By Molly Jo Realy (@MollyJoRealy)
“Okay.” A one-word sentence often expressed with a sigh or exhale, a clap, a smile.
“Someday.” A word that can mean a time in the future, or a wistful desire.
Two words (I love words!) which, together, have potential to change, well, everything. No, really. Wait. I’ll tell show you.
Okay. Someday.: A promise to yourself. A start toward a future goal, dream, or challenge.
Okay! Someday!: The exciting knowledge that striving now will reap great rewards later.
Okay. Someday.: A present claim of getting along, with future improvements.
You may have already figured this out, but I’m a big proponent of self-care. From my nightly cup of tea to checking in with friends to alone time on the balcony as fireflies dance around me. Check out my updated Nine Simple Self-Care Tips.
But first, God: I’m in a church class based on recovery steps, although for this group, we focus not on addiction issues (many of us aren’t there for that), but on our identity in Christ. We are women supporting each other through life, and learning to be elephants better lean on God as we do so. We’re taught that how we think of ourselves or identify ourselves to others is not who we are, and not who we are in Christ. “I am a reclaimed daughter of the King.” That’s how I introduce myself lately. Those words came to me as I was praying for impact. I may struggle with thoughts of inadequacy. Celebrate experiences of success. Moments of insecurity. The impact of childhood bullying and the joys of being loved. But none of those are who I am. We’ll get into being reclaimed in another journal entry. Today is about being okay. Someday.
Next, a cautionary tale about me: I’ve been sporting some new headwear recently. Stylish? Sure. Necessary? Absolutely.
Backstory Time: (*drumroll with a hard beat, please*) In my previous lifestyle, I was your typical Southern California teen girl. When my new-ish “friends” went to the beach for the Fourth of July and didn’t invite me, I thought, “I’ll show them!” and laid on a beach blanket in my own backyard. For several hours. I showed them, all right. I showed everybody. With my neon red sunburn that, yes, looked as painful as it felt, for several weeks.
Flash forward decades later. Let’s not say exactly how many though, okay? Okay. Thanks. A tiny speck appeared on the crown of my head and I thought nothing of it. It never really changed. Except when I banged it on the kitchen cabinet. And that one time when the hotel showerhead was lower than anticipated. Over twenty years of scab, heal, repeat. Until recently when the healing part didn’t come into play, but the growing part did. Doc sends me to Derm. I say, it’s eczema. Derm says, It’s not. Three weeks later, I’m sporting bandages, hats, and scarves to hide the very large evidence of my recent MOHS surgery.
Side Note 1: I’m happy to report I have 100% clear margins. In that area. Which is a large area. A “let’s get you in for reconstructive surgery” large area. Ex-Cali Girl say what?!
Side Note 2: Cosmo Doc recommends “natural healing.” It will be slower, but better. So. Bandages and Hats it is for another few months. Ooh—Kinda sounds like a rock band or horror movie title, right? I can see the trailer now: Deep in the South, in the place known for its alligators and rougarous, comes the epic battle of Bandages and Hats. Will they ever be conquered? Maybe. Okay. Someday…Now don’t you be taking that idea.
IT’S MINE. I CLAIM IT.
I made the mistake of asking Cosmo Doc to let me look at the MOHS post-op pic. Eww. Super gross. Don’t worry. I won’t share it here. Ain’t no one gotta see that, right?! [Unless it’s part of the horror movie.]
Anyway. I was on Day Four of the Hat Brigade when those two words came out of my mouth. Standing in front of the mirror, I adjusted yet another ballcap over my recently cut, recently Vaselined, recently bandaged up hair.
This isn’t forever.
This is just a blip on the radar.
This will get better. This *is* getting better.
Someday, I’ll wear hats and scarves out of choice, not necessity. And someday, not at all.
Someday. But not now. And I have to be okay in the waiting.
Someday, I’ll be okay.
I’m okay now.
It’s not the okay I want to be, but when the checklist is evaluated (God, shelter, transportation, income, relationships, stability),
I’m okay. Now.
Someday, this wound will lessen into a scar, and I will have more stories to tell. But I’m already telling them.
(Let’s talk about God’s timing, shall we?!)
So. Okay. Someday.
And, now, the writing relationship: Book characters must exemplify this lesson as well. As a writer, it’s my job to bring the conflict of now vs. someday, acceptance vs. struggling, to those I write about. What if Josie had accepted her lot in life and didn’t try to break free from how others saw her, or what her life had become? There’d be no Olivia to save in Book Two. No Momma Tristan with her books and mojo bags to offer wisdom. No Lou Grant-inspired father to Denton Chase. Oops. Are those spoilers? Disregard this paragraph.
Think of your favorite books and movies. The ones you read and watch over and over again. What makes them so compelling to you? We call it the Hero’s Journey. It’s how the main character gets from Beginning to End, with a few plot twists along the way. There is something that connects you to the story, and most of the time, it’s emotion. There’s never a straight path from here to there. Your characters are not perfectly satisfied out the gate. If they were, there’s no reason for their story.
As an author, I have to give you, my darling readers, your “Okay. Someday.” moment. You need to relate with the characters and hold your breath until you can’t hold it anymore. Celebrate their little successes while you wait to exhale, and wish for something more. If I do my job right, you’ll be okay with knowing the character may not be okay. You should always have hope that things will get better, but also an acceptance, and perhaps appreciation, if they don’t.
But you can’t know these things until the end. You must take the journey with the characters. Otherwise, what’s the point?
BORING: Josie’s uncle passed away and left her the house.
EXCITING: Josie’s abusive ex shows up at her uncle’s funeral with that smile that trapped her in the first place.
In her weakened state, she knows it’s either fight or flight… so she flies to New Orleans and makes friends with people
who help her reclaim her identity. Or do they want to shape her into who they think she should be?
Ultimately, this is about you: Are you in an “Okay. Someday.” season? You don’t have to have it all together, all the time. Or even part of the time. As long as you are taking your own hero’s journey to move forward, you’re not wrong. Perfection can be the enemy of progress. Self-perfection can distract us from savoring the journey. All good stories have a great journey. Trust that Christ, the author and perfecter of your Faith, is writing an awesome ending to your adventure.
Whether you are a reader, writer, survivor, or thriver, take a deep breath and know that if nothing changes, you’ll be okay. Right this moment, as you read this, you are okay. Because if nothing changes, it means nothing will get worse. And somedays, that’s okay enough to be okay.Today may not go according to plan. But this isn’t the end of your story. Okay. Someday. on Molly Jo’s Journals. Click To Tweet
I would love to share with you about God, writing, tea, and being okay. Drop me a comment or send me a message.
Come alive, stay wild, and always, savor the journey!
Author of the romantic location mystery novel, NOLA, Molly Jo Realy is an award-winning writer and author coach. Encouraging others to embrace their unique talents to come alive and stay wild every day is her cup of tea! Addicted to cats, coffee, pens, and planners, in no particular order. Savor the journey, y’all.
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Please visit my Books Page for links to my newest publications, including the Tea with Me Dot Grid Journal and You GLOW, Girl! Planner/Journal.