Sunday, April 30, 2006

Once upon a time.... a lifetime far, far away, someone saw me and "saved me from myself." The song lyrics below are very special to me. It's as if they could have been written about me. How grateful I am that someone saw me then.

Yes, I know this is cryptic and someday maybe I'll write the story about it, but for now it will remain inside of me, still tangible and bittersweet, and slowly fading into the past. Yet when I hear this song on the radio, I can't help find myself back in that place and time, remembering what it felt like to have someone who had the capacity to see who I really was. To be seen for the first time was such a profound experience. Oh, I'm seen now....there is no hiding.... no..... *not being who I really am*. Maybe it was a question of finally finding someone who not only saw who I was, but who woke me up and gave me the ability to see her as well.

bring me to life

how can you see into my eyes like open doors
leading you down into my core
where i've become so numb without a soul my spirit sleeping somewhere cold
until you find it there and lead it back home

wake me up inside
wake me up inside
call my name and save me from the dark
bid my blood to run
before i come undone
save me from this dark nothing i've become

now that i know what i'm without
you can't just leave me
breathe into me and make me real
bring me to life

wake me up inside
wake me up inside
call my name and save me from the dark
bid my blood to run
before i come undone
save me from this nothing i've become
bring me to life

frozen inside without your touch, without your love darling only you are the life among the dead

all this time i can't believe i couldn't see
kept in the dark but you were there in front of me
i've been sleeping a thousand years it seems
got to open my eyes to everything
without a thought without a voice without a soul
don't let me die here
there must be something more
bring me to life

by Evanescence
Copywrite 2003 Wind-Up Records

Friday, April 21, 2006

Title of the Book

So…today three people who I did not know, but ran into through the course of the day, wanted to know the title of the book I wrote about in my second column. How absolutely cool is it that people other then my friends and family actually read that piece?!

People that I… do…not…know…read the column! And really liked it. WOW.
The title of the book I refer to is “Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn,” by Kris Radish. For those people needing or wanting to get a new life, it’s the perfect start to being able to picture yourself in a different light.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Living Outside My Box

This is the second of my two guest appearances filling in for Brian Curry in the Long Island Advance. I'm hopeful that there will be others.

My life over the past year has been one of risk taking. It’s been a process of finding out who the woman is that’s buried deep inside of me, just screaming to get out. Well, maybe she’s not screaming, but she’s knocking very loudly for me to open the door.

Last summer I read a great book that had a significant impact on my view of life. I could not resist the temptation to break out the yellow highlighter, normally reserved for text books, and turn lines and paragraphs of that book iridescent yellow. It was a story told about a middle aged woman who one day finds herself in the position of having to get a new life. Wow, how familiar did that sound?

While sitting around reading with yellow highlighter in hand, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted to hang out with this woman. And as I read, the realization hit that I didn’t have to go looking. I was this woman, that somewhere inside of me, she already existed. I just had to figure out how to open the door and let her out. It also made me realize that I did not have to limit myself to the box I was living my life in. That there is an entire world outside of my comfort zone and I needed to go and find it.

I’m a planner, which also leads to a tendency to over think things. I’ve discovered that if you want to be a risk taker, sometimes you just have to “do,” instead of think and plan, and then think some more, to the point where you have “thought” yourself out of doing whatever it was you wanted to do. Planning is not a bad thing and I still do it, but I don’t “think” myself out of things anymore. If my intuition feels right, my new policy is to just forge ahead.

For me, the gradual method of risk taking works best. I’ve spent this past year looking for activities that are of interest to me, but yet are things that I have no experience with and have hesitated to do on my own. Taking the train to New York City alone and making my way about using the subways and buses was a huge undertaking, as was my recent field trip to City Island, which required me to drive over a very large bridge, also alone. Sure, sometimes I get turned around and a little lost in the city, but I keep managing to find my way back to Penn Station, and as it turned out, driving over the bridge was a breeze and not one of the many car dilemmas I have feared for so long came to pass.

Writing as a freelancer for this newspaper is yet another example of doing something risky. Encouraged by a friend to write for someone other than myself, when I saw the ad for a freelance reporter I applied, even though I had not one shred of experience with news reporting. So often we limit ourselves by never taking chances and risks and in no way, taking the smallest step outside of our boxes. It was a big risk to step outside my comfort zone in such a public manner, but has turned out to be great fun and has been a wonderful new experience.

So far, all these steps outside of my box seem to have worked out. I now travel to and from the city by myself without giving it a second though. My drive over the Throgs Neck bridge gave me the confidence to believe that I can now drive myself anywhere, and here I am for a second week, writing in “Brian’s box.”

The most valuable lesson that I’ve learned over the past year is that I can dream big, but without an ability to take chances and risks, that’s all they’ll ever be, dreams. It’s not easy to live outside the box, but so far it’s been well worth the effort, and it gets easier with each passing day. Many small steps later, I have left the box I use to live in. It’s so far behind me now that it’s no longer visible.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Stepping into My Space

The other night, instead of doing homework, I took a tentative step into the world of “My Space.” It wasn’t tentative for very long though. In a matter of minutes I was hooked. Just the idea that I might actually have a blog on a website that did not require me to know HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language, or language of the World Wide Web…..which I have recently learned about in my Computer Applications book, but cannot read, write, nor speak), was exciting.

I joined My Space last September when my son’s band, New Piracy, put their website on there. I joined so that I could comment to them, but then never did. The login process was easy once I remembered what my password was, or rather, tried a few of them until I hit upon the right one. And there it was…..a blank profile page, just waiting for me to fill it out. All I need is a profile form asking me questions about myself, and I seem not to be able to shut up. Actually I think I did a pretty good job of describing myself and what I wanted from my, My Space experience. (I secretly love to fill out forms and am usually very thoughtful and thorough. However, in one portion I was just a little too detailed.)

My daughter came over with the digital camera and we took pictures. Since I’m going to be a guest columnist in the Long Island Advance for two weeks, my editor thought a picture to run with the columns would be a good idea, which was the reason for the picture taking. Not one who really enjoys having my picture taken, I figured if it was OK, I might be able to use it for any number of reasons….to run with the column, to finally post on this blog and on My Space, and to use for online dating…should I ever choose to get back on that Merry-Go-Round. Apparently though, there are many people on My Space just for that reason, the Merry-Go-Round ride. And I had slipped up and clicked on “Serious Relationship,” along with “Friendship” and “Networking.” Big mistake….

I had no idea men were really going to try and be my “friend!" There was one who lives in Denver, one in Florida, and a few more, mostly from the Bible Belt. Most were “Christian, God-fearing men, looking for a good woman.”

“OMG…have they not read what I wrote,” I asked myself?

“Do I sound like some chick who wants a God fearing man to take care of her?” I think not, and besides….who wants to “fear God,” not me.

Three earrings in each ear and purple polish on my toes should speak volumes about me….and how did they miss the part about me wanting to move to Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan?

“They cannot read…that must be the answer,” I though.

Please believe that truly, I am not making fun, or being mean. I’m sure they are lovely men and hopefully they will find a “good woman” to hang out with, but that would not be me. Being a bit of a Goth woman (this would be a good place for me to insert a link back to “She Wants to be a Goth Girl….maybe one day soon), a geek and loving rock concert-going, my attraction is for the verbal, well-written, smart geeky men, or the verbal, well-written, smart rocker guys. I’m not into bowling, hunting, or fly-fishing, nor am I looking for someone to take care of me….in my opinion, that should be a mutual endeavor. Plus those of us born and raised in a Blue State do not transplant well into the Red ones…my friend Jane can attest to that.

I have now un-clicked Serious Relationship on My Space. It’s not that I don’t want to eventually have one; I just want it to be with someone who has read and actually heard what my profile has to say.

I will continue with my Computer Applications class in the hope of learning a little more about how to personalize this particular blog. I have managed to insert my picture into this profile and all it really took, was an ability to read and follow directions. Links cannot be far behind. In the mean time, feel free to check out That particular space really does rock. There are family photos, music and the start of some writing. I’ll probably post a few things on there that will also be here, but this particular space is still my favorite….and I’m confident that one day it may even look the way I see it in my head.

Writing life

Tomorrow I'll be a guest columnist for Brian Curry in the Long Island Advance. I'll be published for the first time having written something *in my own voice.* No, it's not Newsday or the New York Times, but who's a place to start.

Writing is all about just that, writing and then rewriting, and rewriting again, often times discovering that no matter how many times you’ve printed and read you still sometimes have a stray typo. Or rewriting to the point that the original idea, or piece you started out writing, has become something very different from what you expected it to be.

Life is sort of like writing. You start out going in one direction, and then at some point in time you’ve found that you’re either completely lost and have no idea where you are, or that despite the wrong turn you took three, or five or ten years ago, you’ve somehow managed to end up somewhere cool anyway. Life is like writing in the sense that there are things you can change, or do differently, in order to affect the outcome of the story. You just have to be brave enough to do them. To risk rewriting a story that is not going in a direction you intended, or expected, or wanted.

I’m not really sure how novelists do it. Do they see the whole picture in their heads and write their way to the end? Or, do they just sit down and start writing, hoping the story will end up somewhere? The nice thing about writing is if you don’t like the direction you’re taking; you can throw the piece away, or hit the delete key and start over. Life is a little more difficult to rewrite though. It takes effort and can be dramatic and heart breaking, yet often times, the rewards can be great.

I’m spending a lot of time rewriting these days, articles, essays, term papers and my life. The rewriting on paper, or in my case, on a computer is much easier than the rewriting of my life. Changing the outcome of a life story is much harder than catching those annoying typos, or eliminating a line or a paragraph that just is not working. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. It is worth taking the risks and chances that are necessary to write a great article, or essay, or book, or even a life.

No, I can’t hit the delete key, or go back and erase, nor actually would I even want to, but I can choose to take my life story in a different direction. I can keep some of the old characters and many of the story lines, add some new ones, and not continue to develop others. Sometimes writers block gets in the way, which is where trips to the gym help, as are reminders to do things like breathe. But, despite the stumbling and writer’s blocks, I am writing myself into a new life story that I could never have imagined before. Just look at where this piece of writing ended up. I have just written a guest column for Brian Curry. I’ve somehow managed to write myself here, so I guess I’ll just keep going. I’ve always just taken life as it comes and never really given any thought to the direction my story was heading. Now, I’m visualizing what I want it to look like and will write my story in that direction. Sure in life, as in writing, there will be stray typos and deleted lines and paragraphs along the way, but it’s all about the rewriting anyway.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The World Community Grid

“World Community Grid's mission is to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity. Our work is built on the belief that technological innovation combined with visionary scientific research and large-scale volunteerism can change our world for the better. Our success depends on individuals - like you - collectively contributing their unused computer time to this not-for-profit endeavor.” -World Community Grid Website

The above is a very, very cool idea. I was hesitant to participate, of course always being afraid to download anything onto my computer, especially something that will somehow, do things with my computer when I’m not looking. But, I decided what the heck….live dangerously and maybe even help humanity out while doing so. I downloaded the program a few nights ago and am now completely fascinated with this whole process. I check the points I’ve earned and I become engrossed watching the screen saver-like box travel slowly around my computer monitor. Of course I have no idea what exactly I’m looking at, but it really doesn’t matter…researchers know what it all means, so that's what counts. What I really want is to start a “group,” or join a group, but for now I can be happy to just have my single little laptop computer, hooked into this huge worldwide community grid..... helping to solve complex problems that could effect us all. It's globalization at its best.

Visit the website. Think about joining. It’s easy. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can do it.