Monthly Archives: July 2014
When a glass is empty, it is just that, lacking that which makes it full. In much the same way, society defines itself in the “half full or half empty” comparison, one of the oldest analogies in the world meant to serve our optimistic or pessimistic outlooks on life, living, decisions, goals, dreams. But when the glass is empty, so long as it is glass and not plastic, we forget that light can still filter in and cause a momentary shine, a flash of sunlight that catches the eye when we are not paying attention, so bright that we are distracted and given solace, especially on a dark day. The empty glass is no longer empty but radiant in that flash of sunlight, and from that flash comes a sense of being full.
My glass is full again, refueled by my own flash of sunlight, in this case the love, respect, and admiration of my niece. I was beginning to feel my glass was broken, beyond repair, cracked and leaking out the most important parts of who and what I am. In an all male household, where emotions and soul and spirituality are not discussed, I am unable to ask anyone in my house to help fix it, and I’m not the kind of person who would ask for that assistance anyway. I am more likely to let the energy, love, laughter, happiness, goodness, positivity, etc drain almost all the way to the bottom and then refill it myself.
This time, without asking for assistance, my niece filled it with just a few words…”You should become a writer,” a goal that has long been a dream of mine. We were just looking at books together, trolling around downtown Portsmouth NH, poking along taking pictures and horsing around. Rounding a corner we found the bookstore I had been searching for and voila’ there it was!! Yay for small victories! Before stepping inside, I took her picture…young, beautiful, classic American young woman full of hopes and dreams and goals, untarnished, innocent. She takes my breath away…and then came those words. How can I say no?
At just that moment, a voice inside me became fiercely determined to not let her down, regardless of what it would cost me on all levels. With a decent writing background and fairly strong grammar skills I have a general base to pull from. I use my blog and have friends and family to bounce ideas off. I’m looking into getting back to school and majoring in writing, finish off an English degree, and maybe even search out some business courses. My spirit and mind are on fire with all the ideas I have bouncing around in my head, and I haven’t felt this type of energy in a very long time. All I want is to spend my days locked away creating story lines, outlines, and researching topics. I want the solitude of a library with just the company of my computer and the smell of books.
My glass is full I say again from the words of my soon to be 16 year old niece. She has always been Auntie’s girl, but never until just recently did I realize just how strongly her voice resonates within my soul. She has a strong, independent, and sometimes scary fierce fire within her; she is the kind of young woman I wish I had had the courage to be. Her faith in me and who I am terrifies me as she sees a golden image of who I am, sees my weaknesses and flaws, sees right through me, and encourages me to dare to dream and to write, to still “become” and move forward. In her eyes I see who I could be, where I can still go, which dreams I can still achieve. I’m left breathless, without words, and grateful for this lesson.
For a while now, I’ve been trying to find a voice, courage, inner strength, and a direction that will go the distance. I’ve spent years and months and weeks trying to be brave enough to admit to myself some deep dark secrets that somehow I have always known. One of those secrets is that above all else in this world, I love to write and to take pictures. Regardless of how sensible I was raised, how making dream type decisions has never been an option for me, it is with a glad heart and a light happy spirit that I have decided to return to school part time for now to study writing. While I would love to become the next great American author, I will settle for a program directed at gathering a focus and direction for my writing with the long range goal of being who I want and doing what I want.
The decision has been made to take a formal stand for my future, to complete the college education I began, and to continue a career and path I started down long ago. I’m not anywhere near where I need to be as a writer to turn a hobby into a career. I’m well aware of my own strengths and weaknesses as a writer and more importantly as a person…I understand how the interweaving of all that self awareness can make or break the decision I have made for myself. I worry but I am confident that I can do this, much the same way my fear of public writing in college lead me to front page and feature articles.
Ideally I would love to see myself as a column writer, long term combining my prolific columns into a novel of some sort…all that jazz like Carrie Bradshaw of Sex & the City or the Dear Sugar columns. And if not, then maybe a guest writer for a beach side magazine or newspaper or whatever. Regardless of the outcome, the decision has been made and my personal gauntlet has been thrown down at my own feet.
A friend of mine told me that one of my strongest qualities is that I never give up, that I still set goals for myself, and that I continue to dream and create new adventures for myself. That tribute alone to my character and determination and mindset seem a good base to begin from!
You’ve heard it before, the beloved aphorism from the ever-intriguing Confucius;
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I’ve also heard it attributed to Albert Einstein, but the internet tells me that Confucius coined it, so we’ll go with that. Regardless, you’ve probably seen it in the form of a meme, pinned a thousand times on Pinterest, shared on Facebook, tweeted on twitter, etc…
^stuff like this^
I understand why the quote is so popular. There is something inspiring, something hopeful about it. It is just poetic enough to sound reasonable, just vague enough to withstand any serious scrutiny.
The only problem, of course, is that it is almost entirely false.
If the phrase was not so oft-quoted, if I did not think it influenced people’s decisions, I wouldn’t be writing this post. But from where I stand, this…
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Anyone who has stayed somewhat on top of my blog knows that this year’s focus has been on moving forward, moving on, moving up. I’ve hit my first big wall…and man, it is far easier said than done. I have to write it out, so please know this is just me making noise and giving voice and trying to figure this out. First, my camera amazingly grew legs and walked out of my apartment. To some that is no big deal, its just a camera and no one was injured or ill or terminal, but my camera took my heart when it left. It’s like stealing that lens took my own personal focus with it…I just wonder Why someone would do this to me after I’ve shown nothing but kindness to people who come and go from my house. I am/was/will be devastated about this for a bit. A camera can be replaced, I understand…but I cannot recapture images that have passed me by in its absence and that for me is worse.
Then, having committed to a scooter which my husband had to have, the engine blew. Still breathing, knew I could get it to a shop and have it fixed. It’s rolling into week two as he is NOT mechanically inclined in the slightest. In the meantime, my car has been THE primary transport, and visited the shop itself one of the days I was off last week. Really??? Enough already!
The final highlight…a tooth near the front cracked and broke off. As I am still new at my job, I don’t have the insurance to cover the dental work, and don’t have an emergency stash set aside to take care of it. Granted, it will happen just not quick enough for my liking…and I miss my imperfect smile. Now I just look constipated when I smile…sorry, its the best comparison I can give. You know what I’m talking about…
And that has been my two weeks in a nutshell. In the meantime, I want nothing more than to get my mini business off the ground which may allow me to make some extra money, make some new connections, help change other people’s lives, and get my world back in some semblance of balance. I’m indebted to so many people and look forward to using this extra money to return some of those favors…what a joy it would be to walk in with surprise money and hand it over with a hug, a smile, and a thank you. (Did I mention the broken tooth NOT being good for business).
I find myself, since literally the camera’s disappearance, questioning my self worth…wondering what I have to offer…then the double breakdown vehicle event followed by the broken tooth. I can overcome all this separately but all at once I admit is very difficult. So there it is…just saying it out loud feels like 1000 pounds off my shoulders. And I am alone in this…my husband is not partners in resolution only results, unless the results don’t focus on him in which case, the Alone scenario is the prime scenario. Feeling frustrated, sorry to vent, know this is simply a test of character and another obstacle to overcome. Easier said than done…not giving up…bogged in the mud…fighting like hell!!!