*Note to readers: this post may be a bit jumbled so try to hang on as I attempt to make sense.
Considering how much I want to say tonight, I'm at a loss for words. So, I'll just start with the book and attempt to weave the rest of the story and thoughts into that.
I picked up the book at a Barnes and Noble about four weeks ago. Such a Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb. The cover art and the title caught my eye and after reading the synopsis on the inside of the jacket, I thought it would be a good read. I bought it off of amazon.com for about 30% less than I what I would have paid for it at B&N. I waited patiently for it.
It arrived about 10 days ago. I put it on the shelf though because, well, that's what I do with most of the books I buy. I put them on the shelf until I'm ready to read them. I have a thing about books, if you don't know that by now. Some artists say that the canvas talks to them; a sculptor will say that he just shapes the clay as it tells him to; a composer sits at a piano and he writes down the song that the piano sings to him. My books do that for me. Sort of. Obviously, I don't write them but every now and then, I can feel which one is supposed to be read. People wonder why I'm a little anal about them...okay fine...VERY anal about them. There's a treasure in all books. I have an aunt who shares this same thought about them. But I'm digressing as usual...
The other night I asked Queenie to pick the book that I would be reading next. I gave her four choices, one of them including the book this post is about. What she didn't know (sorry!) is that normally, when I ask this question, I already know the answer. Nine times out of ten, the person picks the wrong answer. There's no way for them to know that it's wrong though; nor is there anyway for them to know that the book is talking to me (I swear I'm not insane). So, when she chose the wrong book, I informed her that I was overriding her choice and going with mine.
And so, the ramble truly begins.
I'm not going to tell you the story held in this book. What I'll tell you is this: the woman in this book is broken, shattered, and completely changes in this book. When I started this book, I fell in love with her character immediately because I could understand the hard part of her journey: learning about herself. It is not easy to spend hours wondering who you really are, what are you doing, etc. The questions that can pierce a person's soul and keep them up for hours at night. Although I've learned much of myself in the last four years, I'm finally coming to those questions that are more career oriented but still have so much to do with the self: what am I going to do with my life? Why do I want to become a therapist? Why am I always starting some project, whether it's baking, knitting, sewing, painting, wood carving, etc? So it was easy to relate to Stevie, the main character. I can remember struggling with some of the same issues that she faces (although if you read the book, I can assure you the issues were not caused by the same events).
As the story continued to unfold today, I couldn't put it down. When I went to the gym to workout, I read the book on the treadmill. Even at an interview today, I thought about the book and couldn't wait to get back home to continue reading about Stevie. And it was in the 100 pages or so that I felt like answers were pouring out of the pages.
I always thought I did artsy things because I like art. Don't get me wrong, I do like art so I like creating art. I've always liked talking to people and listening to people's problems so I thought (and was told) I'd be a good therapist. And around page 400 I took a minute in the kitchen (sitting on the counter has become my new favorite spot to read) to think about these things and Stevie and where my life is right now and where it's headed and it kind of hit me:
I like making something out of nothing.
That's what I'm really passionate about. It's why I even love making Excel spreadsheets. It's starting with that clean slate, the clear canvas, with just a ball of yarn or a cup of flour and then taking what you have and making something amazing out of it.
Whether it's pineapple brulee, a painting for a friend, or a database that runs as smoothly as an oiled chain...
it's just something out of nothing.
And I find that's the way I see everything. Hiking up to Gem Lake was doing something out of nothing to me. Walking is just nothing. It's just natural. But walking up a 1000 foot incline to reach some pond that had a breathtaking view of the mountains around us...that's something out of nothing.
So that's what being a therapist to me is really about. About working with a client who sees themselves as absolutely nothing, and taking their hand and walking with them as they find that, truly, they are something, and that something is amazing and special.
I had to catch my breath after this realization and stare into the rice and water on the stove so I wouldn't start crying and freak out Eric. After I had a moment and finished fixing our dinner (leftover beef stew), I got in bed with my stew and my book. A short while later, I got to the line.
"I had made something out of nothing."
Stevie's words. Not mine. Well, mine as well but also Stevie's.
From that point on, I cried on almost every page.
Needless to say, Such a Pretty Face is now in my top five. And I'll continue to get to know myself. I'll continue to grow and figure out the rest of the pieces.
And I'll probably read this book again and again and again...