Me and Chelsea Down by the Schoolyard

Chelsea Handler’s million selling paperback My Horizontal Life, was a gift from my honey.  The intention was more than fluff summer reading but to serve as research since I am outlining and writing my own book.  Like every writer I know, I find this process daunting, frustrating and exciting at the same time.  But when I cracked open the cover and dove into Chelsea’s book about her one-night stands, I found it strangely inviting and familiar; as if some of her experiences were similar to what I could have written myself.

And that’s when it hit me. Her book and my in-progress wanna-be version are all about personal power and for me, this is what being a Diva is all about.

No matter where we are on our journey and what is going on in our lives, the most important thing is to maintain a connection to our heart’s desire and not give our personal power over to anyone.

The sad part (not that I’m one to succumb to judgment) is just how frequently in my own history, I have justified my actions and presented myself as being “in charge” of my choices, but really, I have just given my power over and over, and over again.  I had a dating history as varied as Chelsea’s (though she can’t beat me on marriages).  But how many times during those countless flybys or actual relationships did I truly stand up for my own personal boundaries?

Reminders of life lessons come at the strangest times.  One minute I am reading about Chelsea’s escapades on and the next, I am transported to my own dalliances that I am less than pleased with; not because it was the physical connection I regret, but because it was an emotional abuse I didn’t stand up against.

There was the time I suddenly quit a high school summer job at a record store when the manager who was aptly nicknamed, Soup (his last name was a specific brand – think condensed) tried to promote me privately in his office.  Then there was the time I transferred schools after my freshman year, because the co-ed I was madly in love with had engaged in a surprise and certainly non-consensual experience during a nightmarish version of sleepwalking.  The scary part was that I didn’t transfer schools because I was afraid of him.  Well, not entirely.  I changed my life because I was afraid of my own lack of ability to stay away from him if I remained anywhere in the northern part of the state.  There were later experiences, one at the hand of a sole practitioner attorney I worked for in Los Angeles; a grandfatherly-former-record-company-exec who wanted more than fresh coffee when he arrived in the morning and the synagogue president who couldn’t start the High Holy Day service of Kol Nidrei without giving his “favorite Cantor a little squeeze.”   I left that pulpit despite having a signed contract for the following year.  I blamed my crazy divorce from the psychotic X-3 but trust me, this incident didn’t help.  It wasn’t a safe environment for me.

Each and every time I was faced with a situation like this, I gave my power away.  But today, while I sat reading the opening chapters of Chelsea Handler’s book, I was reminded that I don’t do that anymore.  I don’t need to give “it” away for free – not my self-esteem, integrity, power, body, desire or heart.   I can be bawdy, sacred, honest, flirty, vibrant, sexy, powerful, headstrong, sensual and anything else I damn well please.  I can one day finish writing the one-woman cabaret show about a gal addicted to online dating and I can laugh at my own former escapades but marvel at the grown-up, wiser, stronger, surer ME that I am today. Reading Chelsea’s book, I was reminded that my life has more than its fair share of interesting, varied, hysterical, tender and painful moments that are definitely worth sharing with a wider audience.

My honey, an amazing writer, producer, editor and often my collaborator, thinks my book will be a high vibe version of Chelsea’s trash talkin’ romps.  He can’t wait to read the stranger-than-fiction details of my book.  Neither can I.  Now all I have to do is finish writing it.

2 Responses to Me and Chelsea Down by the Schoolyard
  1. Jenn Deutsch
    July 17, 2011 | 7:45 pm

    As always you amaze me with your strength! Hugs and love and support!

    • DivaMama
      July 18, 2011 | 5:03 am

      Thank you, Jenn. How amazing to know that whatever I write resonates and more importantly, reminds other women how to recognize their own inner strength.

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