reCreating Yourself

Some days are diamonds. Some days are rocks.

Sometimes I feel like I am really in a funk, like that Mary Englebreit quote “Life is just so Daily.”

Other days as I’m cruising up and down the interstate and back roads for my job, just the right song plays at just the right moment and it’s almost like I’m the star of my own HBO series. Last night going in to meet with girlfriends for our monthly “Used To Be a Book Club, Now We Just Meet, Eat and Talk”  gathering was one of those latter moments. It was even complete with a totally rockin’ soundtrack and a Serengeti sunset which I drove into as it faded to black. 

I’d like to have a lot more of those days.

I was looking for an inspirational computer wallpaper (i.e. totally killing time on the internet when I should have been working) and came across the quote above. I used to say that to myself a lot, not quite so eloquently perhaps since I’m no George Bernard Shaw. My version was more “Every few years you have to reinvent yourself”. Still, the sentiment is the same I think.

I have not remained the same person for all of my 43ish years. Just ask my husband. I think the basic elements are always the same, but there are so many things to do and experience and try why would anyone want to stay the same forever. Okay, maybe my hair has been mostly the same for the past 15 years or so, but that was another post … (follow to Bad Hair Day post here).

Bryon says he used to have a wife that hunted with him. Yes, yes he did. Now I’d rather sleep in, be warm and toasty and then drive to Freda’s for coffee and breakfast. There are lots of things I used to do that I don’t have any desire to do anymore. There are lots of other things I’d still like to try. That’s how life is, full of possibilities.

Then there are things that you rediscover and find out that they still turn you on, after all these years. Like writing.  Sorry honey, the hunting thing is still looking doubtful BUT, you never know.

I think one of the things that turned me on about writing back in the day when I was full of lots of free time and few responsibilities was the endless possibility of it. That and the fact I got to see my name in print pretty regularly. That didn’t hurt anything at all. It was affirming. It was also a great release. I can’t tell you how many hours of bad poetry was composed in my teenage self’s room on an electric typewriter. Mercifully, none of it survived.

Sporadically through the years I’ve come back to writing in one form or another. In junior high it was bad poetry, high school brought a monthly column in the local paper, college was all about the term papers so I’m not sure that really counted. When I started teaching, I didn’t have time to write for anything other than sheer survival and that was only lesson plans.

I walked away from writing for several years. More than once I’ve espoused that I have a degree I hope to never use again: a B.S. in English Education and a minor in Journalism. Then Bryon and I ALMOST moved to Montana and when we didn’t, I decided I was going to experience all this state (and Arkansas) had to offer if I was going to be stuck here. I started hiking. A lot. I went by myself because no one wanted to go. Then, eventually other friends got interested.

I started writing trail reviews for the Outdoor section of the Newsleader each month.  I rode the entire Katy Trail with the DNR from Clinton to St. Louis on my mountain bike and wrote a full page article on that experience as well. I had a real editor and everything. They paid me money to do it so that made it all all the more legit. Of course that same editor once used the word heretofore in one of my articles. I still don’t know how to use that word. It was embarrassing.

Then I fell away from writing again. My relationship with writing has been hot and cold for sure, but like a bad boyfriend, you just can’t ever really get away from him. He has some good qualities, you could change him if you just try harder.

I hope this time around my writing does change and I can find a way to keep it in my life. It is addicting. I’ve wasted my time on much less noble or productive pursuits. I hope it finally lives up to my expectations and I can mold it into what I’ve always known it could be. Maybe it’s time to actually recreate myself into something old and make it new again. A retread. Maybe this time when I grow up, I really will be a writer.

Like the age old question asked by lollipop licking Owls everywhere … how many words does it take to earn the title of Writer?

A one, a two …


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