It was time, friends. It was beyond time.
Now, when you type in the previous web address to my website (www.teamthumann.com), it will redirect you to -
The Beck Effect.
I'm becoming less and less of who I was.
And more and more of who I'm supposed to be.
Thanks for sticking around.
I called Miss Cleo the psychic in seventh grade. Her commercials were all over one of the three channels we had at the farm, and I was intrigued. I called the 1-900 number and was only going to talk for a second but Miss CLEO - man.
She had some THINGS to tell me.
Such IMPORTANT, LENGTHY things that I don’t even remember.
The first, very thick, phone bill came in the mail and I hid it between the cookbooks at home. (NO ONE FOUND IT UNTIL WE MOVED OUT.)
The second, very thick phone bill came, and I hid it between some books in my closet.
And then, one day, I was in the car with my mom when she got the mail.
BECAUSE SOMETIMES JESUS HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR LIKE THAT.
“What’s that,” I so casually asked, as she opened the third, very thick (and now very late) phone bill.
“It’s the phone bill,” she said, concerned. “I didn’t get the first one, so I called and asked them to send it again.”
OF COURSE YOU DID, NANCE.
You know those events in your life in which you’ll never forget where you were? We were parked by the strawberry patch in the driveway. Our grey Buick was pointing towards the back porch. And I was sweating.
“What in the …” Mom’s voice trailed off and I’m pretty sure I squeezed my eyes shut.
Slowly, her head turned towards me. “Do you know anything about this?”
Yeah. Mom. Turns out, I do.
But I’m almost certain I didn’t own up to it right away. I’m almost positive that I played dumb. That was ALWAYS my first line of defense.
Must’ve been Brett. Must’ve been Brett calling the psychic because it for sure wasn’t me. Brett would TOTALLY do something like that.
(Except he wouldn’t. Ever.)
That night, I was treated to a Dining Room Table Discussion in which Parent One and Parent Two (sometimes referred to as Mom and Dad, or Nance and Rog, or Momma and Daddy) sternly talked to me about “making better choices”.
Specifically, instead of asking Miss Cleo for help with my math homework, I could instead ask my Aerospace Engineer Dad for help, or my ridiculously smart brother who would ALSO turn into an Aerospace Engineer Dad.
I’m fairly certain I cried.
I’m also fairly certain that I cried at every single Dining Room Table Discussion throughout my years growing up, but whatever.
Which is all just to say that sometimes, we screw up. Sometimes, we screw up HUGE. Whether it’s hitting the mailbox with our car (more than once), calling a fake psychic, or something else equally as stupid.
Sometimes we just screw up.
Thank goodness for the people that help correct us.
And thank goodness for the people that still love us despite it all.
And thank goodness they don't have 1-900 numbers anymore. Or do they?
Don't answer that.
I write a lot.
And when I say a lot - I mean that there are notes all over my house, on my phone, next to my desk, in my purse, at Craig's house - binders full of printed books, notebooks full of ideas, half written thoughts here, book titles there.
Late at night, when my house is quiet, I'm often propped up in my bed with my blue blocker glasses on, writing, editing, and creating. YouTube streams behind the 18 documents open on my computer - Chris Stapleton or Cody Jinks or a different voice singing soft and low.
I've been writing ever since I can remember.
I talk about The Brother all the time. He is easily one of my favorite people. He knew what he wanted to do from the moment he took his first breath. He drew airplane parts, read airplane books, built model airplanes, watched airplane movies. His heart beats to the click of a mechanical pencil. I've always been a little envious of his steadfastness.
He has *always* known his next step.
Early in my teaching career, I called him one afternoon. "I taught my kids all about appositives, and they get it!" I cried. It's a win I still remember. Like the good brother he is, he celebrated with me.
And when I asked him how he was doing, he responded oh-so-casually with, "I'm thinking about being an astronaut."
You know how many times I've thought about becoming an astronaut? None times.
My mom is a Dean of Finance. Every #bossbabe meme ever created is talking about her. She's a damn force.
My dad travels to exotic locations for work, and when Tuck wears his rocket scientist shirt, I whisper into his ear, "You can be one just like your papa."
My brother - the newly minted Lt. Colonel? Never became an astronaut, but now he commands all the people and does all the things. He's a rocket scientist, too. So.
And I write.
And for a very long time, I felt out of sync.
Like who are these math-y, science-y people, and what in the world am I supposed to do with all of that?
I don't do anything with *that*.
I do my own thing.
I'll never feel the heavy need to solve a math problem, but words - they swim behind my eyes and tumble onto whatever is closest. I've even used keno crayons and lip gloss to write on cocktail napkins. I have no shame.
And last night, when Her View From Home published a video that used my words - validation that I didn't even know I needed rained down all around me.
This, whispers called out to me.
This is what I am supposed to be doing.
[Note: This is not to say that the fam-bam is not supportive of my writing. They are my biggest cheerleaders and my number one fans and they sit so hard in my corner and push me forward into the big wide open every single day and will go fight club on anyone that comes at me. I would be lost without them. Just ... utterly lost.]
The Brother did a DNA test kit and it says that he’s part gypsy.
And if he’s part gypsy,
then I guess that means that I am
And I guess that’s why I don’t like to be shackled to things like
And I guess that’s why things feel heavy on my chest
And I guess that’s why I dance when I cook
and in my car
and in my classroom
and in my shower.
And I guess that’s why when the grass starts to turn green
and when the flowers start to bloom
and when the air feels like maybe spring is finally here -
I guess that’s why I have the urge -
deep down in my belly,
my heart beating to the rhythm of a clock that I can’t see -
I guess that’s why I get the urge to move.
To pack up my load
And to not come back.
And I guess that says something about me - ingrained not only in my heart, not in my soul, but on some kind of scientific, cellular level.
On some kind of coincidental ancestral level -
I was born a
I guess I was born with some kind of chaotic liberty.
Some kind of authentic belonging to the middle of
And I guess
And I guess
And I guess
I knew it.
I get weird emails every day. Buy this! Do that! Look at these great inflatable prices! (Ya buy ONE bounce house, you guys. And they don't leave you alone.)
But sometimes, in between the junk, there are gems.
This one came to me today, and I'm pretty sure it has something to do with how much Craig has been all up in my Facebook author page lately. And he's just so handsome, I can't help myself.
At first, I kind of chuckled ... I texted Craig and told him about it.
But then, I looked at it again.
And I don't know? Maybe what I have to say could help someone?
So here goes.
This is what I would say.
Dear Rebecca -
I know it's kind of weird to message about something like this. I'm dating again. How do you and your boyfriend make it?
Dear Making It:
My answer is brutal, gut-checking honesty.
We're both divorced, and I can only speak for myself here. But when I left one broken relationship, I came to the other side with a pretty well defined list:
Craig checks all of my boxes, but it's just not that easy.
I was telling my friend Katie, from Lovely in the Dark, just the other night - I STILL will get weird about things. Craig says he's going out with his friends on a Friday night, and I STILL find myself sitting up at ten p.m. staring at my phone. The only difference here is that I'm marveling at the fact that I'm not worried. So - and this is a little embarrassing, but whatever - so I will actually text him and say something like -
HI. IT'S YOUR GIRLFRIEND THAT'S OVER HERE NOT WORRYING ABOUT YOU.
And then I go to bed.
And I sleep.
And I genuinely DON'T worry about him.
It's continuous. It's not something that happened over night. When he wakes up the next morning and reads my text, we talk about it. How it felt to not worry, and WHY I didn't worry. Those are some tough conversations sometimes, you know? Walking through old hurts over and over can be exhausting. It's so necessary, though.
When we decided to do this thing together, there were (are) hard conversations. HONEST conversations. The only way we've survived some dark days is just being honest -
about what we want.
about how we feel.
Otherwise, what the heck are you doing? Living a lie? That's just a no for me.
Also, and I have learned that this is kind of important:
Apologizing quickly and sincerely? Game changer.
The first time I had enough courage to tell Craig that he hurt my feelings, he looked at me and sincerely apologized and there was no "but" tied on at the end. No, "I'm sorry, but..." No blame. No judgement. Just a pretty honest apology with open hands and concerned eyes.
And the weirdest thing happened - I moved on.
ALL of this is just to say that Craig and I are not perfect. Not by a long shot. Do we step on each other's toes and press each other's buttons? Sure.
But do we love each other? Extend each other grace?
So THAT is what I would say if I was the person to respond to emails.
But I'm not that person lately.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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