Writing the Story of Our Lives

The other day I received word that I wasn’t a good fit for a position as Corporate Storyteller.  It struck me as odd, as that’s what I have done for 30 years.  Actually, if you ask my siblings, I’ve been telling stories since I could open my big mouth.  In fact, I’ve got my own infamous “fish story.”  It’s my tall tale, greatly exaggerated (which in this case is a euphemism for a big fat lie), fish story.  It’s a whale of a tale.

I caught 17  fish, I record on a cassette tape for my father, who was way on military duty  in Korea.   We used to send him tapes ( yes, cassette tapes, because Skype and cell phones were not even contemplated back then), of his talented little darlings to entertain him.   My whale of a tale isn’t over.  I  go on to disappoint my father more.  One of the fish is a 17 pounder ( I seem to be fixated on 17 although I am about nine at the time of my personal Pinocchio tale),  I continue, through an exaggerated and newly-acquired Cape Cod accent. Poor Dad, I wonder if he laughed at my proclivity to tell a story or cried at the thought of raising a fibber.  Just the same, my family can validate that I am very qualified to be a storyteller.

When I experience rejection now, I am  okay with it.  It’s not because I am accustomed to it  as much as I accept that it’s not part of my path.  Everything happens for a reason.  Closed doors always end up leading to the ones you are supposed to knock on or open.  Always. It’s a gentle nudge to put us on the right path.

I am taking a huge leap of faith following my heart’s desire to become an author and somehow make a decent living doing what I love.  Serenity finally came to me when I  no longer insisted upon my own will.  I now pray for God’s.   Because if there is one thing I am sure of, He always wants what’s best for us.  I’ve learned to be extremely careful about what I pray for, because my prayers have been answered with many things that I didn’t need  or shouldn’t have.  This latest rejection is merely a course correction; I am good with it.

Every so often I think I need to stop the foolhardy notion that I can create a living as an author.  Then I think about going back to Corporate America for security, but remember how insecure it really was. I’ve worked with companies that have gone into bankruptcy, entered into bad mergers and marriages, or took nosed dives on the stock market with bad acquisitions and horrendous management.  Each time in the game of  management musical chairs, I took a package rather than the boot.  I may have told a tale or two,  but I am no dummy. Rejection is a clear sign that Corporate America is no longer my rodeo.

Veering off the course of convenience or straying from comfortable to follow the scary calling of your heart can be terrifying. Do it anyway.  Destiny waits patiently for us just outside our comfort zone.

Did you know that I am an internationally best-selling author?   Not yet, but yet is always the operative word.   I believe it and I see it and I know thoughts are things, so I  am careful to choose the good ones.   Anyway, that’s the story I tell myself so that the story of my life will have a happily- ever-after ending.

It’s better to die with dreams, I think, than to live without them.

We  all are the authors of our own  lives.  We are the creators of  our life’s story.   So,  what’s your story going to be?    Think big, believe in the best and create your very own whale of a wonderful tale!

 

The Other Woman is My Friend

 

If anyone told me a year ago that the “Other Woman” would become my most featured Facebook friend, I’d have laughed really, really hard.  But fact is stranger than fiction and even if I tried, I could not make up a story with so many twists, turns,  drama and deception.

But here we are, the two of us more startled than anyone by the crazy circumstances that has bonded us as friends.  There seems always to be a silver lining, even in the worst of circumstances!

He described her as a ball busting, take-no-prisoners type of ruthless business woman who simply would not take no for an answer.  The truth is she’s sweet, smart, beautiful, funny, successful, kind, generous and feisty as hell.  I can see why he fell for her and why he wouldn’t make her go away.  He didn’t want her  to and that explains a great deal.

I knew something was amiss in the quiet knowing that we so often dismiss. We seek a different, softer truth.   My intuition and friends tried to tell me something was not right.   I chose to ignore them and believe in a fairytale that quickly turned into a nightmare. Prince Charming is more like the Prince of Darkness.

The Other Woman and I have a lot in common.  We had the same boyfriend and we were both the love of his life!  Call me  crazy (which he did),  or maybe overly technical, but aren’t you supposed to have only one love of your life?   Maybe the duplicitous among us, those that lead deceitful double lives, get one love for each of their two faces. But I suspect there are more.  There always are. Cheaters cheat, and liars lie.

He dated her before me, the rebound mistake he was unable to shake.  But there she was, constantly waiting in the wings, hoping that he would come to his senses.  This passive, wimpy, love-struck behavior hardly matched the shrewd business woman he depicted.

I may not know much about how other women operate, but as soon as I understand a man is involved and “in love,” he’s untouchable.   Maybe that’s not so with other women, but I believe in helping a sister out and I believe in karma.   I take your man? Someone’s going to return the favor.  Men who are married, involved, in love or have ever dated a friend, are off-limits.

There should be  honor and integrity among women even when competing in the  shallow pool of available and desirable men.

As it turns out, she knew nothing about me and when she finally did, my press was as bad as hers. I was crazy criminal with drinking and drug problems. If it weren’t such an incredibly deranged way to describe the anthesis of a human being, it would be comical.  After the initial shock and indignation, I actually did find the humor.   How can a man standing 6 feet 2 inches, stoop so low?    I mostly laugh at the insanity of it all, and I reassured the Other Woman that she will too.

The difference between tragedy and comedy  is merely a question of  time.  I’ve had a bit more time than she to find perspective.  But we’ve both shed tears of heartache and betrayal as well as tears of laughter.

We got punked.  Pure and simple.  We both took the bait, hook, line and sinker.  But in our defense he’s good. He’s really, really good at being bad.

He is charming, handsome, intelligent, funny, romantic and wealthy.   We did the research, but Google only reveals what’s on the surface, not what lacking or lurking inside. He had an impressive resume and online profile.  But dishonesty, duplicity and darkness are in his DNA and that was not revealed in any online search.  Eventually people show you their true nature and character. When they do, believe them the first time.

When I finally listened to my inner warning, the revelations I could not ignore, I reached out to the Other Woman.  Manipulators are artful and cunning and this guy is a master.  He explained me away as a crazy sore loser and she was disloyal to believe anything I say.

It took almost a year for her to reach back out to me.  No surprise that she told me that the cycle of deception and duplicity was repeated.  There was another, Other Woman. 

The stories she recounted and the notes we compared were mind-blowing,  Friday Dateline kind of stuff and definitely worthy of a book or screenplay.   We’re still mulling that option over.

Unfortunately, “The Other Woman” – a movie about a handsome, successful, charming man devoted to his wife and two girlfriends has already been made.  It was entertaining, but barely believable, up until now.  As it turns out  it doesn’t just happen, it happens all the time.

The Other Woman and I are finding it funny now and are having some genuine belly laughs – at his expense. Unlike the victims in the movie, we’re not planning any revenge. We’re fully expecting karma to take care of that.  We’ll just take care of ourselves and the best revenge is always to do well.

The moral of this story?  Beware of bad guys and trust your gut and your friends when they try to tell you something like the truth.   And even when your trust is betrayed and your heart is broken, there’s  always another woman who knows exactly how you feel.   And maybe that other woman might even be the “Other Woman.”

The way I look at it?  I lost a really, really bad man and gained a really great friend.  Maybe in this crazy tale, there is a happily ever after… after all.

The Other Woman and I found humor and maybe some hope that the lessons we have learned are simply the pathway to finding better men and a much better sense of ourselves.