First part of the story here.
Today is the anniversary of Janine‘s initial encounter with John Thornton, and now the rest of her story:
Days passed. The letter became a being, existing with an accusatory bent. I was determined not to mail it.
My birthday arrived. I took the day off from work, and as I wandered about my favorite coastal town in the peace of being alone with the sea and sun, I was able to breathe. At dinner, I sat on the wharf with a copy of ‘North and South’ in my hands and read the first chapters of the story that had somehow brought such change into my life.
That night I copied the letter onto some stationery and found an address for Richard. It felt right. So what if I was a blathering idiot in my prose to him? I had written what I felt. I mailed it.
Nope. It didn’t help.
My family went away for a few days. I stayed home with the pets and the vegetable garden. And the entire DVD set of Robin Hood. I watched the first two series over again.
Work and the family returned. I kept hurtling toward something. It felt like that.
And one day my access to one of the unofficial RA sites went AWOL. I couldn’t figure it out and being denied access for some random reason was a most cruel joke.
I contacted the owner. It was my first contact with someone over Richard. I felt odd. Who did this? Not me. Not ever. Not practical, no-nonsense me.
We never did figure out why I couldn’t connect. But I had made a personal connection with someone who was kind, smart and didn’t treat me like I was a nutjob because I was reading interviews and looking up information about an actor.
That exchange launched me into the land of Twitter and contact of an instanteous nature with other admirers of Richard Armitage. One by one I found or was found. And I started twittering away, finding myself swept up into another crazed frenzy.
There were moments I actually felt giddy.
And it was there that I had my first exhilirating exchange with the writer of this blog, Frenz. I’d read a lot of her posts over the months since discovering Richard. I liked her voice as a writer. I appreciated her self-deprecation. And suddenly here we were in some sort of DM Twitterfest that lasted more than two hours.
She was relentless in her questions to me but also in revealing pieces of herself. It was a unique exchange that did many things that night. But the important one is that it forced me to yet another level of awareness about myself.
Three months and two days after writing that letter to Richard, I was writing a letter to me.
The next day, it took about nine hours with a few breaks, for the first time in my life, I sat there and let my heart — my battered, suppressed heart — rage.
Because once upon a time, I had imagination. I had that joy in creating. I had that feeling anything was possible.
I held nothing back. I was brutally honest as I typed, admitting my failures. Admitting other people’s failures to me. From childhood to adulthood I roamed.
I didn’t edit. I just typed. I cried. There were moments I thought I might break.
So I cried some more.
I could feel myself emerge as I neared the end. And as I typed the final few sentences, I was sobbing. I thought I could paraphrase what I was writing to Frenz but I cannot, so here it is, raw and unedited.
As I have been writing this for about 8 hours, I have been hurtling toward the end not knowing what to say. But it hit me a little while back.
I think you asked why Richard – was it just last night?
I didn’t think I had an answer. I find I do. At this moment in time, after just giving you the abbreviated version of my life, I do have an answer that makes sense.
But me, surrounded by all that you have just read, I do not. Not really. And I want to. I want to break free and dare. Truly dare.
I need to. I need to believe I could play Thorin, that I am finally good enough. I need to have those doubts and slay them.
In my case, I need to believe I can build my own business and be a success. That I have learned in 25 years of working and 45 years of living that I am good enough to have something of my own. That I can have a dream I can fulfill. I know I have the skills. Because in this very moment I have realized that I have always put my dreams aside. Always. Always. I admit it. Finally.
And I am crying so hard I can barely see.
I need a champion. That would be Richard. The man who dared. Who is inspiring me to dare. Who gives me hope that nice people do achieve great things through hard work and because they dare.
For a while now, I have been thinking this: Richard makes me want things I can never have.
So negative. But how could I not be because he does make me yearn for so much more than what I have in my existence. I couldn’t see past the negative because it was so massive.
And now, because I have said this I need to think differently.
Richard makes me want things I will dare to have.
I can safely admit that since I had that moment at the end of last October, everything has changed.
I now have a world full of people who share at least one commonality: an admiration for Richard Armitage. And it turns out we share so much more. Of course we do. I have slowly gotten to know person after person, and I am in a world so rich with possibility because of them that my heart nearly bursts some days from the sheer joy in being alive.
I have done silly things. I have done fun things. I have done serious things. I expect to keep repeating this pattern for some time.
In return I have been given the gift of friendship. When I am troubled – again, life doesn’t happen in a vacuum – a tidal wave of support flows over then buoys me so I won’t flounder. Well, at least not for long.
Frenz asked, quite some time ago, if I would write about inspiration and Richard.
In the end, it was never about Richard Armitage. Not at all.
He is the catalyst.
I am my inspiration.
Because I dare.
Yes, you, do, Janine, and we all love it.
And me, relentless? I’m a pussycat. :D
Screencap courtesy of Gallicka.com