Or the Empress Theodora. It's time to stop kidding myself.
I have all these great ideas. They're ambitious, lofty, and often downright ridiculous. Like me writing biographies about Leo Africanus or the Empress Theodora. Let me explain.
About five years ago, a homeschooling publishing company put out a call for well-written children's level biographies on a wide range of historical figures. They were a start-up company, and were offering to pay $500 per book. I read down the list of obscure names and thought to myself, "Surely, I could do this. Let me just find two names that probably no one else will pick." I wanted to assure myself publication by trying to eliminate as much competition as possible. Having no real knowledge of either of these two people, I clicked on over to Amazon and bought some books about them, figuring I would read up, study up, and write up a nice children's biography on each. (I know I sound clueless, just hang in there with me.) All the books came. They looked BORING AS I'LL GET OUT and I tucked them away on the shelf, thinking that I would get to them.
I never did. The call for manuscripts came and went, and there sat Leo Africanus with his turban looking too disgusted with me to even make eye contact. The Empress can't even crack a compassionate smile, woman to woman. I shelved them among my other biographies thinking they would be more at home, but still they glared at me.
They became representative of so many goals I set out to achieve with great intention, but never got around to. You know what I mean. The sewing projects half-finished. The patterns for sewing projects that you never even opened. The cookbook with 101 seaweed and tofu recipes that you're really going to switch your family over to. The $2000 worth of rubber stamps and inks that will come in so handy when you scrapbook your entire family's history, or when you start making all your own cards. The pair of jeans that you know you'll fit into by 2003. Oh, wait. That passed.
I came to hate Leo Africanus and the Empress Theodora because they represented promises to myself that I never kept. A little jab at my personal integrity every time I saw the bright pink spine. The time came to clean house, and by that I mean my internal house. It's hard enough to keep the positive affirmations flowing through my mind each day. I don't need Leo laughing at me. So folks, Leo and Theo...they're in a box on their way to the library's donation bin. As is the crazy cookbook with nothing tasty anywhere. And the half-finished or never-begun projects are out the door too. I am a woman of my word! I want things around me that validate my worth and support my mission on earth and make me feel powerful. The truth is, I am not a biographer.* And that's okay! So, who's laughing now?
*I may be willing to make an exception for you, Dad. I have been bred for that task, and I'm carefully taking notes!