Although I used to post to this blog far more often than recent history would portend, even in my most prolific days two posts in a 24-hour period was a rarity. I hesitate, however, to give the last piece the same status as most - it took all of ten minutes to research, compose and post. Indeed, it was the last gasp of a theme I have decided to leave behind for now - I have no further use for it. Cyberspace is a very big place and in it there is room for all to dwell.
Life at the 25 Year Plan World Headquarters is quiet. It was a disturbing silence, but of late it has become a welcome calm in between storms past and those that are sure to come. I get up, go to work, write, read, keep up a household and always one eye on my now adult kids. And though it is true that even these mild-mannered pursuits can and do throw me curves regularly, compared to not so very long ago, for now, it is gratifyingly mundane. Change is coming, both by design and by happenstance and I am ready to take the opportunities that come my way.
So what does all this have to do with you? Nothing, really. But if you are at all like me, much of the wisdom formed by your experience was shaped at least in part by the experience of others. I am relentless in seeking those perspectives… especially when the experiences are similar to my own. I know that at least some of you get that; you have as much as told me so in my comments and sometimes via email. Others will see this as self-aggrandizing validation and you, too, are correct in your assessment. It is that as well. I have come through not unique, but unusually severe circumstances. It was no small feat to claw my way up to where I am and it was not without a whole bunch of help from a lot of people who believed in me even when I didn’t. But I did the work.
So, there it is. My life today resembles one of a typical middleclass single parent with three young adult children. If not for my personal history, it is the same as countless others and their lives today. But we are internally defined by our experiences. Although my life might resemble many, right here, right now, we are all unique because our experience is. My story, therefore, has meaning. Not only to me, but also, I have discovered, to many others. It is always humbling when I am told that I have in some small way touched someone else with my words.
I write for many reasons, likely more than I’ll ever realize. Ego is part of it, but there is so much more. If it were ego alone, I would never have continued, for at the beginning, those who read my stuff could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Often there was no feedback at all - no good, no bad and no ugly. Yet I continued to write; I was driven. I don’t know why and anymore, I don’t care. Writing has, in a very real way, saved my life from an aimless pursuit of something… anything.
I interviewed a kindergarten/first grade teacher yesterday for a feature I’m writing. During our conversation, she shared a quote from her mentor several years before.
“We all have gifts, we just don’t all unwrap them at the same time.”
And then, for an instant and once again, it all became crystal clear.