why I’m doing this

Ira Glass on creative work

I’m here, writing nearly every day, for these simple reasons:

  • because I must write
  • to discipline myself to write daily (or almost daily)
  • to prove to myself that I can commit (where previous efforts toward that end have failed)
  • to not suck
I’ve always written, just not as regularly or creatively as I’d like. And I think Ira’s quote sums it up pretty well.
p.s. You can find the original poster here:  http://forr.st/~9OF

v words

I’ve been called a lot of things, but I especially like the v words I’ve been called:  vixen, vibrant, vivacious, verbose…very! (There may be some less appealing, but I can’t remember them.)

As a writer, I love finding patterns and rhythms and playing with words and sounds. The v words are interesting to me, because I associate each of the above with a certain memory, experience and individual (one of whom I called “varlet”). And because I love the v sound.

a brief update on my career

I find that I have accomplished generally less with my time off than I had anticipated. It’s been nearly three months since I suited up daily and went to my big corporate job, and I have not checked everything off the list yet. While I have enjoyed the diversions I’ve found online, yoga and near-daily meditation, I find it somewhat alarming that I haven’t moved a few of these projects further forward, especially in light of the fact that I must go back to work. Starting May 10.

Even with all the interviews and applications I had in process in March, I never heard back on some of those opportunities. As far as I know, no final decision have been made. Meanwhile, I got a random call from a recruiter who found my resume online and wanted to submit it for a contract role. I shrugged and agreed, thinking it was a long shot. But just two days later, I got a call asking me to interview. I went in, talked passionately about strategy, innovation and change, flailed my arms and gesticulated wildly. Three days after that, I was offered the job.

What I find exciting about this opportunity is that the hiring leader said, “I have people to do the work. I need someone to help me innovate and elevate the strategy.”

Nice. Right up my alley. I also like that I’ll make quite a bit more than in my old job, and that it’s initially a four-month stint (although it may be extended or turn in to a permanent position). That allows me to company-date, the same way I’m meeting and talking to new men. So I can keep looking for the perfect fit.

It’s also lit a little fire under my butt — I’ve got ten days to crank through a boatload of productivity and poise myself to move some new ideas and projects forward outside of the workday. No more procrastinating!

And, then, once I begin, I suspect there will be a bit of a work-life balance adjustment. The children will go back to an after school program, and I’ll have to be ready to leave each day by the time they get on their bus. I’m still targeting three to five entries per week here.

reconnecting with Chi-guy, part 2

About 9 months ago…

I was back in the office at my big, corporate job, where each and every day was rife with irony, inconsistency and hilarious examples of English gone awry. Knowing Chi-guy was well-educated and literary (as well as baffled to find me in a buttoned-up corporate environment), I found regular inspiration for messages to him — e.g. “New word heard in meeting today:  ‘choiceful.’ Used as synonym for discriminating or discerning, as in ‘we need to be more choiceful about…'” and another day, “talking Kathy Griffin here — new word ‘vajazzle.'”

Chi-guy played along:  “You’ve got to be choiceful about who you let vajazzle you.”

Meanwhile, I thought about how excited I’d been to learn that he was single and what Suzanne had said. Chi-guy and I, it seemed, had nursed a mutual crush for more than seven years. We were miraculously single at the same time. He looked better than ever. And I was going to be traveling to Chicago three more times in the autumn, a short six weeks away.

We bantered via text and email for a few weeks. One day I texted, “Listening to Bob Schneider & thought of u:  ‘It’s not the end of everything, it’s just the end of everything you know.'”

Him:  “Wait, is that supposed to make me feel better?”

Me:  “I take great comfort in the possibility that what I don’t know might be better than what I do know. Besides, maybe it’s the part about the single girl thinking of u that makes u feel better?”

Him:  “Oh, yeah, that does make me feel better.”

I had a few Chicago contacts and offered to connect him for an informational interview, so we set up a time to talk on the phone. He thanked me for the regular messages and told me they were a bright spot in his day. It seemed we joked and laughed from the moment I picked up the phone to the time I hung up 30 minutes later. Whatever was between us was adding an unexpected and pleasant dimension to my work and single-parenting routine.

That’s when it came to me:  I could try to be for Chi-guy what Max had been to me — I would help him move on, remind him of his positive qualities and, though six weeks was an aggressive timeline, I made it my mission to help him get his mojo back. I wasn’t yet sure whether I would sleep with him, but I opened myself to the possibility of a romp. Neither of us were in a position to consider any sort of a relationship, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy each other in the moment.

I shared my plans with Suzanne. “You’re so altruistic!,” she mocked, rolling her eyes and laughing with me. “Sounds like fun!”

Chi-guy had seemed pretty devastated about the demise of his marriage when I’d met him for coffee. But I was determined to do what I could to resurrect his confidence, swagger and smile…and I would enjoy every minute of it!

My next text to Chi-guy:  “U r so smart & funny; I could talk to you 4ever!”

More

positive progress

It’s been almost a week since I “left the building.” Having found my former work environment somewhat stressful, I’ve noticed and actually started writing down some of the changes.

Since I quit my job, I’ve begun:

  • sleeping through the night (without waking at 4am with racing thoughts)
  • having more frequent bowel movements
  • desiring healthier foods (and not craving unhealthy foods)
  • drinking green tea (rather than lattes)
  • feeling more energetic

People around me have been asking if I’ve lost weight (does 3 lbs. count?), or done something different with my hair or fallen in love — apparently the twinkle is back in my eyes. And my chiropractor found me much easier to adjust than previously.

So even though I know it was crazy, and there’s still a part of me that feels tremendous fear about not knowing what’s next, I feel confident that I made the right choice for me!

flirting in 160 characters or less

About 17 months ago…

If you’ve been following and reading about my attraction to Max, you’ve read that we’ve shared some powerful words via text. And so began our flirtation, in 160 characters or less.

Who knew this genre could be so complicated? I soon learned to edit my thoughts into a single, 160-character message, as well as how many ways I could possibly communicate in this abbreviated form:

  • start an exchange,
  • keep the conversation going,
  • end a conversation,
  • have the last word (and realized this was not entirely desirable)
  • and more.

We texted almost daily. Nothing inappropriate, just flirtatious. It became such a lifeline for me that I began checking my phone in the middle of the night to see if Max had texted me. After all, we were in different time zones and he often texted after I had gone to sleep. It was nice to wake and get a sweet message like, “I have a hard time believing that the man in your home doesn’t appreciate you” or “How did it take this long for us to find each other?”

There was never a time when I took any of these things to mean more than the sweet thoughts that they were. A flirtation blossomed.

Were we crossing the lines of what was appropriate, given that Max was married? I suppose a few times we did. But one of us always brought the conversation back into the realm of what was safe and appropriate.

dedicated to my ex

I’m in a crabby funk of a mood today. And so I’m going to share a poem I wrote for my ex:

you are lying next to me
near, yet far away
I lie here sleepless, thinking
that even your snoring
is shallow.

 

I long dreamt of becoming a writer. Even while I studied Communications and Business in college, I audited creative writing and poetry courses to feed my passion.

You could call me a late bloomer. I wrote short stories in my twenties, struggling with characters I felt were incomplete and immature. It took me until after I had my second child to grow up in many ways. That’s when I began to find my voice, so to speak…er, write.

It’s also when my ex began to come across my writing (on his laptop) and criticize it. So this is the last poem I’ve written, probably four or five years ago now. But I have a feeling I may soon be churning out a whole lot more!

what a woman wants

I’m loving some of the things Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has to say in this article on Huffington Post Divorce.

The thesis of his article is that a woman wants to be chosen and that, only by asking her to marry him, can a man truly demonstrate to a woman that he is choosing her. He makes a pretty good argument.

And yet women also want to feel loved. We get love from all kinds of sources, but we want to feel loved romantically by our mates. Often this feeling fades.

So how does love fade? Gary Chapman would argue that there are five love languages and that, after the infatuation wears off, we don’t feel loved if our partner is speaking a different language. I read Chapman’s book on a single flight and immediately thought it was the simplest, smartest relationship advice I’d ever read. Unfortunately, it was already too late for me.

My ex didn’t speak my love language. I could occasionally see that he was trying to demonstrate his love, but he fumbled around doing things that simply didn’t matter to me. When I shared what I wanted, he either ignored my requests or told me that my wishes were foolish or materialistic. In other words, he wasn’t willing to learn my love language.

So I’ll close with a note to my second husband (who I’m not even dating — and not sure I’ve even met — yet):

Choose me. And then choose me over and over again by learning my love language. Share your love language with me, so I can love you back. After all, like choose, love is a verb.

writing about divorce

I’ve been planning this blog for some time and, ultimately, determined to launch in the autumn of 2010. I bought myself a new laptop for my birthday, began the research and, just as I was setting up my site, Huffington Post Divorce launched — an entire section of the website devoted to the topic of failed marriages, edited by none other than Nora Ephron.

Almost immediately, there was a lot of content:  some interesting and insightful, some pedestrian and amateur, some expert relationship advice, some personal experience, some research, some celebrity gossip. In any case, seems everyone is getting divorced — or at least writing about it. I believe it will be a wonderful resource for many, and I’ve found more than a few articles that have resonated with me.

I wonder if it will make everything I’m writing about moot, redundant or done before. Yet I plan to continue writing about my experience anyway. While the fact of my failed marriage is central to why I’m writing, I don’t think it’s ultimately what this blog is about.