My Year Writing

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you." Maya Angelou

Category: Check in

No fear……

Last week something hurt me. I mean it hurt me to my inner core. It brought up old wounds, issues, to the point where I was up a lot of the night. Still fresh from the wounds I took a long walk the next day to relax. When I got home from my walk I took a shower. A long, hot, shower, the kind where you allow yourself to stand underneath the cascading water and you can feel each drop massaging your head, you feel cared for. I then got out of the shower and looked at myself in the mirror. I saw the hair, the lack of hair, my eyes, I studied myself. Then my eyes gazed to my chest and to what I call the zipper. It’s where they cut me open when I was a child, a year old, and repaired my broken heart.

On my walk I listened to a podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was about BIG MAGIC and the guest of the day was Brene Brown. I’m paraphrasing here but they said something powerful, it was along the lines of ‘The worst thing that could happen to you probably already has.’

I had a moment, staring at the zipper on my chest, which has now shrunk and is covered with hair. I realized that no matter what anyone says to me, or what I say to myself, the worst has probably already happened. So, what is there to be afraid of? There are days that I think I’ve gone through the past 40 years full of fear and I wonder what for? I mean, really? What could be worse than having two holes in your heart and having surgery when you’re a year old? What in life could be worse than that? And, you know what? I fucking made it. That is an actual tangible thing, fear is not. The heart surgery happened but the fear is just my imagination, my demons.

I tell you this because I’m going to choose to no longer live in fear. I’m going to choose to not be hurt by things that I cannot control. If the worst has already happened then it means the best is still yet to come!


The car on the opposite side of the road stopped. It was a jeep, or maybe a caravan, the hours that have passed have made the vehicle unmemorable. There was a canoe/kayak on top, it was red. A man, in his sixties, with a pony tail, started to get out of the car. “There are cars behind you.” My friend, who was driving, said. 

“I don’t care.” He whispered, stern but gentle. He kissed her. He returned to his car and drove away. I, confused by the fifteen second interaction, waited for the director to say ‘cut.’ We must be in a movie? 

“That was the most romantic thing I’ve ever seen.” I said to my friend. My friend laughed. “A guy just stopped in the middle of the fucking road, got out of his car and kissed you and then left.” I looked out the window again, still no movie cameras. 

I looked down at my phone and swiped to my OkCupid App. “My OkCupid app says that there are no matches for me, and you have a fucking guy stopping in the middle of the road to kiss you?” I repeated again, my friend laughed again. I’m good at taking my disappointment about my lack of relationships and turning into humor. It’s what I do. Of course I do know that it’s really all on me. I don’t blame my problems on other people. The truth is that I don’t have that many problems. I have a job. I can eat pretty much whenever/whatever I want, which is why I have a weight problem. I digress. 

I’m thinking about these things a few hours later as I’m pacing my friends dock, trying to get my steps in on my Fitbit. My two other friends are on the pontoon boat attached to the dock, they are making up songs but trying to sing in unison. If people saw the wackiness of a forty something year old man pacing a dock to his pedometer would reach 10k steps and two woman singing gibberish on the boat I wonder what they would think. It’s like a scene out of The Cuckoo’s Nest. 

A friend, co-worker, mentor last week told me a mantra that I’ve been repeating to myself, ‘I’m too blessed to be stressed.’ It’s a funny line but if you say it over and over again, which I have for the past week, you realize that it’s true. From the romantic moment in the car, to reaching my 10k steps, to the final boat ride of the night I realize how blessed I am. 

I’m still keeping an eye out for those movie cameras… 


Forty years old and afraid of the boogie monster……..

I feel the need to write this morning, an actual post, not just a haiku.  I haven’t written an actual post on this site in a long time.  I save it for journals, or a book I’ve convinced myself I’d write this month, or maybe an email to a friend.  Today, I feel uneasy.  I can’t explain it.  Ok, maybe I can.  Whenever there is a fly in the room with my dog she starts to shake.  She can’t control the shaking and it then throws me off.  She did it last night at 10pm while I was watching television trying to fall asleep, I had to throw her off the bed and have her sleep on the floor.  I hate it when the dog sleeps on the floor because, during the multiple bathroom trips I take in the evening, I’m afraid she is going to sneak out of my room and torture my housemate.  My housemate is fine with it. I am not.  So, I just end up sleeping with the door to my bedroom open and that frightens me.

I’m a 40 year old man who is still afraid of the boogie monster. Well, that’s a revelation.  I’ve always had a fear of being attacked, it’s irrational, I know.  Or is it?  I have a twin brother and when we were in the womb he ate most of the food, so am I responding to that? Of course he was the one that slept with the baseball bat under the bed when we were kids in case anyone tried to attack me, so I give him credit for that.  Do we really hold on to these things throughout our lives?    Is this my own form of PTSD?  Is anyone else 40 and afraid of the boogie monster?  Please tell me I’m not alone.

It’s raining, I’m tired, the dog is fine and the damn fly is probably hiding for it’s next attack, tonight.  The boogie monster didn’t get me last night but there is always tonight.

New York City inspiration…..

Two days in NYC, three broadway shows, the Museum of Modern Art, some insane cookies, it’s been a banner week.  I always find New York City inspirational.  I have since I was a small child growing up on Long Island.  I visited often when I was a child, I lived there for two or three years as an adult and now I find myself back in love with it.  I’ve lived in Berkshire County Massachusetts for the past four years and just started finding my way back last year.  I didn’t realize how easy it was to get there, and was always worried about how expensive it would be.  I spend $150 on tickets to the shows I saw and that’s it.  There are ways to do things inexpensively in NYC, you just have to do the work.  Go to the TKTS booth, find rush tickets, try lotteries, etc.

I didn’t do much writing, except journaling and the haiku’s that you’ve seen on the site but I’ve been inspired to do more.  Ideas, plot lines, romances they are all running through my veins as I type this.  I read this article, Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers, in it he says that it shouldn’t take more than three months to write a book.  So, starting tomorrow, I’m going to be working on that.  I’ll continue my haiku’s and checking in with you all but I’m going to commit.  And I’m going write, it might be crap but I’m going to do the work.  That’s what it all comes down to right?  Doing the work?

Trip always leave me inspired, and that’s how I feel right now.  I’m also tired, exhausted, want to quit my job so I can spend all my time at my computer etc., but I’ll work through those feelings.  Have a great week everyone and thanks for taking the time to read this!


I’m sitting on a big, red, fluffy chair in my friends upper west side apartment. I just felt my adult life flash in front of me. If I had stayed on the career path I was on almost twenty years ago this could be my life. And it doesn’t seem bad.

I went to see the musical If/Then last night, which is why I’m so contemplative. This is not a rabbit hole I want to go down. I realize that I would not have had the experiences I’ve had if I had stayed here. For me it’s hard to look back and not be angry at myself but I know that is not healthy. Instead I will think about the experiences I’ve had and the life I’ve been able lead. >

Stop feeling empty.

I journal every morning.  It’s the first thing I do when I get up.  Ok, the first thing I do is get a cup of black tea, go to the bathroom and then I journal.  We’re getting too personal and, frankly, I all ready feel uncomfortable with this post.  Moving on.  I’ve been listening to a podcast called ‘Industry Standard’ hosted by Barry Katz, who is an entertainment executive.  I love the entertainment industry so I find it fascinating.  I’ve listened to three episodes so far and one theme I hear him say often is that most highly creative people have had something traumatic happen to them in their younger lives and they are trying to fill that hole with their creativity.  I might not have that exactly right but that’s what I’ve gotten out of it.  This caused me to have an epiphany this morning.  I’m being dramatic because I’ve actually been thinking about this for days.

I was born with two holes in my heart.  My life was traumatic before I even got out of my mothers stomach.  What if I’ve been trying to fill the ‘holes’ left by that trauma my entire life?  Filling them with food, with money, with drinking? I wish I could add sex to that list.  Ugh.

I have been.  And I’ve been filling it with things that are detrimental to me.  This is where I change.  This is where I stop spending my money on things that I don’t need just because I think they are going to make me happy.  This is where I stop drinking because I think somehow I’ll meet someone.  This is where I stop filling my body with sugar and fat because I feel empty.  This is where I stop feeling empty.

If you are ever wondering why I have this blog, this is it.  Some times these answers are right in front of you but you have to do the work to bring them out.  This is my way of doing the work.  I’ve known for a long time that if I didn’t do something to fill the voids in my life I’d continue to go with food.  I’m not addicted to food.  I’m addicted to feeling empty.  It’s time to fill myself up!


Conflicted with perception….

I’ve been doing stand up comedy the past couple of years, just as fun.  I haven’t invested a lot of time in it.  I only do it when I want to do it.  In my humor I tell a lot of stories about things that are extremely painful to me, but I make them funny.  I’ve come to a point through journaling and working on my self esteem that I realize that maybe comedy isn’t the healthiest way for me to deal with my issues.  I don’t feel like I can focus on the positive stuff in my life if I’m always telling these stories.  Yes, they are me.  They will always be with me and I’m sure I’ll share them with you at some point but I need to let go of them.  I need to see myself as something different.  More positive.  I’m in charge of the perception of myself that I put out into the world.  Only I can change it.  It’s time to do it.

Does it count?

I’ve been off the past two days and avoiding writing.  Why?  I’m not sure.  I’ve read, done laundry, bought new bedding, used the elliptical for a staggering fifty two minutes but I haven’t written.  I’m writing now though.  Does this count?  Does all writing count?  Does the hour I spend each morning with my journal count?  Does the fact that I spent an hour writing about how I couldn’t concentrate this morning because my housemate, in her actor voice, was face timing with her family count?  I feel like I haven’t gotten much accomplished but some times that is ok.

In the end it all counts.  Writing is writing, right?  It’s one word after another, a little bit each day.  It’s a story, haiku, poem, song lyric.  It all counts.  Tomorrow will count, as much as today did.  Till then, keep writing.


Weight and writing…

It might be a secret to you all that I’m trying to lose weight.  Let me rephrase that, I’m succeeding at losing weight.  Two years ago I celebrated my birthday at a local bar.  The bar is in the basement of an ancient building, think ghosts, old decor etc.  It’s the same bar that I celebrated my twenty first birthday in many years before. I have a picture of me from that night.  I’m sitting on the counter, party hat on, cake in front of me and I’m fake smiling.  If you didn’t know me you would think I was happy.  If you knew me, and not many people except me do, you’d know I was about to hit rock bottom.  Ok, so I wasn’t poor, out on the streets, getting divorced, or strung out on drugs but emotionally I felt empty.  This is not an unfamiliar place, feeling empty.  I knew I had to do something to pull myself out.  A few weeks later I was driving home from the same bar at one am.  I’d had one drink.  As I turned the corner I got pulled over by a police officer.  I hadn’t stopped completely at a stop sign.

That was my ‘a ha’ moment.  Think Oprah.  The light came on in my brain and that was the day that I decided to stop drinking.  I’ve been successful, with a few pauses when I’m on vacation.  I started doing an eating plan called ‘The Whole 30.’  I had to use the word diet.  The first time I did it I lose 15 lbs and I’ve kept it off, losing even a little more.  I got back on it on January 25th and currently I’m down approximately 30lbs from the day I took that birthday picture.

I realize that I’m an emotional eater.  I discovered a book somewhere in this time called ‘The Writing Diet’ by Julia Cameron.  I read through the first half of the book, it talks about morning pages, keeping food journals etc and then put it down for awhile.  Honestly, the only thing that stuck with me was the morning pages, which I continue to do to this day.  The writing has been a place for me to put my emotions, instead of eating.

I write every day.  At the very least it’s just morning pages and a haiku.  The past few weeks I’ve been feeling like I should only put creative things on this blog, not rants.  I might change that.  I think it’s time to rant a little!  Hey, you might be entertained.

Why do you write?


I have a tub shower with three knobs. One for the hot, cold and to turn the shower or tub on. At the end of my shower I always turn the shower knob off first, then the hot and last the cold. I’m left with the sensation of a cold shower. Today I turned the hot off last.

It’s all about perspective. You deserve it hot!


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