Let the storm rage on; home is where you're happy.
While they walked, Carrie attempted to uncover the origins of her new companion.
“Where did you come from?” she asked.
The caticorn pointed a dainty paw in the direction of the Dreaming-Tree.
“Uh-huh,” replied Carrie, “True, but I meant: Where do you live?”
“Well, Carrie, I’m alive standing here next to you, aren’t I?”
The girl crossed her arms in frustration and tried again.
“Yeeeas, I suppose you are alive, but I meant—Hey wait! How did you know my name?”
The caticorn sighed heavily and pointed to its horn.
“Magic,” it grumbled.
Carrie nodded. Magic. Made sense.
With hands to her head and fingers over her temples on either side of her forehead, Carrie took a deep breath and rearranged her question for a third time.
“What I meant was: Where is your HOME?!”
“Home? Where is anyone’s home? Home is where you’re happy, isn’t it? I’m happy just now, so, my home is here! Where’s your home, Carrie?”
Just then a yellow-swallowtail butterfly fluttered under the caticorn’s nose and before Carrie could think of some other way to get a proper answer, the caticorn had scampered off after the butterfly!
After it was gone, the caticorn’s question bounced around in her brain, picking up bits and pieces of thoughts and memories the way melting ice cream sundaes swallow sprinkles while it searched for an answer.
- Carrie and the Curious Caticorn Caper, Les
The excerpt above is from my second novel, but first on the publishing table. Its premise is quite simple: a young girl who is an avid reader makes a wish on a daytime moon to have an adventure like the kind she reads about in her favourite books. What follows is a dream-like journey with bits and pieces of reimagined literature, such as Alice in Wonderland, used as a catalyst for self-discovery, particularly regarding her sexuality and where she should live.
As most first person stories do, Carrie does have some aspects that resemble myself, most particularly her desire to live in a home that is free from fighting, side picking and hostility.
It seems of late, I've forgotten the most basic premise of the lesson I'm attempting to teach through Carrie's journey: home is where you're happy.
I'm making one and only resolution this year and that is for my space that I exist in, whether it be online or in person, to be a happy one. Not "toxic positivity" but truly a space where the only people in it are worth being there and not because I feel held hostage by them in order to run a successful business, keep others happy, or keep peace and harmony; because it's not truly harmony if you're constantly walking on eggshells, feeling coerced into saying contradictory things to appease insecure people and never able to please everyone in your sphere to their standards. Heaven help anyone these days who tries to make an image off the premise of kindness, case in point, Ellen DeGeneres.
There is truly something sick with humanity when it becomes a fun goal to take down a genuinely kind person for the sake of overtaking something they started or because they dared to earn attention or have talent. Even worse are those who are aware but decide to stay neutral. I know. I've done it and I'm never doing it again. For those doing so now, you have my sympathies.
I'm also going to be much more careful who I trust with my inner feelings, particularly those said in confidence prior to giving others second chances (giving second chances as demonstrated by Ellen can be damaging, as is daring to fraternize with those on another political spectrum) because these thoughts can and will be used against you if you're a public figure. Beware those who come on so strongly you believe they've turned over a new leaf. When they get what they want, collaboration ends. And don't dare lose your temper with the pettiness of it all if your brand is "kind".
I have a short list and wow does a lot of it seem super obvious. From now on, those that hurt me and don't apologize, do not get to continue to reap benefits from my hard work. I'm not attending any event I don't genuinely desire to, or chat, or collaborate—even for business reasons. Nor will I placate for business reasons. I'm not giving trust easily anymore because it feels like "I'm supposed to". I'm not saying good morning if I don't feel like it because the men at a job think it's alright that they don't smile but I should smile.
The list goes on, but its root is not forcing myself to submit to survive.
Yes, that's right, survive.
When you're a public figure or business you don't seem to retain the same freedoms to be yourself or have off days. If you're not on pointe 24/7, navigating things exactly the way the public expects, you're at risk of being cancelled. It's really that simple.
I don't care anymore about being cancelled.
It simply means those people are not worth being in my home. They lose out on me not the other way around. And talented, genuinely good people never get suppressed for long. Opportunities abound. New faces appear everyday. And unless you've pulled a Roseanne Barr, people move on. Ultimately, it comes down to what you can provide and so long as you have something to provide, people will want it.
I suppose this is a rather unusual resolution a) since it seems like something we should all already be doing and b) it's neither tangible nor able to be authenticated as successful because the only judge of the health of my home is myself. Therein lies the whole beauty of it all, however.
I get to be the one to decide.