With so many things off limits to us (thank you COVID-19), we’ve all had to get a little more creative with our extracurricular activities. OK, get your head out of the gutter, I’m talking about good clean fun here. Keep it in the circus, would ya?

As I was saying, the monotony of the shelter-at-home order has definitely taken its toll on us all. Watch any news channel and you can see the stress, angst, and sometimes terror that is gripping the globe. It’s just no bueno.

Personally, while I would have preferred a break under different circumstances, I actually embraced the stay-at-home order so that I could focus on getting some things right in my life. I have cleaned out every closet, the attic ,and the storage unit (who the hell needs a storage unit for a decade; two thumbs says this dummy). I have hauled away more junk, more recycling, and an undefined amount of just-what-the-hell-is-this-crap in the past sixty days. I made the decision that I am going to take six months and go on an inside journey exploring the depths of my psyche to find that little kid I lost a long, long time ago.

Regardless the length of shelter time, be it six days, six weeks, or six months, I am on an extended hiatus: six months of no BS. Six months of cleanup on aisle me and six months of finding and reviving that little girl tomboy who used to roll with the boys in our go-carts until dusk, hang out in the local dugout without shoes, running the bases like a badass; that loudmouth, write it all down and color the world with my words, take no crap from anyone, bad mamajama. She was a force — a very small but fierce force.

But something happened to that little girl. She hid the pain. She pretended it didn’t exist, like it never really happened. That little girl put down her ball glove, hung up her go cart helmet, and stored away her pretty blue typewriter. Instead, she put on a pinstripe suit, picked up a keyboard, developed an addiction to coffee, and went to work in Corporate Land. She pretended to be something she wasn’t to make everyone else around her happy. If everyone was happy, they would never have to know that she was sad. After forty years of pretending the pain didn’t happen, I finally let it all out and got right with myself. I no longer need, or will, pretend to be something that I am not.

I recognized that the past forty years of compromise and combat was about forcing me to deal with that one event. Once it was confronted, the monsters, the ghosts, and the energy vampires all just went away on their own. What I’ve learned is that once you confront something, it no longer has power over you. Once you call a spade a spade, it can no longer claim itself to be a diamond. I stood up to my demons, called them out, and banished their asses back to the depths of hell, and then I turned and looked into the eyes of someone else’s demons and said, “Oh, I’m going to regroup, and then I’m coming for your asses too.”

I started cleaning out the recesses and corners of my mind because I spend way too much time in there to have it cluttered. I like my mental headspace organized and categorized so that I can quickly and effortlessly pull poo out of the drawers and fling it across the conference room table, or the bar, and use it to my advantage.

So when I found her there, sitting in the corner, sobbing into her crunched up knees, I bent over and said, “Look at me.” Her eyes gazed up and locked onto my face, and for a moment she was silent. She reached out her tiny hand to touch my face. “Is it really you?” she asked. I leaned in closer and brushed the curly sun-drenched wisps behind her ear. “Yes, it’s me. I’m back.” I sat down and helped her put on her hiking boots and fashioned her ball cap on backwards and I handed her the softball bat that leaned up against the massive bookshelf in my mind. She quietly said, “But we don’t get to bat. We only get to run the bases and stand out in right field.” I grabbed her other hand and replied, “That shite is over. We get to do whatever the hell we want, and that includes smashing the hell out of some balls.” She grinned and willingly walked hand in hand to the door towards the sunlight. I stopped to add, “But let’s get one thing straight, we’re keeping the lipstick, the shoes, and the purses because there is no rule that says we can’t be classy bitches while we play on par with the boys.” With that, she giggled, I picked her up, held her tight, and put her back inside my heart where she belongs, and then I took her home to be with me again, always.


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