Career change?

It amazes me the things that can be done with a few words.  Every day I open my blog dashboard and look at my stats and I am humbled.  The girl who didn’t think anyone would care much what she said has found her home in a blog that has been visited by 33 countries in 30 days.  And all I’ve done is write!

The visits are one thing, but the followers quite another.  You honour me, my dear Readers.  You really honour me.  I am inspired by your comments, driven by your suggestions, and honoured by your attention.

Today, not surprisingly for a Monday morning, I am dreaming about this being a full-time thing.  If I could write for a living I would never work, I would only live.



Proof of Healing

For those of you who have known the Singlestream from its infancy, the purpose, the strands, and the resolution, I introduce you to the new and ready Bushy, hair and all.

I am a Versatile Blogger – The Versatile Blogger Award

 Thank you to Hank, the most Versatile Blogger I know, for nominating me for this award.  I am most honoured and was very touched by your introduction.

It is now my responsibility to pass it on, according to the Versatile Blogger Award rules, to fifteen of the most versatile blogs I follow.

Now, to be fair, I’m not even a year old as a blogger yet and the blogs that I follow are pretty diverse and interesting but there are only a few of them.  And so I have settled to nominate 9 blogs for the 9 months that I have been a blogger.

There is Hank of course who would have actually been #1 if I were permitted to nominate him again.  But sadly that is not to be.

Waterfallsandcaribous – A diverse blog in an exotic place – Korea- these bloggers came to my blog first.  The blog “chronicles the journeys of Dan and H-J as we travel around the world experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly.”  What I like about this blog is that it brings together four of my favourite things – food, laughs, travel and pictures!

Tanc Sade – This blogger is the man every woman would like to slap.  But we can’t stop laughing.  His blog is called the Dysfunctional Bachelor and he spits things out that I can only imagine most dysfunctional bachelors only think.  As much as he presses my buttons I open his blog every time there is a post to get my dose of funny cynicism.

Andy Swingle – A newcomer to my reading list, Andy has given me much to think about on heavier topics like what a college education is worth and how formulaic church-building can actually destroy a sense of community.  A deep thinker on a diverse menu of subjects, I have added Andy’s blog to my list and would recommend readers to peek in once in a while.

Happiness Is… – a BRAND NEW blogger!  In her own funny words, the aim of her blog “is to try and capture random bursts of happiness through writing, photography and media, in the hope that it results in the universal language that all mankind seems to understand. Yes, a smile. The reality is that happiness does not occur 24/7 (because if it did, you were probably intoxicated by illegal substances), but when it does, I think it’s worth sharing.”  And I agree.

Betches Love This Site – One of the first blogs I ever found and keeps me SCREAMING!  With headings like Betch of the Week (Celeb Betches), Dear Betch (Dear Abby for Pretty Girls), The Betch List (the only list that matters), and the Betch Guide to Life (How to be a Betch) this site turns me upside down every time I read it.  It gives clear instructions on how to mistreat men as well as other things.  Would love to see these girls get into it with Tanc (above).  I kinda doubt the Betches will take time away from thinking about themselves to respond to this nomination.  But a nice girl can try.

Broken Rulers – Bisi, he calls himself.  A Jesus lover with a deep understanding of pain and grace.  Something profound he said on his most recent post that I like very much is “The worse thing we can do is not love everyone the same.”  He dissects a wide variety of issues from a biblical perspective in a way that is concise, precise and thorough all at the same time.

Julia’s Place – The blog of a retired but not retiring woman.  If the Huffington Post can get a Pulitzer for re-posting, Julia is certainly a perfect nominee for the Versatile Blogger award.  She is the hostess of a Photo Challenge and of a 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups and follows a routine in her blogging that others have come to rely on.  When I was playing with the idea of writing a bit of fiction I spent some time on Julia’s blog and found it a pleasant and encouraging resource.

Midlife Awakening – This blog is a new discovery for me but I am right at home with the sounds and smells of Jamaica.  This amazing and witty lady has the very serious tag line of “Journey from Pain to the Peace Corps”.  In her search for a purposeful life she chronicles the darndest things that kids say (she works at a primary school) with jokes about her own midlife challenges (menopause) all with the humor that I hear in my head in a Jamaican accent (one of the languages of the world just made for comedy).  A real winner for me.

Heavy Cake – Once again, food and photos.  And something else I hold dear – Cayman.  Heavy Cake is about Shauna, her delicious creations, and being a mom.  The sight of the vegetables and the baked goods gives my tongue tickles in a versatile way.  Warning – do not go on to her page hungry!

Now, following the rules, I need to tell the person who nominated me seven things about myself.  Hank, are you ready for all this?

  1. Before I could talk I was singing.  I didn’t have the words but I had the tune down perfectly.  And I spoke pretty early.  My parents marvelled at this and put me on the waiting list for the best piano teacher in the country before the first word came out.
  2. I have a photographic memory.  In exams I would close my eyes and read my notes, especially if I wrote them in colour.  But there is a down side to this – when I was about four years old I saw parts of a horror movie and I couldn’t sleep for a month because the image of a person being dipped in molten gold with his face frozen in a scream didn’t leave me.  It taught me that I should be careful what I allow myself to see.  I see it still.
  3. An old boyfriend once said “I am just the boyfriend, Julius is the husband”.   I think Julius took it to his little doggy heart and has taken an automatic dislike to men who walk into our house.  And I like him that way.
  4. It is my dream to one day write for a living.
  5. I have a deathly fear of papaya.  I can’t touch a plate it’s been on or smell it.  What had happened was…  (sigh) when I was a little girl in pigtails I had a golden retriever named Alfi.  One dry season Alfi was covered with ticks.  I mean, you would part the fur on his back and not be able to find skin, he was so covered with the round, bloated, blood-suckers.  To free Alfi of ticks we would run a comb through his hair and they would pop off, then we’d step on them on the floor and hear them crunch underneath and then spray the ground with insect spray just in case the tiny ones got away.  Just the sight of papaya seeds reminds me of those ticks in Alfi’s fur.  So no papaya.  And no pumpkin either if it can be avoided.
  6. When I was 14 I had my first job.  It was pre-packing medications at the local hospital pharmacy.  It was the year the first private radio station took off on island – Z99.9 fm.  My co-worker and I would listen to North American alternative music like Red Hot Chillie Peppers, Alanis Morrisette and Matchbox 20 as we counted Ibuprophen 200mg tablets and we both came to realize there is more to music than what we had grown up on.  And more to the world.  It was there that I began to be open to the idea of leaving the island, which I eventually did four years later to go to university in England.  Mind you I’m not sure my parents would have let me choose otherwise.  But this is how it happened inside my head.
  7. I have a bedsheet that my parents got in a set as a wedding present the year before I was born that I still sleep with whenever I am sick or upset.  You can see through it when you fold it twice.  It’s name is Wrap-up.

Thank you once again for awarding me the Versatile Blogger!  Visit the Versatile Blogger site to learn more about the award.

Time Puzzle

It’s so late!  I’m usually up earlier so I can get a good hour in with my writing.  But it was worth it this time – a night in with the girls and a good movie and good food.

Time.  It’s becoming so important to me!  There never seems to be enough of it – not at work, not in my day, not in my writing, not for my dogs, my friends, my family, my garden.  And then I sleep.  And there is never enough time for that either.

You, my darling Reader, have followed me through a journey that began in a time of loss – loss of my hair, loss of my direction, loss of faith.  It has taken us through new territory and into new appreciation for old territories, into the birth of new dreams and the discarding of old desires.  Yes, You have shadowed the new pep in my step, new freedom, new friendships, new learning experiences and adventures.

Do You know the life change our relationship has wrought?  I wake up an hour earlier every day to spend time chasing my thoughts with my pen.  This hour is the most exciting most fulfilling allotment of time in my day.  I go to work and lead my team to answer the demands of our job and the needs of our clients.  I break sometimes for a ten minute salad, a quick response on twitter or Facebook via blackberry, and on days of luxury an hour of fresh air.  My personal trainer bullies the fat cells off my body for a half hour some days at two o’clock and I attempt to have a life after work.  Writing class, band practice, community service – but it all begins in that one hour in the morning where I pray and then I write.

But there is more.  There is that long-suffering, growing dream that first bubbled up as I learned my alphabet and read my first golden book.  It was ignored through the quest for good grades through high school.  It was forced into dormancy through college and law school.  It was set aside for career growth and career change and financial goals.  But when I got to the end of each of these challenges it was there waiting.  The book that is begging to be written.

It is growing.  Man oh man it is growing.  Seeded by this morning hour with You and fertilized by the night-time writing class, homework and new literary friendships.  It is a rain cloud that promises a Tropical Storm whenever the first drop falls.

And then there is no time.

I am coming up to my hundredth post in less than two weeks.  This is the deadline I have set myself to solve this time puzzle.  What will have to give?  What is going to be Chopped food-network style?  What will I be willing to sacrifice for the pursuit of my dream?

An idealist will say it should be worth every cost.  The family of Steve Jobs and others like him might very well disagree.  I have less than fourteen days to come up with my answer.  And I invite you to contribute.

Snip Snip… Again

This time it was for me.  A little trim.  A bit of pep in my step and breeze on my neck.  Not as short as the last one but a little step backward.  Or forward.  Or not at all.

Perhaps I have learned there is so much to say and that my hair grows so fast that I have given myself too little time…?

For those who have followed my blog, you know what I am about to explain to newcomers.  The Singlestream came into being with the Resolution that I will remain single until my hair falls to my shoulders again and that I will publish an entry for this blog every day of this period.  A sabbatical one might say.  A break from the rollercoaster of mate-finding to find meaning and purpose within my own space.

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”

tienne Balsan, Coco avant Chanel

It could be a sign of progress on this journey that I feel so confident and satisfied that I cut my hair and extended the period.  Perhaps I’ll get to love it here and make it my forever home.  Maybe I will find a way to face and eliminate the fears and negatives I see in singleness enough to stay here forever.  Even if I don’t, the journey has been worth it.

Today my head is light, I look good, I feel confident, and I am happy to write a little longer.

Haircut = $50

The confidence and growth it represents = PRICELESS