All I Ever Wanted

all i ever wanted erika napoletano redheaded fury

You’ll get the image when you finish the post.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles

I don’t know what to say. I stood in a kitschy shop today and while reading cards ranging from sappy to poignant to irreverent, the tears came. So I paid and got the hell out and proceeded to wonder what the hell had gotten into me. While wandering an outdoor shopping center waiting for my dinner to be ready for pickup, I realized…

I could blame my tears on All I Ever Wanted.

On June 14, 2010, I cried. A lot. June 25 pretty much sucked, too. June 30th blew. July wasn’t so great but getting better, as when you’re trying to mend a broken heart, you find everything from cupcakes to shit in your basement and filing past due taxes to be of the utmost import. If nothing else, I was busy. Busy is good. Finding a way to breathe again – that would be better.

September’s here and my business, clients, projects and friends – it’s All I Ever Wanted. I don’t wake up in the morning feeling as if I lack, and while the other side of my bed remains empty (by design), I can breathe again. Maybe it’s the hot yoga I’ve started taking (while today’s class reeked of stale scrotum and lavender) and the completely relaxed yet periodically pissed-off sensation I get before, during and after each class. Every day I can do something I couldn’t do the class prior but I never fail to find something else at which I’m a complete tard. Like half moon pose. I’ve got chair pose down and can hang there all day while the class seethes like a pressure cooker. Half moon? More like full nimrod. But fuck it. I can breathe and for an hour a few times a week, my only goal is to breathe (a goal I wish I’d set years ago).

So, back to All I Ever Wanted. Two of my best friends are pregnant – sharing their joy is soul food. My inbox is full of current and new business. Some clients are being…well, fired. Others are coming in and pulling up a chair, staying awhile.

I’m on the verge of two ridiculously exciting professional endeavors. My dogs haven’t shit on the rug or peed inside in almost a month and the cats (aged 12) seem to have found a food that flows only one direction. Big Dog hasn’t eaten any more of the fence. Small Dog, while having eaten my entire salad earlier this week, has eased up on the yappy crap barking. If something supposed to be in retrograde, well, I’m missing it.

And now the question: what do I do with All I Ever Wanted? It scares the living shit out of me. Hoping to have it, lamenting because you don’t, commiserating with others who lack – well, that’s a metric fuck ton easier than actually facing measurable success in the face and giving it a proper greeting.

I’m trying to think back to my formative years. Gah – who am I kidding? I’m still in my formative years (and hope to never leave them). My childhood. My parents were epic. Supportive. Congratulatory. Encouraging. I didn’t get paid for reciting Bible verses or bringing home good grades – I got encouraged to do more…do different. So when the hell along the way from 13 to 37-ish did I feel like I didn’t deserve to look success in the face and give it a high five? Maybe it likes Dexter and wants to join me on the sofa for a Netflix Night. So I decided to stare it in the face, hand it a glass of Peach Fresca and white wine and pop in Season 4. And the damnedest thing happened: aside from discovering that the above beverage combination is simultaneously white trash and damn tasty (kinda like those wine coolers that used to come in the 2-liter bottles – you know you got shitfaced on them in high school), All I Ever Wanted stayed right there next to me the whole time. It didn’t get up and leave. It even seemed to settle in – once I let it.

All I Ever Wanted is sitting here next to me on my sofa right now and it’s strangely comforting. Like a lover who brings me flowers when I least expect them and can make me giggle without saying a word. It’s got dimples to die for and spoons me at night while I sleep. It inspires me and most importantly, it reminds me that there’s a difference between resting and losing momentum. That momentum – damn, y’all. It’s crystal meth without all the fucked-up teeth-rotting bullshit action. It’s better than Five Hour Energy Drink shots: it’s the never-waning charge that challenges you to think, regroup, realign and get going. While I haven’t trained it to bring me my morning latte, I’m okay with getting it my damn self. I’m motivated to do so.

33 replies
  1. Bob
    Bob says:

    Glad to see your life getting wonderful. And you’ve written about how it /feels/ so well. yes, it can be scary to have All I Ever Wanted (and I look forward to that fear again myself).

  2. Megan Carpenter
    Megan Carpenter says:

    I can’t tell you how often I’ve had this conversation. Whenever I’m on the verge of something “that feels right” I get really scared. Growing up I never thought I’d be scared of success. It’s the oddest thing. But over the past year I’ve taught myself to “just breathe” and embrace that scared shitless feeling. Some days it’s easier than others, but I keep trying. I’m not quite at “All I ever wanted” but I’m close enough to feel it, and you’re right, it’s better than any energy drink, (though it heavily contributes to my coffee needs).

  3. Robert Slaughter
    Robert Slaughter says:

    Glad to see you getting your life into wonderful mode. Yes, it can be downright scary to have All I Ever Wanted show up in your life. I’m looking forward to having that fear again myself (its not here right now). And you’ve written so very well about how it /feels/ with some wonderful metaphors (because its at the edge of language-failure). Keep up the good work. 😉

  4. Bill W
    Bill W says:

    Actually Erika, before I got married, my bike would spoon me at night while I slept. I could tell by the chain grease marks on my…wait…did I just type that out loud?

    Ummm, never mind….

  5. jim
    jim says:

    Hopefully you can take cues from your newly Yogafied existence and learn to sit placidly amid your newfound awesomeness and just enjoy it. Even if the cats resume their barfing.

  6. timbrauhn
    timbrauhn says:

    Dude, chair? I can’t even begin to play with it. Half moon, though, that’s my baby, even though the sweat blinds me. I am happy that you are in the zone. I drinked some coconut juice today.

  7. Kate
    Kate says:

    oh how i love this post! everyone tells you how to deal with what you DIDNT get or when things are bad and there are examples EVERYWHERE.
    but who tells you how to deal with success? as if it is self explanatory? i think people who are consistently successful are there because they figured that out – and that momentum you talked about – it pushes you to find new goals, stretches, poses, etc. and before you know it you are beyond even your own expectations! Just my observation, anyway 🙂
    so yeah, i am kind of asking you to tell us how you figure it out because there isnt much out there…

    • The Redhead
      The Redhead says:

      I don’t think I’ve necessarily figured it out, Kate. I’ve just got a grasp on what I haven’t figured out. I freak out less with uncertainty. I embrace lack of direction and see it more as an adventure. I…breathe. The greatest gift I’ve been given is a herd of “front stabbers” in my life who tell it like it is and help me see what I can’t, won’t or don’t. Get some. The absence of bullshit starts off as the strangest smell…and then – it’s something you want to get drunk on. And I still end sentences with prepositions.

      • Kate
        Kate says:

        I may have to steal this: “I embrace lack of direction and see it more as an adventure. ”
        because that’s what gets me up in the morning, the potential and not knowing!
        I am sort of ending a chapter of ‘all i ever wanted’ stage and completely changing up my life right now because… why not? i am not really sure, but just following the drive to see where it takes me!
        Also, sometimes it’s just too hard to not end in a preposition, except when you are trying to for the sake of irony. Then it’s impossible!

  8. Cherry Woodburn
    Cherry Woodburn says:

    Love that Marianne Williamson quote. It’s so powerful and makes me cry because I get scared too, like you did. So glad, glad, glad you’re where you are Reds. Really glad.

    I had half moon instructions here and deleted them, not the point and you’ll get there all on your own. Know you will.

  9. Ingrid Abboud
    Ingrid Abboud says:

    I just have to tell you that your blog is simply fantastic! I love the design, writing style and content! It’s official – in my book, you’re the “rockin’ redhead with an in your face attitude”!

    I’m so glad that John’s article on the “10 up and coming women bloggers” introduced me to your rants and writings!

    I’ll be looking forward to reading your upcoming posts! I always like to read it as it is – no BS, straight to the point and freakin’ funny as hell!

    Nicely done Erika!


  10. Liz
    Liz says:

    my dog has been looking sideways at me all week.

    All I Ever Wanted is usually right there every day beside me … it just went for a walk over the last few days.

    It hasn’t left the building … I think it’s just letting me know that my default state is usually pretty damn brilliant.

    Reading this post has just lifted the Irritations and helped me see how wonderful and passionate my life is … thanks Erika. You made a difference by writing this very honest post.

    • Liz
      Liz says:

      Very nice to be here and I look forward to repeat visits.

      I usually have a gravatar that follows me around and was wondering if mine didn’t hook into your comment section because I don’t use disqus on my site?

      Male gravatar is weirding me out.

      Apart from your great writing … the other thing that makes you and your site stand out is that you respond to comments. I know that’s basic stuff and I love responding to all my readers … just surprising how many of the big bloggers don’t do it.

      • The Redhead
        The Redhead says:

        I have a one-for-one comments policy and I *do* hope to hold onto that as long as possible!

        I don’t know where Disqus pulls your gravatar from. Hmmm…now I’m off to figure THAT one out!


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