Reality check

Last night I stumbled on an old journal from 2003-2004 which chronicles my adventures, or lack thereof, the year before I met my husband.

I’m not sure anything could make me more grateful for my current life than reading the thoughts of 28-year-old me. Whoo boy was I confused and forlorn about life. Also apparently very constipated. Not surprising given the first two.

I was conflicted about my job, hopeless about being ‘eternally single,’ and depressed that my closest friends were moving away. What will become of me? was clearly keeping me up at nights.

When the perceived tragedy of my life was bringing me down, apparently I often found a shoulder to cry on from my dear friend – reality TV. A few of my favorite excerpts:

January 2, 2003 – I cried while watching Tough Enough on MTV tonight. Sometimes I scare myself.

September 1, 2003 – I cried tonight during the show Cupid. Hank and Lisa make such a great couple. But what I think I may really be crying about is the fact that I can’t find my own Hank.

May 26, 2004 – Fantasia won American Idol tonight. What a magical moment for those of us without lives of our own. I laughed, I cried, I did some leg lifts.


It’s always fascinating, and often cringe-inducing, to read old journals. But I learned a few things.

A) I should have invented Twitter. Each of those pointlessly riveting entries above is less than 140 characters. Damn I was ahead of my time.

B) I have been saying I want to be a writer for more than a decade. It’s nauseating to read something you said you wanted to do in 2004 and know that you still feel the same, but haven’t really made any strides to attempt it in 2012.

I’ve taken writing classes over the years – although I’m not sure I ever finished one. I’ve read several books about the craft of writing – although I’m not sure I ever finished one.

My job was always to blame for my inability to focus on writing. Now that I don’t have that excuse, what is it? My kids? My sleep deprivation? yes. yes.

Writing is such a vast and squishy category. What do I even mean when I say I want to write? A book? Magazine articles? Obituaries? Wikipedia entries?

Do I want it to be a job (laughable – who makes money as a writer?!) or a hobby? And do I really enjoy it, or do I just say that I do because I don’t know what else I want to do?

I honestly have no idea.

But I realize, hey – maybe I can use this blog as a place to figure it out. I find it hard to blog with much regularity or frequency, and have considered quitting this because I let doubts and uncertainties nag at me to the point of paralysis.

But it was good to find my journal and be reminded that I do, and always have, liked to write. So I need to focus more on the enjoyment I get from it, and less on my hang-ups about why I’m doing it, or how everyone else does it better.

And when I’m in need of some writing inspiration, I clearly need to watch more reality TV.


7 thoughts on “Reality check

  1. I don’t want to burst your angst ridden bubble, but you are a writer. It’s about time you started calling yourself one too. Everyone else does not do it better, trust me. They might advertise better or yell louder and self-promote all over the place, but you are a way better writer than you acknowledge. You have a gift. Don’t be afraid to use it!

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