implies, for so long other’s business is also your business as a mother…

    Very interesting.

    Love you all–

    Heidi

  7. Briana says:

    What a beautifully written post! I think it’s incredible that you say "I’m only any good at it because it developed out of unhealthy needs" – because isn’t that how we develop strength in anything? Strong in the broken places, and all of that? And plus, once we can tell our stories from that angle, it makes the journey through the broken places that much more bearable because we become curious about what new gift or talent we’re picking up along the way. Thank you so much!

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