I have been fixated on getting a desk for my study for some time now.

I’ve searched on craigslist. I’ve looked at Wal-Mart. I looked at Goodwill.

The elusive desk was out there, I knew it. It was like this missing piece to the puzzle.

I’ve gotten rid of furniture, I’ve moved what I had left around and made my space a more conducive place for study.

My YaYa Tammie has been texting me for a few months that she has one I could have. Measurements worked out. It seemed a good fit.

With plans made with the Pseudo Sisters to borrow a truck and drive over to pick it up and haul it back, it seemed that the final piece of my puzzle was going to be in place before school started.

I could breathe easy.

The desk fell completely apart once we got it to my house.

Like…in pieces-fell apart.

We had a posse of help at the house, moving, lifting, shifting. And we all just kind of looked at it. Piece by piece. On the front steps.


We laughed, loaded up the pieces in Josh’s truck so he could dump them and continued on with our day.

It was, however, the beginning of my unraveling. Piece by piece it seemed that my school puzzle was going to come unraveled. I was focusing on finding my classes, the scenarios kept playing over and over. Taking the wrong books. Being in over my head. Wearing clothes that were uncomfortable. Being so brain dead by the time my second class begins that I just fall asleep. Nonsensical scenarios playing out with the pomp and pagentry of a Broadway show. Starring all The Voices in all their glory.

I came home. Watched a few eps of Friday Night Lights. And took a quarter of a xanax. I called Lynn to come over and watch True Blood. I mowed the back yard. And I made brownies.

It was just the thing I needed. Someone to just say, “tell me exactly what it is you’re scared of.” Someone to just be here to eat a brownie with me. It was perfect.

She’s not the only guide in my life. I’ve been blessed for years to have people who will love me, who will support me and who will break it down and spell it out.

When I graduated high school, my English teacher wrote me a letter and enclosed a little money as a gift. As a student you would expect me to grab that cash and move on down the road. But the letter was something that struck a chord, stayed with me.

Dated May 24, 1989

“…You have so much ahead of you. Just remember that you can have whatever you want.  But…you will have to pay for it, either in effort, patience, determination, or maybe with tears and self-respect.  The tricky part will be in deciding whether what you want will be worth the cost. In the final analysis you will get what you pay for! Go for it! We’re proud of you and if you ever need anything we’ll try to be here for you.”

I’ve kept that letter. I framed it way back then and have moved it with me throughout the years. There have been tears. There has been effort. There have been what some would call false-starts, but what I would call opportunities. Some of the opportunities were, in fact, not worth the cost. I’ve started over, rebooted, turned a corner more than one probably should in one lifetime. I’m not in that secure safe place that one would expect a 40 year old to be in. But its my one time around on this planet and apparently…this is how I’m going to do it.

As I was reading it last night, it occured to me that I’ve had this beautiful, guiding tribe surrounding me and leading me from day one. On this world, in the next one. . . always watching out and sending me strength.

There’s no way I’ll get lost today with that kind of backup.

Words of Wisdom


6 thoughts on “Backup

  1. There’s no way…no way at all! And, damn fine brownines they were!! Now where’s my coffee? I’ve got some for breakfast to eat!

    It will be fine. You will be fine. This is not brain surgery, it’s books and writing…all of which you love, remember? LOVE. Now, go forth and conquer! xoxo


  2. The first day is always overwhelming. It’s the beginning of a new routine. Remember your first day of USAO? Today? Completely different. Because today, you are a stronger, more confident Misti. Today you will start this new routine with grace and class and you will come home tonight and breathe a sigh of relief, shake your head and say to yourself “Misti, you are awesome”. Enjoy your first day.


  3. If that bitch Dr. Brown cut WTRFG, then I’m sorry she sucks so hard. If it was an entirely different teacher, it still sucks. I only disliked one prof from my alma mater, and I hope you get to know some of the ones I l-o-v-e-d.

    I kinda wish I was in your shoes rather than mine, at the mome.

    I thought about you a lot today and remembered how I always made friends with the “non-traditional” students (whatever that means). Get ready to make some new friends while you’re kicking ass!

    So proud of you!


  4. For some reason my RSS feeder thingee gave me these 2 posts JUST NOW. So I read them in reverse chron order and was going to wait to go back and comment on the more recent one. Then I got to this and found that your HS letter has already said it. This grad school thing is, like so many other things, going to give back according to what you put into it. You’re putting your all into it so you’ll get good back. It may be unrecognizable initially but you’ll get it. It’s the way you’re wired. You’ve got this tiger by its hardbound tail.


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