Before I started my year of firsts, I was stuck.
From the outside, my life at age 53 looked fine. I had a good job. I had plenty of accomplishments as a journalist. My marriage of 25 plus years was stable. Physically, there was nothing wrong. And yet in 2009 everything was wrong. I felt lost, angry and frustrated.
The economy was tanking. My job as an investigative reporter at NBC 10 News in Philadelphia was changing. Friends I loved were moving. Long time co-workers were leaving. Reporting resources were shrinking. Budgets were being cut. I resented the new technology and social media I was being asked to embrace at work. “I don’t text!” I would snarl. “Facebook is for morons.”
I stubbornly tried to do things the way I’d always done them, but I felt like I was beating my head against a wall. It was exhausting. For the first time in my life I felt old and out of touch.
Worst of all, I didn’t like this version of myself. I had survived having my entire large intestine removed when I was 33. I had survived breast cancer at 35. I survived kidney cancer at age 45. I should have been dancing every day like Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain just to be breathing, right? But I wasn’t.
Perhaps it was because I had survived all of that that I was even more distressed. Days, weeks and months were going by and I wasn’t appreciating and enjoying them. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I also knew being stressed and unhappy for that long wasn’t good for my head or my health. And I didn’t have time to move to Italy to go find myself, or meditate on my navel in Bali. Still, something had to give: I had to figure out how to get unstuck.
My smart tech-savvy 23-year old daughter was worried about me. She hadn’t really seen me like this before. She pushed me.
“Maybe you need a new creative outlet,” Alexa suggested.
“Maybe.” I said. READ MORE