Let it be wild. Let it be weeds.

waiting to exhale

Oh honey, you don’t need anything tidy – that’s for dang sure.
Let it be wild. Let it be weeds.
Time to paste some tears to the bathroom floor.
Time to burn some stuff.
Make some ashes and roll in them.

, Let it be Weeds,” by akka b.

For my 13th birthday, I asked for, and received, one of my favorite gifts ever: a canary-yellow, two-drawer, metal filing cabinet.

I am a lady who likes order. Control, some might say. (They’d be right.)

But you cannot control everything. I may take stabs at doing so, I may play at it, but if there are two things I learned during my bloody epiphany, they are that (1) no one can control anything, and (2) this is a good thing, as generally, human beings do not dream big enough.

This bit of wisdom, received within hours of my 41st birthday, was almost as good as the filing cabinet.


* * * * *

I spent most of last week alternately hiding and putting myself front-and-center. And of course, most of what I was hiding from was having to put myself front-and-center.

It is not so much that I dislike being front-and-center as it is that I quake at the thought of doing it imperfectly. Which, well, you know.

But now it is time, or almost time, to announce that Big Scary Thing I’ve only alluded to up until now. It will mean putting myself front-and-center, nay, hanging my ass out in the breeze, as I have never done before. It will mean committing to a degree of work that’s daunting even to someone who enjoys work. It will definitely mean doing things a whole lot less than perfectly, and ceding wide swaths of control.

It will also mean asking for help, far, far more than I’ve asked for already. Which is where (hopefully) you come in.

* * * * *

On September 13, 2011, I will be 50 years old. To mark the occasion, I am planning rather a Big Thing. Not a party, exactly, nor a trip, and certainly not a present in the traditional sense. For now, best to leave it at “Big Thing.” Or, as I’ve already said, a “Big Scary Thing.” A thing so big, I cannot get my arms around it.

Will it be a fun thing? I think so! Fun and scary are not mutually exclusive, and if you don’t believe that, you haven’t fallen in love lately. Or ridden in the front seat of the front car on Space Mountain. Or spoken before a crowd, or asked to pet a passerby’s dog (did you know that sometimes they say “no!”?), or put it all on black.

So. If you’d like to get in on this probably fun (for everyone), definitely scary (for me) thing before I announce it to the world, sign up here. I could use the moral support, if nothing else, and really, I’m not asking for anything yet. The only thing I’m asking for now is that you not divulge anything before it goes live. In two weeks from today.

Two weeks. From today.

I think I just made myself sick.


Image by Andrew Currie via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. My 13th birthday present was an extremely coveted brand new typewriter, complete with hard-cover case. It would have made a fine accessory to your file cabinet. Oh the office work we could have done….

  2. Can’t wait to find out what you’re going to do. If I wasn’t going through my own scary thing right now, I’d join you.
    Good luck!

    1. Oh ho ho. You ain’t getting off that easy, my sassy, far-more-attractive sister. Not while your check-writin’ hand is working.

      Seriously—you know that giving away money eases fear. You know that, right?

      Hitting you up privately, on the emails.

  3. I don’t know you. But I already like you. I’m doing my own Big Scary Thing on Sept. 16. So I’m happy to join you in yours, whatever it may be. What the hell!!

    And happy birthday. Turning 50 was scary, but the backside of 50 has been a total delight.

    1. The 16th?! We’re practically twins or something!

      Turning 50 doesn’t scare me half as much as what I’m doing to *celebrate* turning 50. Mwahaha. Clearly, there’s something wrong with my head-parts.

      But thank you for indulging me, and reassuring me. “What the hell!”, indeed!

  4. I STILL have my two drawer yellow filing cabinet, filled with travel and music stuff instead of overwrought college poetry and pathetic term papers. Metal doesn’t die. Onward, courageous Colleen. It’s all going to be scary great.

    1. I STILL have my two drawer yellow filing cabinet, filled with travel and music stuff instead of overwrought college poetry and pathetic term papers. Metal doesn’t die.

      Which is but one of many, many reasons I love you so, dearest Peggy.

  5. In all your Virgoness, I find myself admiring your big time courage, organized courage, to celebrate YOU and invite us along to play. I’m totally in and ready to do whatever you tell me to do. Because I’m a Taurus and I listen to what Virgo’s tell me to do. Because they’re smart. And usually right. :-) Happy approaching and planning the big B-day C.


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