My Year Writing

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

Category: Happiness

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!

Grateful 71

BIC pens. Yes, that’s it.  That is what I’m grateful for.  I’ve spend a lot of money on other pens that are heavier, they make my hand tired, etc.  Then I discovered the other day that I really just like BIC Round Stic black pens.  They last a long time, they are lite and they are cheap.  I bought 60 BIC pens for the price of one of my normal pens.

I’ve started doing a lot of my writing in notebooks, at least my journal and first drafts of things, so a good pen is important.

Thank you BIC pens!


Grateful 70

Oh my dear friends, what an unbelievable few days it has been.  I haven’t written because I’ve almost been so grateful that I couldn’t write.  Last Wednesday I had a dear friend whose son had a horrible accident.  He burnt twenty five percent of his body, he’s two.  It’s a tiny body.  The community has all been devastated, not only is this family well loved, but I’ve been friends with them for over twenty years.

On Saturday I started with a goal of making 10k for the family to help them with their business losses, medical expenses, travel expenses, etc.  At this moment, it’s Tuesday morning at 8:51am the campaign I started is at $5, 520.  That’s just over half of the goal in less than three days.  It’s amazing.

Today I am grateful for community.  I’m also grateful for this website.  Without it I would not have had the courage to do the right thing and start this campaign.  I feel myself, my life, changing before me because I am voicing what I am grateful for everyday.  It’s been an amazing lesson.


Grateful 69

I feel like this is a special one, I mean it is my 69th grateful/happy, right?  It’s so hard to see the number 69 and not make a dirty joke.  Even though I had something else planned for this post I feel like it should just be about the number.  It makes us all laugh and that is a good thing, right?  I have a friend who every time my phone gets to 69% battery power I take a screen shot and send it to her.  I’m not sure how this started, I’m sure it wasn’t me, or was it?  I’ll have to ask.  It’s a running gag we have though.  Weird.

Ok, let’s get serious here.  What I’m really thankful for is sunsets and conversations with friends.  I was at work yesterday and one of my friends texted me and asked me go outside and watch the sunset with her.  It’s been a long week.  I needed to chat.  We ended up spending the whole evening talking about everything that is going on in our lives.  I don’t know about you, maybe it’s because of the moon, but this week has been weird.  There seems to be a lot of tragedy, change in the air.  Maybe I’m sensitive to it because I’m weeks away from turning 40.  I’m beginning to realize how I have to take care of myself.  How I can stand on my own two feet.  I’m talking deep, serious stuff.  That’s what this week has been about.

It all leads back to that moment, when the sun is going down, a friend sitting on the picnic table across from me and I’m pouring my heart out to her.  That’s what I’m grateful for today.


Grateful #68

Shrimp.  I’m grateful for shrimp.  They are one of my favorite kinds of food.  They are small, tiny but they are tasty.  I remember when I was a kid the only thing that I would order when we went out to eat was fried shrimp.  There is nothing like a fried shrimp basket!  I don’t eat friend shrimp anymore, now I’ll eat them in a salad, have a drink cocktail etc.  Yesterday I was catering a party and my sous chef made shrimp skewers with andouille sausage.  He marinated them in lime juice, honey and red pepper flakes, I grilled them and they were a huge hit.  Most people don’t know what shrimp really look like.  They have a body and a tail.  What we are eating is the tail.

For a few weeks, years ago, I worked with my brother in Alaska on his fishing boat, he fished for spot prawns.  What we would do is put bait in a pot, put the pot in the water and then come back to it the next day, or later.  The hope was that it would be full of shrimp, although some times an octopus would get in there and eat everything, so you’d pull a pot up with just a octopus in it.  When we did pull shrimp up my job was to stand there and pull the heads off of the shrimp for hours of a time.  It was one of the stranger things I’ve ever had to do but at the end of the night we would fry the shrimp up after coming directly out of the water.  That was some of the best tasting shrimp I’ve had in my entire life.

I’ve probably told you too much but today I’m grateful for shrimp!


Grateful #67

I’m grateful for comedy.  For the longest time I’ve been fumbling between whether or not I want to do comedy full time, and I still haven’t decided.  But I do know that I love to write jokes and I write funny jokes, and deliver them pretty well too.

I often worry that I’m not passionate about anything, when the truth is that I’m passionate about many things.  I wrote a joke recently that really offended someone.  They took it completely the wrong way, I took the joke down, etc. The more and more I think about it thought I want to defend the joke.  I can’t put it here, sorry.  But it made me realize that I am passionate about my comedy.

So, today, I’m grateful for comedy!


Grateful #66

I’m grateful for my journal.  It grounds me.  It is always there for me.  I can write whatever I want in it.  If I’ve had a horrible day then I can just let it rip and tell my journal.  Yesterday was horrible.  I can’t get into it on here but I had some painful personal stuff, a sick dog and a lot of work drama.  While I did journal, briefly.  I did not write my grateful post and I should have forced myself to do it.  That’s the whole point of this exercise, right?  To think about what you are grateful for so you can get through those hard times.

This is how I journal.  I get myself a cup of black coconut tea, light my candle, the one I’m using now is a Yankee Candle called ‘Midsummer’s Night’, I put 15 minutes on my timer on my phone and I write.  I use a moleskine notebook, they are my favorite.  I used to write on the computer but I feel like it doesn’t have the same therapeutic feel that a notebook has.  Actually, I’ve started writing a more long form piece and I’m doing it in a journal as well.  I want to slow down with my writing, pay attention to the words and get rid of the distractions of the internet.  How do you write?


Grateful #65

Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and theatre.   That is what I’m grateful for today.  If you’ve read my two previous posts then you are not shocked.  I saw Hedwig and The Angry Inch yesterday afternoon in NYC.  It was one of the most perfect days.  I met a friend for lunch, we went to our favorite cookie store, Schmackary’s, she did the lottery for If/Then and saw that show.  We hung around that theatre for a little bit and caught a quick glimpse of Idina Menzel going into the theatre for the show.  Then I said goodbye and went to see Hedwig.  After the show I got on a train, and made it home in time to do the 100th show at a club where I occasionally do stand up.

Hedwig and The Angry Inch is part stand up routine, heart wrenching monologue and rock show.  You never know what the diva is going to do, she spit on two patrons that showed up late to the theatre.  She was inspiring.  I feel energized, renewed, it was the best birthday gift that I could have given to myself.


Grateful #64

Can I pick multiple things to be grateful for?  I’m grateful today for Twitter, because of the information that it brings me.  I was on my phone yesterday and I got a twitter notification from my favorite food writer, Ruth Reichl, she mentioned that she was doing a book signing at a store twenty minutes from me at 7pm.  So I called some friends, who I knew liked her as well, and we decided to go.  We ate at an outdoor restaurant that is attached to a butcher shop, the food was wonderful, which is great because the service there was awful last time we went.   And then went right across the street for the book signing.  It was great!

So, I’m grateful for giving a restaurant I had given up on a second chance, the opportunity to meet an author whom I admire and to twitter for bringing her to me!

Now it’s time for a shower and off to NYC to see Hedwig!  Life is awesome!



Grateful #63

Today I’m grateful for Broadway.  Broadway has helped me through life about as much as anything.  I’ve learned a lot of lessons from seeing Broadway shows and gotten much strength from them.  Their stories are moving, they are fun, they are positive.  This year I’ve fallen in love with Broadway again.  I’ve traveled into New York City, about 3 hours from me, at least once a month for the past year or so.  I’ve seen Kinky Boots, Big Fish, Pippin, Matilda, Mothers and Sons, and If/Then.  I’m going in tomorrow to see Hedwig, it was the one thing that I’ve wanted to see all year but I could not find tickets.  I just kept searching and search and finally found one on Thursday.  My persistence paid off!

Broadway is magical for many reasons but mainly because it’s like watching a stage full of people see their dream fulfilled.  There is something about the mystic of being a Broadway actor.  Going to see shows always rejuvenates me creatively.  I find myself writing more, reading more, chasing more dreams.

And that’s what we should be doing all the time, chasing more dreams, right?


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