Mike Birbiglia has an amazing bit he entitles, “Don’t tell anybody.” He does a lot with these three little words, and our culture has had its own interpretation of this edit.
“Don’t tell anybody,” this has been something we have all been inculcated into, a culture of shame, a culture of closed doors and separation and want, emotional neglect, letting dreams die on the vine, letting hopes shrink, all under the hot sun of “Don’t tell anybody.”
That’s why I like doing this blog. I am learning that with every unveiling I just feel better. Yes, I feel wobbly, and no one will ever know just how much I need those posted replies. They have kept me going.
Imagine going into a floor-to-ceiling mirrored changing room, and in there is the one outfit that you most want to wear, the one ball gown or tux or dashiki which just LOOKS like how you want to look. It’s not like anything anyone has ever seen, and even though you know you will be over-dressed, you cannot stop yourself, you have to slip it on.
It fits like a glove, and your body, well, it’s weird to tell you this, but your whole body, and your face, well, they just LOOK different. YOU look different.
Aw, this is just too good to pass up. You have to burst out of that dressing room and show everybody. See the sparkles? Observe the fine hand stitching, feel the rightness of the cloth.
And there you stand, in your finery, the one outfit which most closely resembles what you think you really should look like. What kind of reception do you get? Are there cheers? Are there cat calls? Are there groans and is there eye rolling? Or do you have a couple of fans who whoop, laugh and cry out, “You have never looked better in your life!”?
That’s what those comments are to me.
The timid, scared girl who got smacked down every single time she asserted herself, until she just stopped, just plain stopped, well, she’s poked her head out a few times, and because the people she has decloaked to have been kind, she is decloaking a lot more now. A lot more.
And it is without fear, without shame that I walk my walk now. Without trepidation, and without that little weasel who has always followed me on all my other walks, the one who, when the way is smooth and the walk is quiet, just has to interject with provocative statements, things like, You are crazy. You are irresponsible. You are a dreamer. You are screwing up.
That little weasel, well, he scampers alongside still sometimes, but I can’t hear him anymore. My music is blaring, I have my attention drawn to truer things, things that make me feel better, thoughts that bring surcease, ease, clarity.
I write this to you today to let you in on a secret. I think it is fun to watch this unfold in real time.
But, do you remember on your birthday, when the agreement field around birthday candles got set up? Make a wish. Blow out all the candles in one try or it doesn’t work. OK, now, make a wish. And blow them out, right away and all at once. And the biggest rule of all is: don’t tell ANYONE, or your wish will not come true.
Yeah, I remember that.
Don’t tell anyone.
But anyone who has been reading along on this adventure knows that I have a destination in mind. The details come in and out of focus, but I have always known where I am going.
It has been a hard thing, living such a split life, in many ways. Nearly 30 years as a nurse, a damn good one, one of the best you’ll ever meet, but always with a catch in my throat do I say I am a nurse. I am not a nurse. I am a writer posing as a nurse.
Please don’t notice. Please don’t bring up how badly I have done this life. I did it wrong. This is not the life I wanted. Oh my God, I hate my life. I am trapped, I will die on the floor, schlepping bedpans, giving people their damn shots of Dilaudid, oh my god, I really screwed up this time.
Yeah, that was my sad little life. Always angry with myself, always disappointed, always damning the gift that the days and nights laid on my doorstep, never satisfied and always just a teeny tiny bit resentful.
And then, I woke up.
I went on a road trip to Nevada in June, and because I did not have a lot of money, I traveled there squeezed, and I wrote.
In the hotel room in Laughlin, high on Collective Soul, I took a look around my hotel room and asked that age-old question: What would someone HAVE TO believe in order to make this particular reality go? What does this reality SAY? What does this person HAVE TO believe is true? What are the absolutes here?
I took a look around, and I somehow appreciated the enormity of what I was birthing. I looked at my backpack, my suitcase, my belongings, my opened notebook, I listened to my favorite band, realized how far away I was from home and just how utterly insane it was to think I could do this vacation on so little money, and I got it. In one blinding flash, I understood.
This is the reality of a not yet discovered author. This is a story you will tell about the process. You are an undiscovered bestselling author. That’s what this reality is trying to tell you.
And then it was gone.
But it has lingered.
When I was in 7th grade, my English teacher told me she would one day see me on Merv Griffin. I had one English teacher seek out my house, and, at the end of the year, she came to the house unannounced, and gave me an ivory brooch.
My English teacher in high school chastised me for not ever spelling surprise right. Saying, “Kathy, of all people, you should understand how this is done.” He comes to me in my dreams a lot, Mr. House, and he is constantly lovingly critiquing my work. That man is unrelenting.
But beyond that, there is something that happens when I write which is uncanny, impossible, in any other state.
In conversation, I bungle, and I falter. I have a hard time matching other people, and I wind up saying the wrong thing. I don’t mean to, but I think that sometimes this voice carries over when it shouldn’t.
So I either am really big, or I go super small. I am the hand-maiden, the one who accepts, bears, loves, does all. Or I just unplug and go away, remaining unaware of other people’s mysteries, their games and dramas and heartbreaks.
Here, I am free. I am myself. I need no one to tell me what to do, and I do not allow anyone to pollute these waters. This is my area of sovereignty, my area of expertise. And you can tell me what you think, and you can tell me I am right, or I am wrong, and I think it is all very interesting, but I know what is what around here. This is my place. I’ll show you around, give you anything here, but this is my construct. I built it stone by stone, and it is sturdy and safe and it will never fall. Ever.
Some things are built to last.
So, I have been having lots of fun with learning about manifesting Bashar-style. Makes a lot of sense to me, what he has to say. And I’ve put my own spin on it.
I have been playing with agreement fields, probabilities, a lot, lately.
Probability fields. I like that.
And I have popped into one that I do believe agrees with me.
Yesterday, I followed through on the instructions I had been given in meditation. Nearly word for word, I wrote a total of six open inquiry letters to six very well known literary agents.
I had always felt that I would just one day get an unsolicited email telling me that so and so needs to publish your book, give him a call. But, here I am, obeying instructions, writing the most powerful, nearly-arrogant letters to agents. Oh my God. Part of me trembles when I consider my foolishness. Holy God, what have I done. Who do I think I am?!
But all day, I felt good, straight, true, pure. I felt like I was swimming through satin, breathing in softness, cushioned with each of my activities. It was glorious, and I laughed so hard realizing, afterward, that writing those letters was so EASY. It was so easy. No proposal, no attachments, no hassle, just pure talent gawking at some stranger from the lines of my simple emails, hungry, certain, ready.
Sheer talent, pure force of will, a strong and sure knowing that nothing, no one, nothing, can ever diminish this now. People want this now. This letter reader is the luckiest son of a bitch alive. He’s reading the introductory letter from a future Pulitzer Prize winner.
There it is.
And I do not know what happens next. I know what I would like to have happen. I know what it is that I think will happen. But all I really know is that now, some query screener is possibly going to visit my blog, and read, and either get turned on, or get turned off. Calls will be made, emails will be sent, meetings will be held.
I birthed this impossible thing. And now it is up to someone else to love it as much as I do, and help me give it away. Now I am hooked into someone else’s reality. Now I am doing it in tandem.
I was traveling back home from my every-two-weeks women’s spirituality group, and I had some worry, so I asked my guides to give me a sign. I told them that I would like some angel numbers, some symmetry in license plates, something really obvious, to tell me if something is going to happen this very week in my reality because of the letters I sent out.
I sat in disappointment as the cars around me displayed ugly numbers, numbers without rhyme, reason or symmetry. Bummer. I guess not this week. Dammit.
And then, just ahead of me, I got to studying the plates. In front of me was 452-BYT. The car to its right had a license plate of 524-YYT. I counted the first plate, 9-11,2. I counted the second plate, 7-11,2. I doubled checked it. Yep, same numbers on each plate. They don’t know each other. And yet they are winking at each other, and they’re winking at ME.
Now I think about that reflectivity thing, the thought that now someone else is going to champion this thing, and now my reality is hooked up with others… well, those license plates told me that there is a seemingly random symmetry to this that I cannot escape.
I can see license plates, or I can see God. How nice it is that I have chosen the latter. How nice for me.
So, there it is.
I will tell you, in closing, that I think Bashar is right. I think it comes down to simple physics. Manifestation has nothing to do with wishful thinking, praying something turns out better than expected, silly repetition of words you don’t believe, and secretly internally rebel against.
Nope, manifestation is about these three simple words, “Oh! Of course!” There are events caught in this new weave that were not present in the last. There are possibilities within the folds of this cloth that I did not fully appreciate.
I think I have just discarded one set of clothes and am in the process of slipping on a new set. In the box these new clothes were kept, there is a brand new wallet, loaded with cash and travel itineraries and phrase dictionaries for lands all over the world.
In the pockets of this coat are deep and peaceful nights of sleep, long days of activity and camaraderie, and I can hear the laughter from every stitch. Each and every stitch is an act of celebration, of love, of homecoming and of joy.
The other clothes, littered all over my floor, they served their purpose, and they still fit, but oddly so, and the colors are not compatible with this new sunburn of mine, there are no sequins, no ribbons, no bedazzling, and, now, anymore, I just don’t want to go out of the house anymore unless I am bedazzled.
I have gotten better at sewing, and have become a more compliant model. I turn, and as I do so, I do have to admit that I look good.
I can wear this outfit anywhere, really. I could have this on under my scrubs. I could wear this out to dinner with my dad. And it feels good now, sitting as I am in my recliner, smoking, looking at the mountains, listening to traffic, wondering what comes next
I know what I want. I think I might have found a way to start getting what I want. And I am happy, proud, excited, elated, still, humble, quiet, ready. Poised.
Maybe we start with dreaming big, but then, I think, comes telling everybody we encounter, that we have just been hit with a really big dream, and we think we are just the right people for the job.
We, one by one, sneak that wish out between our teeth right before all the candles get blown out. We state the words of regret and longing to our lover, words of authority and dignity to our employer, respect, and honor to our family, love and devotion to our family of friends.
We speak our truth, right out loud.
We tell everybody.