Friday, May 1, 2009

Flashback Friday!

Can you remember what was going on in the world exactly one year ago? Well on April 30, 2008…
  • The remaining finalists on the 7th season of American Idol were: David Cook, David Archuleta, Syesha Mercado, Jason Castro and Brooke White

  • The US was in the middle of the Democratic presidential primary election with a close race between Senator Barak Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton. John McCain had already clinched the Republican nomination

  • The top songs on the Billboard Hot 100 was “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne and “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis

  • The price of oil was around $120/bbl and gasoline was averaging $3.24/gallon at the pump

  • Trey and I had just returned from our trip to Las Vegas
More importantly, on April 30, 2008, I officially launched my personal blog, The SUIRESPHERE. It is hard to believe that I have been a “blogger” for 12 whole months! Before that I was just an annoying person who sent really long, opinionated, impassioned emails to all my friends and asked them to send me comments back. If you have not been following me from the beginning, it might be fun to go back and read some of the archives.

When I first started blogging, I was very motivated about pursuing my dream of becoming a writer. Last summer, I even took an online beginner’s creative writing course at UNT (University of North Texas). Out of fear of sharing my thoughts with people in person, (and facing the horror of rejection) I enrolled in the online course where I could remain faceless and even post my writing under a fake name. When I started the class, I was intimidated but arrogant, highly self-critical but hoping I could impress the other students, eager to learn but secretly hoping the instructor would say that I was a fabulous writer - without putting in alot of hard work or effort. I'm sure this is how all the other students felt.

The best lesson I learned from the course was giving myself permission to say, “I am a writer.” I can call myself a writer simply because I choose to write every day. I enjoy it. It is part of my personality. I express myself best when my pen hits the paper; my thoughts become clearer and my emotions pour out. By blogging and sharing my thoughts with friends and family, I feel like I have found my voice.

Initially, I had imagined a future that could include writing a novel, freelancing for magazines, or publishing a collection of short stories. However, throughout the last year I have learned that my validation as a writer does not need to come in the form of a book or a byline. I am simply enjoying the process, the idea that I will have all of these memories saved to share with Sophia (and eventually Baby T). I still think of a future where I can spend more time writing, but at this point in my life it is not a priority or a goal. For now I have my career, my family, children to raise, and memories to put on paper…

You can probably tell that my motivation to write began to fade as the number of posts on my blog dropped off towards the end of the year (Seriously, I only posted 1 or 2 times a month in November, December, and January). This was mainly due to lack of free time and work issues. I was fighting the side effects of my pregnancy (mainly nausea and fatigue) while keeping up with the “busy time of year” at work and still being a good mom and wife at home. I am sure the same thing will happen towards the end of 2009 – with my free time being spent taking care of our new baby boy and working overtime at the office.

But I will still continue to write. In my personal journal, in my journal to Sophia, in letters to Trey, and when I find the time… on my blog. I am also thinking about taking another creative writing class this summer. I will still probably take an online course because I will be at home with Baby T on maternity leave. But this time, I just might get brave enough to use my own name in the class.

So what were you doing one year ago? Have you tackled any big fears in the past year? I would love to hear how the last year has changed you…

*A picture of Sophia one year ago. Maybe we have another aspiring writer in the family.

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