I’m assuming that I’m going to live to be 100. So I’ve been thinking about what I want to see happen in my life in my last 22 years.
On the one hand, most of me just wants to disappear to a small hideout on the beach somewhere. I want to putter in a thriving garden, splash down the beach ankle-deep in foamy waves, throw paint around in my studio, and maybe write a few more books. To hell with the rest of the world.
This other part of me, though – man, what a loud, insistent, bossy rebel. She wants to write and paint and draw and carve and talk and blab my beliefs and ideas and tips and tricks and stories all over the damn place.
“I want to have an IMPACT on people!” She yells in my ear.
“I want women especially to find and KNOW who they are, to know their value, so they can BE and DO who they are, instead of what they think everyone else wants them to be and do!
“I want them to stop putting every other damn person first and focus on themselves for once!”
“I want them to ditch the worrying and complaining, because all it does is create more discord. I want them to ask themselves, ‘what would I prefer instead?’ and go about taking concrete, progressive steps towards that preference, without shame or guilt.
“I want them to understand that they have a unique gift to contribute, even if it seems like ‘oh anyone could do that.’ No, not anyone could – or would!
“I want every one of them to stand up and join with the rest of us creative disruptors-of-this-is-how-it-is, and build a wonderful, kind, creative world unlike any other that has come before!”
Well. Now you know what The Rebel wants.
But I’m the Boss in here, in this earthly vessel.
I get to call the ultimate shots as to what comes out of this mouth, and what emerges from these fingertips. And I say, even as I cringe as I think about what this will mean for my Wilty Wussy Self: I love my rebel.
No – that’s too wimpy. Here: I LOVE my Rebel!
She has courage my Wilty Self still struggles to access.
She just balls-out walks right into the thick of things and demands life to wrap itself around her, and give her what she wants and needs.
I don’t know where she learned how to do that.
I think about how I used to hide most of the time as a kid, in my room or under tables with my coloring books and legos and Lincoln Logs. That was certainly not any kind of courage-training.
Maybe it was watching how my mousy-appearing mother managed 3 very energetic sons and an intensely demanding husband.
What’s odd is that I don’t remember her raising her voice much. Somehow I’d imagine she’d be more like a strict, loud army sergeant. But no! Well – unless she was at the end of her rope.
Like the time my older brother tried tickling her – she detested that! She spun right around and slapped him on the face, hard! Saying, very calmly, “I told you not to do that! I hate it!” And then casually went right back to stirring the whatever it was we were going to eat for dinner.
I’m not sure if that’s courage, or simple authority.
Or is there a difference? How can you have the courage to stand up for or protect something if you don’t believe in it, if you are unsure about it? She was always sure.
That’s it! There it is! I’d never thought of her like that before! You know? At first, I thought of my mother as bossy, pushing me around.
Then as an adult, she was – well, just another adult. Someone I loved.
But I’d never thought of her in terms of her core essence.
I knew she didn’t like being in the limelight.
I knew she’d sit quietly and listen to what others were saying without offering up much. And then suddenly she’d pop out with something she felt strongly about, or even better, something funny that made everyone burst out laughing.
And who could ever forget her mountainous belly laugh, once they heard it?
But here’s what: she was sure.
You could depend on her.
If she saw something going on she didn’t like – watch OUT! She was the one who got her local garden club to start the anti-DDT movement in NY when the spraying started up, in the 50s.
One morning we awoke to a yard smothered with dead birds, bunnies and bugs. We couldn’t figure out what the hell had happened.
Then, the smug, excited man on the radio announced all about this miraculous new spray that would get rid of pests, 1-2-3, easy-peasy, isn’t it great!
She was livid! She didn’t waste two seconds, getting on the phone, meeting with people, gathering them to go down and stand for health and sanity at the town hall.
Politicians and town councilors felt then and there the brunt of the wrath of 53 boisterous, determined women, and very shortly the spraying stopped.
That’s the kind of impact I want to have.
I don’t care about fame or its trappings – I don’t want to be fawned over or followed around by sniveling sycophants, think about accolades or prizes, or be accosted by every reporter on the planet when I want to go shopping or for a walk.
But I do want to be heard, understood, and respected.
And I do want my words and images and ideas to spread like wildfire, and lift every woman who comes in contact with them.
And not just the women, but the men, and the kids, and old folks, and dogs, and horses, and – well – everyone!
We ALL need lifting.
Because we all deserve a much better life than what is going on all around us right now. And, just as you can, I can help.
So my next question is: how do I do that?
How do I go about creating the pathways and vehicles and systems for creating and having that impact?
How do I magnetize the people who will be aligned with the ideas I dream up?
How will I deal with nay-sayers, detractors and censors?
What do I need to do to take care of myself during these upcoming 22 years, so I can fulfill my own self-proposed destiny?
That’s all just a part of raising your voice, I guess.
Cross your fingers for me, will you? Will you be joining me?
Thanks so much for reading my story.
I hope it lit you up. Or maybe it inspired you, or gave you a new perspective with which to view and appreciate your own life. That’s my wish.
What’s Your Destiny? Mine Is Scary.
© Angela Treat Lyon 2023
Image: Journey Master
© Angela Treat Lyon 2002
Original paintings and stone sculpture:
My Inside Secrets book series: Stories I’ve Never Told Anyone, Volumes I-VII, plus my audio books and a whole slew of free ebooks: atlyon.gumroad.com