When The Moment is Really A Fabricated Second.
We try so very hard to live in the moment but in today’s world the moments move so fast its near impossible to even see them before they pass by like a twitter feed.
I have a job that moves quickly, scurries about town, sends me traveling to lovely places and is in a perpetual state of “warp speed”. That said, there are sweet spots in doing what I love and those are the times I revel in. I have met so many artists, worked with some big names, and the one constant is – SO much has changed in entertainment. In hospitality. In the way that we communicate. I live in the age of digital media (even the structure of this magazine relies on it) and social media? My greatest asset. HOWEVER – we have created the land of ADHD with all of the exponential realms of instant gratification.
What do I mean? With Twitter, we have to make a profoundly important statement or say something clever or #hashtag the heck out of 140 characters or less. It is a tool some adore but personally, being confined to make a difference and have something of substance to say WHILE engaging others on the little birdie platform? Near impossible. And honestly, why is it we are so impatient we can’t write more? What you don’t realize is I sit there and actually become labored over the notion of how to “tweet”. Sure I have a ton to say but I’d much rather say, “Tonight, it was the deletable textures and colors of the tuna tataki that blew me away. The colors blended with the structure of taste components that took my palate somewhere infinitely different” when I’m confined (on #Twitter – yes the hashtag is on purpose) to say, “Tonight the tuna tataki was awesome. Great color, texture, taste”. In my opinion as a journalist, the second one doesn’t do anything to make me want to run out and taste it. In fact, it’s just another tawdry attempt to say something meaningful without actually doing so.
The rest of this piece, bear with me. It’s personal. And the journalist in me has a LOT to say. So now onto everything else: Writing, Parenting, Divorce, Work, Dreams, Ideas, Passion.
Being a WOMAN in the JOB.
I am among the women out there – and the men too – pursuing my dreams of leaving something important behind. I am a writer and like everyone I too have a story to tell. The thing is somewhere along the lines I realized there are thousands of people out there creating something remarkable without the voice or capability to be “heard” on paper. And so they speak out in food or wine or a painting or a sculpture or a song or an image or a film. They scream out loudly – shouting their truth, their hopes, their fears, their convictions and for whatever reason I hear it, see it, feel it, understand it and I am able to put that into words. I don’t pretend I know how I can or why the words pour so easily from me but they do – as sure as water fills the sea, I write.
And I created this magazine never realizing it would be the portal to tell the stories of so many. As it took a life of its own, it began to be my muse, my inspiration, my own purpose to capture the moments I felt were slipping within my grasp.
Trying to be A GOOD MOM.
I am a woman. An entrepreneur. A mother. A dreamer. A hopeful. A girl. I see the world in shades and beats and sentences and vocabulary. I see science in art and engineering in a song. Its my refuge. I see my daughter and that look of disappointment when I’ve worked all day and never really got to just “play”. And sure I do – play – I’m not absent, but that awful weight of not doing enough weighs heavily on me. And I know so many of us feel that way. Creating for a purpose but clinging to the moments where we can just … breathe.
I began this piece because I was tired. I am tired. I live my life encouraging the world to live in the present but in the process I’ve found my “present” is so rushed, so ushered through the chain of immediacy, I forgot to just stop. Tonight it hit me. I felt everything in me utterly overwhelmed and I had the joy of knowing I had finished – and completed well – a list of tasks that HAD to be done but somehow, I felt my lip began to quiver and the image of my daughter’s sad look on her face upon realizing another day had passed and she really just needed some time with me. It’s a horrible thing to do this alone. To be a single parent. Oh don’t judge me, it’s a fact and anyone who says otherwise has a house full of nannies, family, or is just lying to themselves. Single parenting is by far the most laborious job around. And not because we don’t want to do it. It’s because deep down, if we really want to be honest with ourlseves, we recognize that divorce was horrific for our kids. Even the nicest of divorces. Even when the parents are meant to be apart, the idea of something so significant being “broken”, well, it’s a burdensome load. I have been hit rather hard lately about the truths of single parenting. Divorce is not another socially acceptable “trend”. Parents doing it alone – on purpose? A social travesty, because no matter how hard you try, you are half as good as you were when there were two of you doing the job together.
I knew I needed time to really ponder this piece because the idea of living in the “NOW” is one I genuinely care about. Sure I run around and spend way too much time on my smart phone and laptop, but it’s my job and it’s what I love. And I do it so one day my daughter can read about how many people out there really are making a difference. So she can wake up with a smile on her face and the willingness to create something she is passionate about. And so I continue to do everything I do and watch as the hours, minutes, and seconds burn down but in the midst of it, I’m learning to pause. To take 15-20 minute breaks to play a game of UNO or Zingo with my kid or to go outside for a walk or pick up the phone and call my friends or my sisters. I am working on forgoing my natural tendency to “text” and am leaning towards hearing the sound of someone’s voice instead. I take a few minutes to take in a little “happy” and in that moment, I am. It doesn’t mean I’m always on it or that I remember this every day but it is becoming a more natural result and for that I am grateful.
Tonight I took my break by walking at night to the park on Third Street. I started my run and went around the loop and as my feet steadied me forward, I felt a rush of emotion take hold. At first, I figured it was stress or exhaustion but it was also an overwhelming sensation and my body telling – no, forcing – me to just survey everything around me. And as I rounded my way towards the starting point I saw a softball game with “grown-ups” happening and a bench perfectly situated across from it – vacant. So I sat down and took a drink of water and simply watched them play for a while. A ball game. Watching as strangers laugh and give a, “come on you got this … now RUN!” is so simple, so – well, something to miss if not paying attention. But tonight I did. This group and the group of soccer players just past them – their stress, their bills, their responsibilities just stop for a while. And for a couple of hours nothing outside of those moments exists. And in that space of time, nothing else existed for me either. It was lovely. And the calm came over me.
I actually stopped to observe. To live. And somehow it inspired me to feel that pull that the writer in me longs to feel – that insatiable hunger to put words to paper, stories on the computer screen; to be sure the world has story worth reading, news that is humanitarian focused, and not traditionally misogynistic journalism we’ve dared to call “real”. I even “texted” my daughter who was with her dad tonight. I texted her because I knew she’d be lying in bed ready to fall asleep but I just had to let her know how incredible she is, how much I love her, and promise her – in writing – that this coming weekend we were going to have fun. And I mean it.
Life is hard. Work is trying. Doing what you love? Sometimes more demanding than a “regular” job. Daring to go against the grain? Yowza (but totally worth it). Parenting? The toughest job around but parenting alone? Damn. The truth about it is, anything really good is worth fighting for but something extraordinary? That’s worth bleeding for. This is my life. And I welcome it’s challenges because these moments where I wonder how I’ll keep finding the motivation necessary – Well, they are beautiful. Why? Because they are the stuff the “real you” – the “real me” is made of. I am a woman. A mother. An entrepreneur. A dreamer. A hopeful. I strive to tap into the innocence within, embrace those delightful tangible moments of wonderment through the things I depict. It’s those moments when we can be genuinely and thoughtfully alive … and aware. So take a moment. A real one. Slow down the hyper drive and breathe in the NOW.
I am another face in a sea of people. The difference? I’m making sure I throw on a smile.