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On writing

I’m a writer. Or, I have been.

When I went back to college to finish my degree from 2007 to 2011, after nine years of aimless jobs, I discovered my passion…

Writing.

More specifically, I found out that reporting, informing the public, and helping people tell their stories was the creative release and personal fulfillment that I had been craving throughout my life.

All my life I had a hole that I could not fill. Even when I had meaningful jobs that paid the bills and seemed to fulfill all my coworkers around me, I was never satisfied. I needed to be doing something different. I needed to feel like I was helping others, and in some of my jobs I was. Yet still, it wasn’t enough for me. It was the combination of helping others AND creating that I was missing.

The act of writing is creation and, for many, an art form. I am not the best writer out there – not by half. But the act of writing brings me a sense of accomplishment and peace that fulfills me as an individual. Writing is where I am best able to form my thoughts and express myself – much to my husband’s frustration when I text him entire paragraphs!

In recent years I have had to put writing on the back burner as I was unable to fully provide for my family on a reporter’s salary. At first, I was caught up in learning my new trade (marketing), and didn’t realize that the hole was growing again. Soon though, I was feeling empty again and for the last year in particular I have searched for other ways to fulfill that need. Freelance work for previous journalism contacts has helped some, but it hasn’t been the full answer.

And that, friends, is why I’m blogging again. I have a lot to get out on paper, and although I may be the only one who ever reads any of it, the simple act of writing, of being intentional in setting time aside for the important act of writing, matters to me.

So, I’ve already created 55 writing prompts to get the blog rolling on every topic imaginable. Between this, my freelance work, my health goals, and some art projects I have in the pipes I should be able to finish out the year on a high note. Oh, and I got married! … But that’s for the next blog!

That wake up call

So, if you’ve spent more than a day or so with me you’ve probably seen me with a camera pressed to my eye at some point. And if you’ve seen me with a camera you’ve probably heard me say something along the lines of, “No, thank you, I prefer to stay behind the camera.”

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Alright, confession time… I’ve gained more than 30 pounds over the last five years.

I’ve been carrying this weight around for some time now, and when most people look at me they see me as I am right now because they don’t know me any differently.

The problem?

That’s not how I see myself at all. In fact, somehow I still see myself as the thin, petite, fun-loving person I was for decades.

When I get dressed in the morning I do it with the image of that woman in mind.

Obviously, on some subconscious level (beyond having to buy larger clothes) a part of me realizes that I don’t look the same – hence the, “I prefer to stay behind the camera.” I even keep a copy of an old driver’s license on my desk at work from my thinner days to remind me to make good choices.

However, I haven’t committed, fully, to changing my lifestyle. I’ve been on and off the wagon. I lost 11 pounds this year, only to gain it all back within two months when a health scare threw me off track for a couple of weeks. There’s always an excuse or a reason to wait until tomorrow.

…Putting aside all the emotional baggage that might have led me to this point – I’m done with excuses. This year has cleared my mind of a lot, and this is the final step towards fully finding that woman again, of being the healthy, happy woman I see inside – the one I want my kids to look up to and emulate.

How did I come to this realization you might ask? Well, a couple of weeks ago someone got a hold of my camera, and this happened…

You can imagine my surprise when I started going through the photos I had taken at the SEMA trade show for work and came across this stranger! She resembles me, but I’m not really sure who she is? There’s no way that’s me! I only have one chin!!

I’ve written about weight loss before, but I battled privately. I have amazing role models available in this area that I’ve seen overcome their own struggles and I’ve been inspired, but nothing has sunk in quite as much as not recognizing myself in a photo…

So, here’s where it changes. I’m putting it out there. I’m basically mortified to talk about this publicly, but what I realized is that all of you have been seeing me as I am this whole time and the only person living in denial has been me!

I need to be held accountable, and as I get serious about making healthy eating choices, correcting portion sizes and becoming consistent with exercise (yes, I’m doing this the old-school way!) I will be one of “those” people. I will talk about my struggles and successes and I will hope to have the same experience as my amazing role models, Missy Melin and Kari Bailey, who have changed their lives and their children’s lives for the better.

Hopefully, within the next six months to a year, we’ll be seeing this woman in the mirror again – for real!

[DEATH]

Death. It’s inevitable.

There are two schools of thought on what’s easier to deal with when it comes to handling death.

A slow death gives you time to prepare, emotionally and logistically. While a fast death means no preparation, but also no agonizing beforehand.

When it comes to the death of a loved one this is difficult because you want to spend as much time with that person as possible but you don’t want them to linger in pain. Still, it’s nice to know you had time to say your goodbyes and make sure all the words were said.

But that’s people.

There’s another kind of death. Heart death.

And when it comes to heart death, a fast death is the ticket. Dragging your heart back out everyday to die that death again is torture. Make it fast, numb. Make it where the heart has no choice but to move on from whatever killed it. Because a heart death can only happen so many times before it just stops for good.

(Today’s blog comes from Lindsay’s DARK SIDE. Lindsay’s DARK SIDE does not come out to play very often, so those of you who enjoy the DARK SIDE should enjoy this while it lasts.)

[GUS]

I have a dog, and he’s the best man I’ve ever had in my life.

His name is Gus.

That wasn’t his first name. When Gus wandered into our yard in May 2011 he had every name – from Dingo, Brown Dog and Ralph to Facebook Dog and SamCarZee.

Gus was neutered and trained, beyond lovable – desperate for it, previous owners MIA… He was ours.

Gus is loyal, supportive in my career – even moving to Maryland, forced to live indoors (he’s more an outdoor fellow). Gus never talks down to me. He is supportive, sensitive to my moods and ALWAYS happy to see me.

Gus asks for little and gives everything. He loves my girls as his own. They are. He endures ridiculous baby talk and girly accessories.

Gus defends, yet trusts me to tell him who’s okay even when I’m probably wrong. Gus loves me just the way I am. Mistakes, shortcomings and all.

[LOSING]

I hate when I lose sight of who I am, of what I stand for. I hate realizing that in some ways I was much smarter when I was younger than I am now.

It’s learning, some say. These are lessons and experiences and mistakes that make you into a stronger person, they say.

But instead it just feels like losing.

I was already a strong person. And somehow I lost that. I was completely clear and able to make decisions in black and white. Now so much seems gray.

Maybe that is learning… or maybe it’s losing. Losing your character. Losing your identity, looking in the mirror…

Who is that?

[SICK]

I don’t like being sick. Being sick sucks.

Being sick is such a waste of time. I don’t have time to be sick.

If you get a day off work it should be to do something fun, like harassing my children, or to get things accomplished, like finishing my novel. Not to feel like you’re dying while life piles up around you.

Yes, I realize that being sick is more than likely just a message from the universe that I need to take better care of myself. Well, I have a message for the universe too: Ain’t nobody got time for that!!

Tirade complete.

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