A couple of weeks ago, I finished up a year-long blog project called 365to40. I documented my march (slow slog?) to 40, which included an unexpected detour through Superstorm Sandy.
Two weeks later, blog-less, I realized two things. One, I missed the creative outlet that blogging afforded me. No editors, no assignments, just me writing about whatever the heck was knocking around in my mind at the moment. It was a free therapy session, and the feedback and support I received helped me through some tough patches.
Second, I realized that I am incredibly goal-oriented. Part of the success of 365to40 (an attempt, in the end successful, to navigate my midlife crisis) was that I was candid about what I hoped to achieve. I had a history of keeping my dreams secret out of fear that 1) I would fail and then everyone would know, a sort of invisible Scarlet “F” I could carry around below my sagging, quivering chin or 2) People would think I was dreaming too big. Who was I to think I could rise beyond my humble beginnings? I’m this girl from Brooklyn whose family story reads like a Frank McCourt memoir. Isn’t what I have achieved enough?
Nope, nosirree. It’s not. I’m not the person who settles. I’m the one who dreams big dreams. Recently I’m developing the courage to pursue them and the ability to voice them.
And now that I’ve cleared 40, I’ve decided my next chapter will be (note: not should or maybe) a book with my name on the cover. Real narrative journalism, the type I read as an undergrad and young reporter that made me feel as if I were holding onto a piece of sorcery. It was so good it made me shake inside. I wanted to be that good. Could I be that good?
I don’t know that I’ll ever reach the stratospheres inhabited by my idols. But I do know that there is only one way to find out. And that involves taking a huge shot of gumption and faith, combining it with a bit of blind luck and 20 years of experiences, mixing them together and seeing what they’re going to be.
I want to write a book. I will write a book. Let’s just see how that story goes.