Friday, April 26, 2013

Writing it Out

I started this blog back in 2005 as a way to connect with people. I'd moved to New York from the west coast and wanted to have some way for my family and friends to feel closer. Somehow words seemed to be the secret link among all the people I loved.
Friends had their own blogs. They would share ideas. We would debate them. I would feel fulfilled and not so lonely in a new place surrounded by millions of people who I didn't know.

And then something happened.
Slowly I started feeling more comfortable in my environment. My online forums with friends seemed to become a little more divisive. I probably became a little too pleased with my own writing in some ways - and in others completely ashamed of the way I'd formerly thought.
Eventually I started writing somewhere else.
And now I wonder whether to write at all.

People ask what I do for a living and I cringe when I tell them that I'm "also a writer." Because technically, a writer is someone who writes. And I haven't been writing so much. Not even in my diary. The closest I get to exposing my inner musings has somehow become limited to email replies and Facebook comments.
Every day I struggle to get pen to paper or words on my blank screen. And I can't help but feel like a failure. Like somehow I'm hiding from who I really am. As if I were to somehow start typing and some unlikely and unliked truth will make its dreaded appearance.

So how do I deal?

There are days I try to be brave and just start writing again. I remember that it's often the case that true bravery is rising up to who you really are. And I recall myself as someone who shares. Who opens up. Who strives to make the world a more loving, likeable place through the mere presence of connection and gratitude.
And then I sit.
I debate whether I should actually publish posts, submit queries to editors, and sometimes I even wonder whether it's worth responding to emails.
What good does this do anyone? Especially myself?

In these few moments, I'm trying to resurrect that feeling of connection and allowing myself, once again, to feel that surge of simple joy and fear - and I will allow myself to write again. Just for today.

Friday, September 07, 2012

When Everything Dumps at Once

Really what it all comes down to is the poop in the elevator.

I've been juggling a few different "job titles" for a while: Author. Journalist. Speaker. Coach. Mentor to teens. Volunteer. Wife. Landlord.
All of this constant attempt at keeping up with just one of these roles is kind of making my mind spin. Yesterday, it all came to a head when I was racing out of my early-morning volunteer shift to head back to my apartment building. I called my husband asking if anything happened while I was gone.

"Is there any way to do DNA on dog poop?"
"Ummm. Not sure, why do we need to?"
"There was a huge pile of dog crap in the elevator."
"HUGE. Like, Almost-Human-sized Huge."
"Who's dog was it?"
"Not sure."
"Did they clean it up?"
"No, I did," he said.
"Oh no! I'm so sorry!"
"And now I'm wondering if we can track down the dog's DNA. I found one website that can do it if we send in a sample."
"Honey, we have surveillance cameras. I can just look at those."
"We do? Oh good."
"Yeah, so maybe you can just throw the poop away."

Sometimes the juggling just feels like that. Just when I feel like I'm getting a handle on things, there's a big human-sized piece of crap that sends my day in a totally different direction.
Onto checking the cameras. And maybe the DNA.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Warning Signs

First, a story.
Every year when the kids get out of school and the weather starts getting warmer, I would sit in our morning news meetings as we discussed what news stories we should do about the weather.
"Send the weather guy go outside and really try to cook an egg on the asphalt."
"Let's get the cute blonde reporter to go on a boat and dive in the water."
"We can show the many ways people are getting relief: going to the movies, visiting the local water park, and show people walking around with hats, umbrellas, and little batter-operated fans."
Most of the ideas we pitch were ones we'd done already. It's hard trying to come up with the next gimmick to show that it's hot. But the stories will be told again, and again, and again. Kinda' like the water-skiing squirrel.
There's another story that unfortunately comes up every Summer, and we newsies have to tackle the challenge of telling a tragedy in a delicate manner. That story is about drowning. And it happens all too often. In fact, my sister-in-law told me that her neighbor's child recently drowned and it's affecting everyone in their world. How could it not?

Okay, so this is something I saw today and thought I'd pass along to you. This article gives the real-life warning signs of drowning. What really happens is totally different from the dramatic, arm-flailing, teen-shrieking depictions of drowning we see in the movies. Instead, a drowning person remains quiet, vertical, and could somehow go unnoticed only a few feet from you.
Check out the article and have a fun, safe Summer!