The Shoot-ups is what I’m calling the following events. They’re the events that stand out in one’s life, in my (adult) life. They’re the things that happen when you’re living your life just coasting along and then–WOMP!–something
big(ger) happens. Even when you’ve planned such things.
1. Graduating from college. A big deal. Especially when you didn’t particularly like attending classes in high school. Especially when you thought you’d just head to Hollywood and be an overnight celebrity. Especially when you thought college was for nerds and paper pushers only, not for people with wings on their backs.
2. My first apartment. Yep, it was all of 500-square feet and on the ground level of a midrise right next to the EMERGENCY ONLY/FIRE EXIT heavy metal door that every other resident disregarded and used anyway. BAM! BAM! Five minutes later…BAM! All day and especially on Friday nights and weekends. It was the bane of my existence there but this was my first place. I had a key. I could leave a half donut on the counter and it would be right there as I left it when I returned six hours later. (Not that I’d leave a donut anywhere, but still.)
3. When I first started painting and had a huge finished artwork. It was a circular piece of wood that I used as a tabletop beneath another circular piece of glass that I found near a trash dumpster. Just painting and painting the wood top and seeing this fabulous piece come together and then finishing it and standing back to view it. I had done this. And it was pretty, fascinating, bold, wonderful. I almost drank some wine and ate some cheese while looking at my own work in my tiny apartment. I was pleased. Yes, I was quite pleased. I knew that I was onto something larger. Grandma Moses levels of futuristic art therapy and giddiness.
4. Meeting Oprah Winfrey. I don’t idolize mere people but meeting her was surreal. It’s funny, after watching her on television and reading about her in magazines, etc., etc. for years, you just think somewhere in the crevices of your brain that you know her somehow and then being in her presence–this person made larger than LIFE–was like floating. I wanted to become her best friend right then and there. I wanted her to pick ME out of everyone else in the audience to go have lunch with. Tea. Biscuits. Hummingbird pie. Shucks, crackers and water. I, too, have four sizes of clothing in my closets.
5. Walking the streets of Istanbul and Athens and Egypt (the Meditteranean). This was beyond surreal and crushed the floating feeling that Oprah caused. Laying my retinas on the Sistine Chapel and touching an ancient pyramid–YOWZA. I mean, I stood inside of what’s left of this building:
And–and I went inside of this building:
The Blue Mosque. Istanbul
6. September 11, 2001, of course. Feeling uncertain about everything. Suddenly. To this day there was life before that date and then life after that date. (Even with all of the conspiracy theories, regardless of whodunit it’s a horrific realization.)
7. Buying my first house. Of course that was huge. Though I’m so not in my own house now I can recall how delicious it felt to not only buy a home but to move in and live in it and know that it was all mine–well, technically the bank’s house, but still. It felt like it was mine. (Now my stuff’s in storage and I’m finding my way back to Point A.)
8. Getting published in a national magazine. Poetry. But not just poetry; poetry about the perfect man. It was a hit. Seeing my name in print in a NATIONAL publication. For weeks following the publication I smiled into my pillow in my sleep I was so giddy and tickled. I made a copy of the $10.00 check payment and framed it. Yep, still have it to this day.
9. Walking out of a job with no next job lined up. This changed the core of me. I no longer fret over losing a job anymore. All of those overpaid dorks with secretaries and corner offices, I think they’re drones anyway. And what’s with the BMW’s? Is that, like, required driving for executives? Even though I despise corporate America, as far as I’m concerned they’re fortunate for having ME in their stuffy corny cubicle hell holes.
I am a Light, dang-it.
What are YOUR UpShoots?