What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

What I look like when I write. What, you don't?

What I look like when I write. What, you don’t?

 

This post is for Finish the Sentence Friday…

I blog because… I am done taking “no” for an answer.

I am at the point in my life when I am done hearing, “You can’t, you’ll fail, it’s too late, you’re too old to start something new”.

I’ll back up. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write humor. Let’s not look too deeply into the need for this kind of validation. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. (No, wait, don’t! I wasn’t finished.) And then I discovered Erma Bombeck, and read every book she ever published. Her writing was a revelation to me. I realized for the first time that you could be a funny AND a mom, and somehow I knew I wanted to be a part of that tribe.

I faithfully read Dave Barry and every other humor columnist that came along in our local paper. And I started to write. I figured yearbook and the school newspaper were a great jumping off point to a fantastic career in journalism, which would of course lead to my own syndicated humor column! It’s just that simple, folks, right? (Um, no. But my former naiveté makes me giggle.)

So I chose a college based on its great journalism school. And then came the college “advisor” who “advised” me not to pursue entrance into the journalism program. “Don’t even try. You won’t make it,” were his exact words. Way to spit on someone’s dreams, Professor.  (And by the way your vest and goatee were stupid and made you look like that Burl Ives-voiced snowman in Rudolph. Except in my memory you have devil horns.)  Yes, I walked away from writing. Because of one guy’s opinion, I went belly-up faster than a church festival goldfish.

Fast forward through all of the post-college corporate years. I was now at home with my kids, and because I wanted to contribute financially, I took a part time job as a freelance writer. And suddenly remembered how much I loved to write humor. I sucked at “housekeeping”, was flying by the seat of my Target yoga pants as a parent, and was a failure in the PTO. What better way to document my complete ineptitude?

I started to consider my options. It turns out there was a whole community of funny people, being funny online!  But I met another freelance writer at a party and when told her I was thinking of starting a blog, she looked horrified and said, “Oh no! Don’t do THAT!”As if I had casually mentioned that I was thinking smuggling a vial of live Ebola virus back from Africa in my carry-on. While drunk and on roller skates.

Seriously? Another “no”?

Negative Nelly aside, I started to figure out a way to blog that I was comfortable with, that wouldn’t be hurtful or embarrassing to my kids and husband, and would also protect their privacy. And the day my son went off to kindergarten I published my first post.

So I blog because… I finally know what I want to be when I grow up.

I blog because… I love to write.

I blog because… even awkward situations make for good stories. And I’m the Queen of Awkward. Ask me about the time I got trapped in the balcony at a funeral. Yeah. It happened.

I blog because… I love to make people laugh. (With me, not at me. Thought I’d clarify  that).

I blog because… I love reaching other people with my writing. The best, the absolute best, is when I get a comment that someone thinks my writing is funny.

I blog because…along the way I have found a community of people who are funny, supportive, and incredibly talented. Most are parents as well, so they can identify with what I’m going through. And it’s okay that none of us are perfect.

The negative people are still out there. But I’m not listening any more. I’m having way too much fun.

Comments

  1. I think your writing is funny!! 🙂 So there’s some absolute best for you. My fave line of this post might’ve been this one: “I went belly-up faster than a church festival goldfish”. Love.

  2. Hello!! Your story is eerily similar to mine. I did yearbook in high school and joined the newspaper in (community) college. Took journalism classes, had the newspaper advisor for my advisor, and what advice does he give me…don’t do journalism, there’s no money there, you could try PR but “real” writers will look down on you for not being a pure writer, so good luck with that. Why do advisors feel like they have to poo on people’s dreams? So what if you think there’s no money in journalism (what you’re really saying is you don’t think I can make money with my writing). It makes me happy. I’ve only recently found my way back to writing and I’m so glad I found you. I’ll thumb my nose at the negative people with you!

    • What a horrible advisor! Thank goodness you finally found your way back to writing. Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) wrote her first book at age 45 in the front seat of her mini-van while her kids were at sports practice. It’s never too late to do what you love.

  3. That was awful that you were told not to pursue your dream when you were younger, but so very glad that you are doing it now. And your reasons for blogging are awesome. Thank you so very much for linking up with us this week and hope you will join us again next week. Have a wonderful weekend!! 🙂

  4. I knew there was a reason I have killed myself doing my kids’ school yearbook for the past two year!!! 🙂 I love that you have overcome the nay-sayers and are doing what you love! I have just recently found your blog, but I look forward to reading more!

    • Thanks Lisa, and I’m glad you liked it. Love that you are doing the kids’ yearbook! I’m wrapping up a school PR stint myself. (Pats self on back, turns out lights upon exiting.)

  5. So glad to read that you’re not listening to the negative people out there anymore. It sucks that you were discouraged in younger days – but cheers to powering through and blogging. You’re hilarious and an excellent writer. I’m glad you blog.

    • Thank you so much! That means a lot, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Love the phrase “powering through”, by the way. You nailed it.

  6. I enjoyed reading this Post. good reasons( for blogging)… loved the characterization/description of your college professor person (here at the Doctrine, we were immediately all, ‘oh man, what a frickin roger’). But the thing about this blogging thing is that there are so many people that enjoy writing and are helpful and such.
    I would have been the last person to raise their hand when the class is asked, ‘so who would like to grow up to be a writer?* But, though I have no plans to do this thing for money, I prefer it to pretty much all other diversionary activity.

    …so what happened with the funeral and the balcony?

    *writer in this context is meant to mean… ‘no, you can’t talk into the computer, you have to type your words’.

    • Yes, I agree that the blogging world is a supportive community (mostly). That certainly helps. And as far as the funeral story, it’s too long to put into the comments section. It will have to be a post in itself. But suffice it to say it was hilarious in that painfully awkward way that is my specialty.

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