Friday, March 9, 2012

Feeling Wobbly


Take a good look at this picture.  Do you notice anything ... alarming ... about two of these trapeze artists?  Check out the gal on the right, the one in the pink tights, and the one in a dive, clear at the back.

Where the heck is dive-girl going?  And what's holding pink-tights up?

I'm feeling like those girls today.

It's 9:34 on Friday morning, and I should have been in SLC an hour ago for the beginning of the Story at Home conference.  Instead, I'm at home, waiting for UPS to deliver the book that we sweat, toiled, and labored over for eight months in anticipation of this one. single. event.

A lot of people are counting on me.  I've made promises that I can't deliver on if UPS doesn't get here soon.  How strange, to have worked so hard for so long, only to be tripped up by something as simple as the late delivery of a single box.

The problem is, I'm not sure they'll leave my box on the porch if I just take off before they get here.  I put a giant note on the door, telling them to do just that, but you know how things are.

So, I find myself here, up in the air.  With no swing, no net, and no one reaching out to catch me and flip me somewhere safe.

The thing is, I live on that trapeze.  I'm perfectly comfortable taking on big projects, assuming responsibility and risk, hanging from my knees and grabbing as many hands as necessary to keep others from nosediving into the stands.

But I gotta tell ya', it's astonishing what one 'eye roll' from one spectator can do to an acrobat's concentration.  And if you've got a dozen hands stretching out from recently vacated trapezes, all expecting you to catch them, you really can't afford to be distracted.

I'm getting word that a couple of 'sisters' in my new 'ward family' -- and sometimes I nearly choke on the irony in that phrase -- are making no secret of their eye-rolling attitude about me.

I realize I have a gigantic personality.  I'm wired for hundreds, not tens, not really even ones.  I marvel at the people who choose to be my friend; they must have incredibly anchored cores to weather a relationship with me.  Like uber Weebles, they never, ever seem to fall down.  How blessed I am to have these remarkable, surprisingly sane women and men in my life who willingly add a spare room to their hearts and paint my name on the door.

In a couple of weeks, I'll be speaking at a dinner in my ward, hosted by the women's auxiliary, on the subject of Sisterhood.  And because I don't even know who the local eye-rolling backbiters are, I've got to find a way to hold on tight to that trapeze and reach out for those who are depending on me to catch them, all without becoming distracted by the possibility that it could be her, or her, or perhaps that entire table back there in the shadows, filled with women who seem to believe that just because the lights are dimmed all around them, they can't be seen whispering behind their hands and smirking at one another.

To you in the audience, who have no investment whatsoever in the work and sacrifice and energy and -- maybe most of all -- the emotional wherewithal required to go out there time and time again to do the things I know I've been put on that swing to do, please know this:

One day you may be the lady in the nosedive.  And you have my word, no matter what you've said or done to me in the past, I will fly as fast and as far as I can -- net or not -- to catch you before you fall. 

It's the role I've been cast in.

And the show must go on.

18 comments:

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Love you DeNae. I'll give you hug tomrorrow, books or no books.

MarieC said...

I've never met you in person, only through this blog, but I love you. Dearly. Dearly, I say!! Never stop being you.

Myrnie said...

What a shame.... I'm truly sorry about the back biters in your new ward. You have a big heart, I wish I could be there for that evening!

Stacy said...

What Steph said. I think you're amazing. So there.

A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman said...

We all have our own personal 'Nazareth'. Hang in there and keep doing what you know you were born to do! ; )

seashmore said...

If I grow up, I want to be like you.

Melanie Jacobson said...

I'm sorry the book project has been so stressful for you, but you guys have all done an amazing job with it, and I'm sure it will all work out.

Next, this quote is getting kind of worn out on Facebook, but it's apropos and I've loved it forever: Say what you mean and mean what you say, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind. (I realize this doesn't solve everything, but it comforts me in dealing with women who are . . . difficult.)

Beka said...

It's not my proudest moment, but here it is:

I have this new sister-in-law. Everyone says she's fantastic & awesome & super-duper. And I don't WANT to like her because everyone keeps telling me that I HAVE to love her. Bah! She might just be the greatest thing since DeNae Handy, but I reserve the right to make that decision for myself. Thanksverymuch.

These girls just don't know what they're missing yet, that's all. They will have a conversion, you'll see. Still others choose the dark side for reasons only they can invent for themselves.

Way to weather the storm, though. Hugs in the meantime!

L.T. Elliot said...

That anyone could roll their eyes at you makes me spitting mad. Your "giant" personality is one of the things I freaking LOVE about you. Don't you change it. Don't you feel bad about it. You're REAL. You're wonderful. You're beautiful. And I adore you, dammit. So you flip right out there into the crowd and you can COUNT on it that I'll be there, hands out and ready to catch you.

wendy said...

stupid stupid people.
If they are rolling their eyes it is only in the mere knowledge that they will never be as cool as you.

I hate that kind of stuff.
Knock em dead....(or in this case DROP EM DEAD...ok, maybe not)

DeNae / SHP said...

I have the best friend and the most loyal readers in the world. Thank you for all the encouragement. UPS guy arrived, got my books to the conference, got to hang with some dear friends for a few hours, spilled a diet coke and blurted out a cuss word in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building - okay that one isn't supposed to be cheering but surprisingly it was - and I've read and re-read the kind comments here and on my FB page (where my cousin threatened to make any rolling eyes swell up, so that was sweet) and I'm feeling much, much better. Love to all of you wonderful people.

Jessica said...

A few years ago there was a "sister" at church that didn't like me. I had no idea why, but for my New Years resolution that year, I decided that I was going to give her a reason to hate me. I know awesome resolution that I can truly keep. Well I went way out of my way to talk to her, run into her, anything to let her know me. Figured she could dislike me for being obnoxious. Turned out in the end she decided that she actually liked me and we've been friends since.

Time for you to make some late resolutions... They'll love you.

Unknown said...

mom, people are poop, you are cool, and we love you. trapeze artists are also cool, btw. so you're double cool.

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

" And because I don't even know who the local eye-rolling backbiters are, I've got to find a way to hold on tight to that trapeze and reach out for those who are depending on me to catch them, all without becoming distracted by the possibility that it could be her, or her, or perhaps that entire table back there in the shadows, filled with women who seem to believe that just because the lights are dimmed all around them, they can't be seen whispering behind their hands and smirking to one another."

This is hard stuff. I hope your presentation goes well in spite of this dynamic. I'll say a prayer for you (and for them...insecurity/pain/envy/whoknowswhat can make us humans do weird, hurtful things).

Lisa said...

Just over a year ago, I was called into my Bishop's office and told that, "Several people" have complained about my blog. Now the harm wasn't done in finding out people didn't like my blog. Hell, I wasn't writing for THEM—that's why we have the Ensign. No, the harm came in suddenly being forced into sideways glances at people I had once trusted, and now, questioning their hearts. The damage in that was immense! And it took me months to become comfortable just being me again. Well, bless their hearts. Many simply don't understand, until they experience it themselves. In the meantime, I can see that you have made up your mind to continue true in the faith of kindness and integrity. That right there takes more guts and gives less glory than practically anything in the world. I tip my hat. :)

Wonder Woman said...

Why are people mean? And stupid? And mean for stupid reasons? I just don't get it. I don't understand why we can't all just give each other a FREAKING BREAK. Goodness knows we all need it.

I'm sorry that you're being forced to deal with insecure women. You are wonderful and authentic and funny and talented and those women are just afraid of that. You know what sisterhood is. You know what charity is. Testify of that. There's no way they can't like you after that.

But even if they don't, WHO CARES? They're the ones missing out. And they're going to miss their eye balls, too, when they roll out of their heads.....

Mary Grigg said...

As a RS Pres I totally understand where you are coming from. But they are just jealous of your confidence (or mad skills at faking confidence). I love your humor and would LOVE to have you in our ward - NC is lovely!

Just SO said...

DeNae you were there (both you and Amber) catching me when I was falling. You will forever hold a place in my heart for just being you.
I hope that the eye rollers will stop their eye rolling long enough to look and see you for the beautiful person that you are. They don't know what they are missing.