If I could wrap my heart up in tissue paper……I would give it to each one of you.  LB
I am working through requests for packages, doing some writing, and working out some business details at 3:00 a.m. this morning. Trying to get all my ideas out on paper.  Yesterday I gave some of my business cards to our local police and asked that he look at our website.  I have sent email after email to resource websites and mental health facilities, trying to be listed as a contact.  I talk to people in the U.K., Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and the U.S. everyday and it is amazing to me, in the short time, how widespread and widely read my blog and website are.  I devote time each day to sending some type of message and trying to reach someone either on the prevention and awareness side of things or more importantly, someone in crisis.
The package I put together for each person is personal.  Personal for them and personal for me.  Often I have to walk away and come back to it, due to the heaviness inside me.  Sometimes I have to walk away because of memories and feelings.  I put small items in the packages, and things I think are relevant to their situation.  I write each person a personal note, I add a couple of things that are my favorite comfort items, then I close the package and address it.
I wish I could do more.  I wish when someone opened their package, all of their pain could go away.  I wish my package was full of answers for each one of them, giving light to a dark and often times so confusing situation.  I wish I could wrap my heart up in tissue paper and send it to each one of them.
After we sold our business here in town I was wanting to find a new venture that was a better fit for me.  I had planned out a new shop, bought some inventory, wrote half of a business plan, designed a logo/brochure, and decided how I would start small with different time markers where I could add new things.  It sits and collects dust now.
I started writing about my grief and my journey right after my son died.  Writing is a release for me, it helps to get out of my head exactly what my mouth cannot find words for.  I wanted to become a writer, professionally, where writing is my main focus and being creative is my job.  I never pursued it seriously, but often dream of it.  You know, me at a typewriter, chain-smoking, wearing a bathrobe, never knowing what time it is and stacks of paper representing chapters all over the floor.  It is a sexy thought, me as a writer, living a bohemian lifestyle writing prose and poetry………. and eating beans out of a can.  But, I stop myself.  Too many writers and poets in the world.  You could never make a living at writing, Leslie.  What makes me think I even have anything remotely interesting to tell anyone anyway?
Most of my writing is tucked away.  Inside journals and file folders and then more electronically filed away on the computer.  I have written fiction, poetry, short stories, dialogues, technical manuals, processes, non-fiction, adventures and even just prose about single moments in time.  Some I love and others I abhor. All of it extremely personal, all of it part of me.
Writing IS personal.  There are different types of writing, different genres, but each one leaves the author exposed.  We write to an imaginary invisible audience.  We write with the expectations that our readers are smarter than we are.  We try to be creative while keeping attention.  We tell a story, without telling too much.  I pour my heart and soul into writing which means that at times it is exhausting.
That is what keeps me from pursuing anything relative to writing for a living.  The exhaustion and chance at rejection. The chance of failing.  We all do that, we stay away from things that hurt, or people who reject us, or things that we just know we will fail at.  Over the years I have told myself that I am rejected, before I even try.  So my writing stays tucked away.
We look for our fit in life, what we are good at, what we can do for a living that will be enjoyable and allow us to continue living.  But so many of us do not find that fit.  We have to settle for other things to do, things that we do not like or maybe are not very skilled at so we can pay bills and eat.  I worked in the corporate world for several years.  I felt the stress of being the bread-winner of the family and having people at home that relied on me to do well.  I loved that job at one time and then it became absolute hell.  Mostly because I put so much of myself into what I did and came up short every time.  I had several employees at different times, and large projects.  I worked all day and sometimes all night on things that were sometimes laughed at, or worse, taken and put someone elses name on for credit….leaving people wondering my worth.  I fought hard against things I did not agree with and attitudes that just sucked.  I was different, so I was not taken serious by some.  I was educated and intelligent, but again, not taken serious and not listened to.  I tried to be nice to people and make work less boring and less mundane.  Again, that blew up in my face.  I was so frustrated at the end and had become so hardened and bitter….It drained all the life out of me and I quit.
I will never do that again.  I will never work at something so incredibly hard that I hate doing.  Would writing also just become daunting and task driven?  Would rejection and frustration drain any creativity and cause me to not perform?
Almost 6 months without our business now, since we sold it, and I have never been so happy to get rid of something.  We did not become rich off of the sale, but we became happier.  The new business plan sits in a file and I continue to build a project that I had no idea would take off like it has.  I grieve daily, I will never look at things the same. There is a stir inside me though, the past several weeks.  I get exhausted with the stories, the pain, the loss that I am contacted about…but I feel connected to this and I want to make a difference in people’s lives.
Each one of those boxes I send out overflows with something that I cannot wrap, something I cannot put my finger on.  There is something in my survival packages that words cannot touch.  I place each package on a map, in my mind, with a pin.  I wrap a purple string around home base and stretch it to the destination.  I am connected. Not in an unhealthy, obsessive way.  I am connected by my heart.
I will find my way through my tunnels of darkness.  I will find my fit and my purpose.  I will smile and laugh, both breaks from my grief.  I will honor each life lost and never forget my own story and my own loss.  I will try like hell everyday to make a difference somewhere for someone.
I pushed the negative out of my life.  Jobs and people alike.  It has been cleansing.  And today in my life, I send people packages………… with strings attached.