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I’d Follow The Yellow Brick Road, But It’s Too Drab For My Tastes


One of the best things I learned in high school was not the phrase “semper ubi, SUB ubi” (always wear, UNDERwear) (oh, that AP Latin humor gets me every time), but that the one way to make sure that no one hassled you was to look as though you looked like you knew precisely what you were doing. If you LOOKED like you knew what you were doing, you were probably not setting fire to a locker somewhere. Probably.

It was an early version of the ‘fake it ’til you make it’ adage that they teach people suffering from mental illness, and it’s a good life lesson. Should I ever put together Aunt Becky’s Guide To Life, along with “Pants First, Then Shoes,” that will be up there high on my list of things to master.

I’ve always been remarkably good at it, maybe it’s because my home life was chaotic, maybe I just have a good p-p-p-p-poker face, I don’t know. But I always look like I know precisely what I am doing. And for the most part, I have always simply known that what I was doing was precisely what I should be doing for that time. Even during my blasted nursing school days, whether or not I was HAPPY, it was what I should have been doing because I knew with certainty it must be.

I never waffle much with my decisions, especially my decisions about how delicious waffles are, and I never much struggle with uncertainty. For me there is a single path to follow, and I simply follow it. It’s very dogmatic to be me, I guess, and even though my decisions aren’t always right, there’s never so much as a shred of doubt in them while I’m making them.

Lately, though, I’ve been struggling. Floundering, even, although when I say that, I think of the fish and then I giggle because I think of that Faith No More video with the flopping fish, and then I remember how much I fucking love Mike Patton.

But my decision to be a writer was something that came about as a shock to me. It was like I realized I could dip my head underwater and breathe without a mask. I simply didn’t know that I had any talent for it, and once I did, I was beyond stunned, because you think you’d know if you could do something cool like breathe underwater, right?

I’ve gone after it, balls to the wall, because I realized that this was what I was supposed to do. But for the first time in my life, I became doubtful. Was this really what I was supposed to do?

Where my path before had been brightly lit with gaily colored lights and lighted disco sidewalks (hey, this is MY path, Pranksters and I would bejewel all of you if I could), it turned a murky, cloudy grey. I couldn’t see what I was supposed to do next. I was all kinds of turned around and suddenly a mist crept in and I couldn’t even tell which way was up any longer.

I don’t even know how long I stood there alone, just standing and waiting for a sign. Months, probably. I’m not a big step-on-a-crack-break-your-momma’s-back kind of Magical Thinker, but I needed a sign from God, from you, my Pranksters, from ANYONE to tell me that Yes, YES, a million times yes! this was what I needed to do.

Yesterday, I got it.

All at once, the mist evaporated, the lights turned back on, the disco lights began flashing under my feet and suddenly I could see that I’d been facing the right way the entire time. I’ve always been facing the right way. This IS what I was supposed to be doing all along. Eventually, I will succeed.

In the meantime, I just have to remember that it’s not all given to me to know and that it’s not all within my power. I got my sign, and now it’s time to do my part.

It’s going to be another long, strange trip, but I’m beyond ready and more than thrilled. I’m going to buckle up and hope I don’t shit my pants along the way.


81 Comments to

“I’d Follow The Yellow Brick Road, But It’s Too Drab For My Tastes”

  1. On May 4th, 2010 at 10:45 am Amy Mayfield Says:

    I am already bejeweled so I fit right in! Seriously. I think the people at the paper where I work are AMAZED at my ability to work sparkles into everyday wear including flip flop and jean ensembles.

  2. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:36 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I think you and I are destined to be best friends forever. Clearly you have exquisite taste, as do I, and two people with such tastes are bound to be friends.

  3. On May 6th, 2010 at 8:25 pm Amy Mayfield Says:

    Together, we would be BLINDING. Have you ever checked out my blog? Would LOVE it if you would list it in your blog listing area thing.
    I’m going to look for the blingiest, pinkest, obnoxiousest broken heart necklace I can find.

  4. On May 4th, 2010 at 10:53 am Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] Says:

    Balls to the wall.

    Go toward the light. In the good way.

  5. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:36 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Are you saying you want me to die?

  6. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:04 am Megan (Best of Fates) Says:

    Dude – I was all about that phrase in Latin class! Anyway, Megan’s top 5 guesses of what awesome thing happened to Aunt Becky:
    1) Somebody just gave you a zebra. Now, I know this seems amazing at first, but let me tell you, no good will come of it. A minature horse, sure, but a zebra? Turn back now.

    2) That tattoo that you always thought was spelled wrong as a terrible joke by the stupid guy at a party who for some reason you let give you a tattoo in some language you don’t even know, and then he didn’t even take you to meet the band like he said, though you’d even pretended to like his stupid truck, which as you look back on it was actually a motorcycle – well, anyway, turns out the person who told you it was spelled wrong was just screwing with you. See, and all this time you’ve been hating Earl – he was innocent.

    3)Chocolate cake.

    4) You’ve started remembering your dreams and it turns out they accurately predict the future, which is going to come in handy with the internet scam you’ve got going regarding fortunes, only now you don’t have to declare bankrupcy, and those losers are going to regret calling you a cheating hack.

    5) Hm, turns out I only had 4 ideas. Oh well.

  7. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:37 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Yes. Just, yes.

  8. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:24 am stephanie Says:

    I hope I see the light soon. I feel so lost.

  9. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:39 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Keep looking. The light is always there. Always.

  10. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:25 am Rebecca Zhang Says:

    Go ‘head with your bad self. Was the flower your sign or are you just showing them off? Either way rock on sister.

  11. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:39 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Oh, I was just showing ’em off. Aren’t they purdy?

  12. On May 4th, 2010 at 10:49 am Melissa Says:

    Well, what happened yesterday? Did that plant bloom? Did you get an offer. Or just the fog lifted?

  13. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:36 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I’ll have to write about it because it’s a long, boring story.

  14. On May 4th, 2010 at 10:55 am Sam Says:

    Don’t keep a homie in suspense! What was the sign? Did you get your book deal? Do you already have a book deal? Is that cupcakes I smell? I’m burning to know! Or maybe that’s just an infection from taking too many medications at once.

  15. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:36 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It’s cupcakes. Man, I wish. I’ll have to explain in a much longer, involved post.

  16. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:59 am Cat Says:

    Glad you’ve found your path again, because a) it’s a good thing, and b) your path sounds frakkin awesome. I would like to dance on your path.

    Here’s what I learned working for the government: If you’re walking fast and carrying a manila folder, no one asks questions, nor do they ask you to do anything else.

  17. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:40 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Oooh! I need a manila folder. GOOD TIP. We should write our book TOGETHER.

  18. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:05 am Dana Says:

    In the meantime, I just have to remember that it’s not all given to me to know and that it’s not all within my power. I got my sign, and now it’s time to do my part.

    I need to tattoo this to my forehead. It won’t be as glorious as your tattoo, but it sure will save me a lot of grief!

  19. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:37 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I need to tattoo this on my own damn forehead.

  20. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:09 am Fran Says:

    I’m glad you got your sign, mysterious and secretive though it may be….
    And a yellow rosebush is the top item on my Mother’s Day list!!

  21. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:38 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Did you know that yellow rosebushes are apparently newer than other types of roses? I just found out. They’re hybrids.

  22. On May 5th, 2010 at 11:24 am Fran Says:

    I did not know that! Which is all the more unfortunate since I live in Texas (yellow rose central) and even more so because I live near Tyler, Texas, the Rose City and where a majority of the roses in the US are grown. I hang my head in shame now….

  23. On May 5th, 2010 at 7:27 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I am so moving in with you now.

  24. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:14 am Nancy C Says:

    This is exciting. I am thrilled for you.

    I am the opposite…I’ve always been a second guesser. Once I do make a decision, I’m committed, though.

    And do I ever love Mike Patton.

  25. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:38 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I sometimes think I should second guess myself more.

  26. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:16 am leanne Says:

    Go get ’em, Becky! Sound like you are well on your way…

  27. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:38 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    *sings “Eye of the Tiger” at top volume*


  28. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:18 am Regina Says:

    Four years of Latin, and that’s about all I remember! Glad you got your sign.Wish I could say the same for me. Best of luck. You deserve it.

  29. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:39 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Pretty much that’s all I remember from 4 years of Latin too! And you know what, THAT’S OKAY.

  30. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:24 am stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Says:

    That’s a nice sign. I’m always looking for omens & portents while on my path.

  31. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:39 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    When I get them, I’m always so relieved.

  32. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:28 am Cara Says:

    Sometimes I need a little something to let me know I’m on the right path too.

    BTW…will you come take a look at my garden…my flowers are dying (literally) for someone who knows what they are doing.

  33. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:40 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    For sure! I love flowers and gardens and pretty much I’m all Little House on the fucking Prairie with flowers. It’s gross.

  34. On May 4th, 2010 at 12:04 pm a Says:

    You know what brings the mist on? Self-doubt. That’s it. Glad your way is clear now…

    Also, please don’t bejewel me. Unless you’re going to use real jewels. Then it’s OK.

  35. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:41 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    How about semi-precious stones?

  36. On May 4th, 2010 at 12:14 pm Tracie Says:

    I don’t know what your sign was but I’m glad you got it. Best of luck to you in everything you do.

  37. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:41 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I’m just happy that things will finally work out.

  38. On May 4th, 2010 at 12:18 pm meredith Says:

    god i hope it’s a book deal — getting chapter installments isn’t enough. HEAR THAT PUBLISHERS?! K THANKS.

  39. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:42 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Thank GOD you guys wrote that stuff in the comments on that page. Publishers can actually read those comments and that? AWESOME.

  40. On May 4th, 2010 at 12:25 pm Rebecca Says:

    You are so completely supposed to be a writer because I have found so much strength from you! Reading about your little girl and hearing about how you survived it and how she is doing so well, gives me strength and then starting a real blog of my own and getting followers who give me tons of support ………It’s all because of you Aunt Becky! You’re an amazing writer and an amazing person! Keep on Writing!

  41. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:42 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Now you’re gonna make me cry. Thank you.

  42. On May 4th, 2010 at 12:29 pm Kristin Says:

    Damn Becky, next time just ask us. We know you rock and we’re honest enough to tell you if something sucks.

    So, do we get to hear what this fabulous sign was?

  43. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:42 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I should have just asked you guys. Thank you. And yes, I’ll explain it.

  44. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:32 pm Titanium Says:

    You GO, Girl!

    I had my “Faith No More” moment a few months back… reading this, I could still see that fish flopping around.

  45. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:35 pm Kadye Says:

    If you shit your pants, we pranksters will bring you clean ones… and probably some diapers to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

  46. On May 4th, 2010 at 12:36 pm Brooke Says:

    We Pranksters will be here, ready with Depends. πŸ™‚

  47. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:43 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    That’s how I know that you’re my heeeerrroooo.

  48. On May 4th, 2010 at 12:58 pm eringirl Says:

    A rose from St. Therese that your prayers have been heard? That or those things bloomed with little jewels on the inside.

  49. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:46 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    A little bit of both.

  50. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:09 pm Wicked Shawn Says:

    Gah! Why the hell are you supposed to always wear underwear? Who made this rule and can they be usurped?? Oh, and congrats on the lifting of the foggy stuff. πŸ˜‰

  51. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:15 pm Dr. Dre Says:

    Word. So I think what Aunt Beck is trying to tell us with the Yellow Rose is that she’s finally ditching cold winters and moving down here with us in Texas! Because, yo, everyone knows the Texas border is lined with multi-colored disco lights and bright orange rope lights. I kid. I am sure it’s that basketball sneaker patent she’s been working on for years – so Nike finally called huh? Great news!

  52. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:34 pm Betty M Says:

    Sparkly disco shoes too I hope!

  53. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:39 pm bashtree Says:

    I could use a little bejeweling, to be honest. Also: pretty flowers!! And also again: Every time I pass by an orchid, I think about buying one, because they are so pretty, and then I think about you, and that makes me smile, and then I put the orchid back on the shelf, because I suck at plants.

  54. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:51 pm pattypunker Says:

    you would think we’d know if we could do something really well, but sometimes others see us more clearly than we see ourselves. and we pranksters have known all along that you kill it in the writing department.

  55. On May 4th, 2010 at 2:52 pm soccermom Says:

    The suspence is killing me , what happened?

    I am much like you, never falter on a decision I have made. Seems like a good way of life . No?

    So is good luck in order?

  56. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:53 pm Ashley, the Accidental Olympian Says:

    Hey, it’s nothing an adult diaper wont fix.

  57. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:54 pm Maria Says:

    This is like, the second time this week I was going to suggest Depends to you. I think you really ARE 130 years old Aunt B.

    You are a pretty balls-to-the-wall writer. Wait, I think you left your balls on the wall.

  58. On May 4th, 2010 at 1:58 pm mumma boo Says:

    You were picked to guest star on Glee next year, weren’t you? I knew it. Congrats, Becks. No one deserves to be tripping along the disco path as much as you do. *smooches*

  59. On May 4th, 2010 at 3:28 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    Well, whatever this news is, I say CONGRATULATIONS!

  60. On May 4th, 2010 at 3:37 pm amber Says:

    Hey, shit happens. Just make sure to bring along an extra pair of pants.

  61. On May 4th, 2010 at 3:00 pm carrie meadows Says:

    Professional landscaping?
    Those roses are, like, perfection.

  62. On May 4th, 2010 at 4:38 pm marymac Says:

    Ballz to the wallz, y’allz.
    (Sorry. Got carried away with the z’s…)
    You are an amazing writer. Dude, I have been a pro writer for 16 years and *I* don’t have an agent yet so I am JEALOUS of you- but in a good, makeout-photos-at-BlogHer way and all. You ROCK!
    Rock on.

  63. On May 4th, 2010 at 5:08 pm kalakly Says:

    Oh! (Claps hands togehter and squeezes them tightly), did the book deal come thru?!!!!

  64. On May 4th, 2010 at 6:12 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    Are you sure your “sign” wasn’t just indigestion?

  65. On May 4th, 2010 at 5:53 pm Coco Says:

    Oh! Are you published?

    Spill it, lover. Inquring minds want to covet your success!

  66. On May 4th, 2010 at 6:10 pm cathyjoy Says:

    mkay…i know you are on the right path cause the itty-bitty part of your book you were kind enough to put in my mailbox rox sox!!! totally full of the Awesome…

  67. On May 4th, 2010 at 7:32 pm CatPS Says:

    A sign? I want a sign! When you’re done with yours, could you send those sign-vibes my way? I totally feel like a fish flopping around… and I don’t even know who Mike Patton is.

  68. On May 4th, 2010 at 8:08 pm Jennifer B Says:

    Well of COURSE you’re supposed to be a writer. You’re fucking full of the Awesome! I cannot go one day without reading you. I can’t get on Facebook at school but I CAN get my Aunt Becky!!!!!! Thank god. I’m glad you found a sign or sparkle or whatever and have not changed your mind. I am eagerly awaiting your book missy. So my advice would be to set Mimi on those publishers and let her kick some asses into gear and get this thing on the shelves. πŸ™‚

  69. On May 4th, 2010 at 8:35 pm Dawn Says:

    And if you do? (shit your pants) Just look like you know what you’re doing.

    I, apparently, look just the opposite. Even when I know EXACTLY what I am doing and HOW TO DO IT, I have people trying to “help” me. I could point at a clear blue sky and say, “See? That there sky is BLUE.” and people around me would look to someone else for confirmation. If you fell off your bike and cut your knee badly and blood was streaming down your leg and I said, “Oh no! Look, she’s bleeding!” someone else would walk up, dap your cut with a tissue and announce as if it hadn’t already been said, “Oh no! She’s bleeding!”

    It’s quite annoying, really. When they made me, they forgot to add the p-p-p-p-poker face gene.

    And also, glad you got a sign!

  70. On May 4th, 2010 at 8:40 pm Mommy on the Spot Says:

    Well???? What was it?! Please tell me you have a book deal!

  71. On May 4th, 2010 at 9:47 pm Springs Says:

    Glad you got the cosmic go-ahead. Live those moments. I’ll be waiting to read whatever you put out there. Forgive me if I refrain from the orgasmic “yes” scenario; it’s late and I have a headache.

  72. On May 4th, 2010 at 9:51 pm Springs Says:

    So glad you got the cosmic go-head. Love it when that happens. I’m waiting to read whatever you put out here. Forgive me if I skip the orgasmic “yes” scenario – it’s late and I have a headache.

  73. On May 4th, 2010 at 9:56 pm Lynette Says:

    FWIW, I have two friends who are professional, published authors. Their opinion can be summarized in “if you’re not shitting your pants because of something, you’re possibly not doing it right.” So, you know, it’s not something to freak out too much over. πŸ˜‰

  74. On May 4th, 2010 at 11:09 pm katrina Says:

    hey Awesome Aunt Becky!! the thing is, you can try to doubt it, or deny it, doesn’t matter….. because you (already) are a (talented, kickass) WRITER. doesn’t matter if you want to be or not….you ARE…the universe knows it, we know it….. and you know it,… then forget,…. then the universe kicks you in the ass and throws a sign your way……could be roses could be shittin your pants. I’m happy you got yours because i’m getting seriously addicted to you.

  75. On May 5th, 2010 at 6:16 am Dorothy Says:

    I am not a bewejewler. Or a bedazzler. But I am proud to be a Merry Prankster. Or your niece. Whichever. When are you coming to Texas with the crotch parasites?
    Dorothy, Merry Prankster, niece, cross-stitcher

  76. On May 5th, 2010 at 7:09 am Wombat Central Says:

    Follow that bedazzled brick road, girl! We’re all behind you.

    I remember when the “Epic” vid was released–they had an article about how an animal rights group made sure that little fish only flopped around for so many minutes. πŸ™‚ Also love “Falling to Pieces.”

  77. On May 5th, 2010 at 8:13 am Mary Says:

    I don’t know what your sign was and how did yellow roses come into it? But I’m glad that you got your sign. I hope that your path is so brightly lit with twinkly colored lights and flashing disco balls that it can be seen from space. You also need some cool music so you can dance down your path. Or roller-skate.

  78. On May 5th, 2010 at 8:43 am adhocmom Says:

    That’s a nice sign. Mine is usually Caterpillars. Creepy, but nevertheless effective.

  79. On May 5th, 2010 at 9:43 am Jenny Keller Says:

    I am very rarely certain of anything. It must be so exciting to know exactly what you need to do and do it! I am really, really glad your sign came! You are very talented. Write on my sista!

    Oh and by the way – Faith No More freaking RAWKS!

  80. On May 5th, 2010 at 11:25 am Tweets that mention On signs and paths: -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aunt Becky. Aunt Becky said: On signs and paths: […]

  81. On May 8th, 2010 at 12:16 pm Krissa Says:

    Wow, that is SO cool!
    I am honestly, VERY happy for you! I think the fact that you got a sign when you needed it is near miraculous.
    First of all I’d like to know what your sign was and second of all, could you find out what I’m supposed to make for dinner tonight? πŸ˜‰
    Just kidding, of course. I can’t wait to see what all you write!

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