Rebekah M’s Click

Rebekah found my blog through Love-olution and sent me the following click story about finding her career path. You can follow Rebekah on her blog Another World Is Probable. In addition to working as a journalist she also wrote a book called Just A Girl From Kansas: One Woman’s Dreams Are Ant-Sized Compared To What Lay Ahead, which will be published by her company Tri-Sight Entertainment next year.

Rebekah M’s click

It would be disingenuous for me to say I’ve had a click moment. More like moments. In truth, my life is a series of clicks, some big and dramatic, some small and subtle. What follows is one of my more dramatic clicks.

As a sophomore in high school I joined the yearbook staff. I loved yearbook. I looked forward to it and didn’t even mind if I had to stay after school to finish some work. At the end of the year I was so proud of our book – the cover, the layouts, the photographs. I thought it was award-winning material. The staff went to a yearbook camp at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and I was sure we would win something.

We didn’t.

Watching all those other high schools win awards I took the determination that next year my high school would win something.

My junior year I became the editor-in-chief of the yearbook because there were no seniors to take up the post. Our theme was Evolution, something concocted by the former editor-in-chief. She laid the whole thing out for me – how we would start in black and white and eventually progress to color. How our typography would begin with a typewriter-esque font and evolve into something more modern. The whole nine yards.

The entire year I poured my blood, sweat and tears into that book. I made sure the whole thing screamed Evolution from our copy to our visuals. I took work home with me many a night to ensure we made our deadlines. Even though it was stressful I loved every minute of it. Even when I wanted to pull out my hair.

The year ended and it was again time for yearbook camp at UNC-Chapel Hill. I sat in the 400-person lecture hall with the lights dimmed and the projection screen lowered with my heart pounding. Would we win anything? Would our name flash across the screen?

Yes.

We won 12 awards that day including first place for theme copy, which I wrote. In that moment, when I saw my name flash across the screen I realized I wanted to be a journalist. Not only that I wanted to be a journalist but that I could be. That it was possible.

It is my firm belief the Universe communicates with us like that all the time. That there are a series of moments where we can give into what is being conveyed to us. Where we can say, “Yes. I believe you. I trust in divine guidance and I’m willing to take the plunge,” or not. I hope you say yes because when you do your heart will sing and the world becomes magical. I hope you say yes because as Paulo Coehlo would say in The Alchemist you are following your personal legend. And there’s nothing more gratifying than that.

What am I doing now? I’m a professional journalist. I don’t work for the New York Times or the Washington Post but I make a living as a writer. And all because of that one moment at yearbook camp.


@WhyisDaddycryin’s Click

I have mentioned @whyisdaddycryin on this blog before.  Like so many of my cyber-friends and “click story” contributors, I stumbled into him on Twitter.  Like Nicole, he is one of those tweeters that makes the extra effort to connect with people.  He is also an incredible writer and I’ve been telling him since the first time I read his blog that he must write a novel.  You can read his blog here and in the following click story you can read how it all started!  You can also now become a fan on Facebook as well!

My “click moment?”

In high school I journaled….mostly about all the hot young ladies who I loved, yet would never give me the time of day. Mostly about how much I wanted a piano to fall from the sky and land on my father. Mostly about how I couldn’t wait to get the hell out and go to college.

In college I majored in journalism and minored in professional writing. Taking tests was like asking me to slam my head in a door for hours on end. Writing pages and pages of fiction and non-fiction was like asking me to take the hottest lady in college on a free trip to Vegas for the weekend. Well….maybe NOT so much like that, but you get my drift.

I wrote…some….in college—enough to get a taste. Enough to get a reaction from professors and other students that were somewhat warm and encouraging.

I graduated…served as an editor for a newspaper….got into marketing and public relations….started a family with the wifey—writing took a backseat. But it was always there…lurking…nagging….and categorized low amongst many other priorities.

This past summer we became friends with @momomatic . A hilarious blogger, amazing jewelry maker, and damn good friend. Our sons went to the same school and the wifey came home one day, “so one of Grayson’s friend’s mom is a blogger and on Twitter, you should check her out.”

So I looked her up, read her tweets, checked out her blog and immediately dug her humor. It’s unfiltered, unadulterated and honest humor about the stuff most people won’t talk about.

A month or so later after we’d met, started hanging out, and talking – she says, “I know you’re saying you wanna blog….you should write something as a guest blog and I’ll post it!”

Within a day I’d knocked out a post about how I’d recently learned my wife loves afternoon sex, but how unbelievably inconvenient that is for our lives with two kids. The feedback I got from that post was unbelievable. It was like being handed my first hit of crack, taking it, and knowing I was hooked.

The proverbial “click” was defining. Humbling. Exciting. Overwhelming. In August I launched www.WhyIsDaddyCrying.com and immediately started ramping up my Twitter relationships by just engaging with those following me. It’s been an experience ever since. But I can say, the relationships, the lessons learned, the support, the feedback….it’s all been an amazing whirlwind.

I can’t thank @momomatic enough for breaking down that wall I’d placed in front of my writing. Her encouragement, friendship and motivating prose have thrown me into the realm of my brain I’d always been hesitant to enter. And, I thank her dearly and promise to never pee in her rose bushes again.

I’ve enjoyed being real, being open, being honest, being true to putting my life out there. I have tons of ideas where it will all go, no clear direction and so I just continue to sway down this crazy road and digging every minute.

Nicole’s Click

The following post is written by a Twitter friend, Nicole.  Nicole really brightens up the Twittersphere and is loved my so many!  I am honored to have her write for me.  On Twitter she is @Kitterztoo and you can also visit her extremely open and honest blog here.

In high school, I wanted someone to love me.  I didn’t feel loved by my parents, and I so desperately wanted to be loved by anyone. More importantly boys, of course.  The first guy to say he loved me, had my heart.  I soon discovered that the only way to keep that first guy was to have sex with him.  I didn’t think very much of myself and it pained me to be rejected or ignored by guys.  I wound up accepting whomever would have me as a girlfriend.  I learned to tolerate and even think I deserved abuse from them.  My first three boyfriends treated me horribly either through emotional or physical abuse.  To add insult to injury, they told everyone what they were doing to me.  I felt I deserved it and kept coming back for more.

When those guys graduated, I had a year left in high school.  I was desperately seeking anyone that would love me. I chased after guys I hoped would treat me better.  Eventually, I gave up trying. I figured I wasn’t worth being loved.  I thought for sure I would just be alone forever.  I gave up.  By this time I was punishing myself for being lower than dirt by self-injuring.  I hid my emotions behind a bitch exterior.  Nothing could affect or bother me that way.  I remember one guy showing an interest in me, so I took a chance and wrote my feelings to him in a note.  What I didn’t know, is he passed that note around to all of his friends and cracked jokes about how he got a “senior” around his finger.  Luckily, he did not make it to the boyfriend stage.

Marching band season started up, and after a football game I’d performed at, I changed and went to my car to head home.  One guy happened to be out in the parking lot leaning against the hood of my car.  I recognized him immediately.  Phil was a friend of my best friend, but I had no idea why in the world he was hanging out by my car.  I was so stunned by him being there, that I don’t really remember much of what he had to say.  He did ask me out though. I was shocked.  I wasn’t pursuing him, wasn’t chasing after his affection, and I didn’t see it coming. Something in his eyes seemed different, genuine.  Hell, I think I was more confused as to why he would even remotely be interested in me.  As he shut the door to my car, my brain was swirling with thoughts.  I don’t think I quit smiling for the whole drive home.

That was the beginning of our relationship.  Phil was so kind, funny, and he even stood up to my mother. That took guts since my parents made Mommy Dearest look like the Snuggle Fabric Softener Bear.  When I started feeling like sex was the only thing that would keep him interested, I asked why he hadn’t pushed it with me.  He said that it if it happened eventually, it would be a bonus, but that wasn’t the main reason he was with me.  I also asked him, “Why me? Why are you interested in me?”  Phil saw the note that got passed around that I’d written a month earlier.  He thought, essentially, there were feelings behind the bitch exterior.  He’d found me behind my wall of protection, and liked that side of me.

Phil and I were together about a year.  He treated me with the utmost respect. I truly felt loved and cared about. He showed me I was worthy of love and kindness.  I could say anything and not be afraid.  He treated me like a lady and I loved him for that.  He had a wicked sense of humor and made me laugh a lot.  When I was in a car accident, he was there for me.  When my parents beat the hell out of me, he was there to allow me to cry on his shoulder.  I realized this is what love should be and how I should be treated.  When we finally did have sex, I felt so loved and attractive.  I never regretted that decision ever.  Phil was amazing.  He sort of was like the character, Lloyd Dobbler in the movie “Say Anything”.  He’d be the one who could say, “I can’t figure it all out tonight, sir, so I’m just gonna hang with your daughter.”

When I left for college, it sort of ended our relationship.  I won’t go into why the relationship ended because that’s not the point. That’s now how I remember him or what we had.  Phil would become the template I would measure other guys against.  I don’t think he ever knew that fact.  In college, I knew I deserved all the things he gave me.  He showed me I didn’t have to compromise when it came to being treated with respect.  He opened my eyes to the beginning of self-worth. In fact, when I met my future husband, I looked for the same qualities Phil had.  He had to be sensitive, humorous, and above all, I had to feel safe.  Even to this day, I choose friends with that same “template”.  Ironically, just when I was thinking about him a few months ago, he sent a friend invite to me on Facebook.  I thought I’d never hear from him again, but it’s strange how positive people you think about from your past have a way of finding you.  Phil was my first “click” moment, and because of that I can’t thank him enough.  He has meant more to me than he’ll ever know. So, Phil, thank you.

Truthwalker’s Click

The following post is written by the author of the second blog I started reading regularly.  I found Israel’s blog around the same time I found Kelli’s by searching “self-discovery.”  He writes about his spiritual journey from being a very devout pentecostal to a very peaceful atheist.  I have enjoyed reading about his experiences.  His blog is very eye-opening and not just on the topic of religion.  His series of posts on the health-care debate provided me with a great deal of insight on that subject.  Currently he is in the process of ending his current blog and starting a new one.  If you read his latest post you can find out how to continue reading his thoughts…

High School Sexual Culture

The trip had begun like most of our church youth group trips had, with me working on the 1970-too old, Dodge Crap-O-Van. Was it a new water pump that time or a bad alternator? I can’t remember. I do remember the crunch of gravel under my feet and the singing of the cicadas from the church parking lot’s only tree, so I know it was in August. I remember praying to God for the strength to get through the whole repair without using sinful language, but I prayed that prayer frequently working on old vans.

I can’t remember what the trip was for, either. Were we going to some Bible college? A Christian rock concert? Or was it the trip to Denver where we spent two weeks doing vacation Bible school puppet shows? It’s been so long since then, but those youth groups trips were incredibly important to me, at the time. My father’s post traumatic stress and my mother’s agoraphobia created a home where friends weren’t very welcome. We lived deep in the cornfields, where dad could shoot paper targets until the fear went away and mom could drink in the sun and trees until the strain of normal life was lifted. I came of age not at school, not hanging out with my friends, but at Bible camp, in Sunday school, and on the sticky vinyl seats of our church’s 15 passenger van.

For whatever reason we’d gone, I will never forget the trip back. We were exhausted, and all of us were fading in and out of sleep. The engine was a continuous roar, drowning out conversation and the tires droned out a hypnotic hum down the interstate. I was in the first passenger seat, in the middle between several thousand dollars of sound equipment on the left, and Darcy Trigg was on my right. I laid my head against the cold, hard fiberglass of the roadie boxes, and closed my eyes.

We hit bump and I awoke, conscious only of scratchiness across my face. I moved my hand up to the scratchiness, and confusingly found something soft, and warm. The fog of sleep clearing, I realized that in my sleep I had turned away from the hard case, and turned instead to Darcy. My eyes fluttered open, and I froze. The scratchiness was the collar of Darcy’s sweater, stretching across my face from chin to widows peak. Not only had I turned to her in my sleep, I had laid my head on her chest and slid down. One eye looked down the front of her sweater, but the other was on the inside, her ample breasts and white satin bra, cast a warm pink by the sunlight shinning through her top.

She must be asleep, I thought, and there is no way, that if she wakes up she is going to believe this is an accident. She’s going to to know what a disgusting pervert I am, and no girl will ever talk to me again…I will be “that guy.” I closed my eyes, and very carefully and very slowly moved away, sitting perfectly straight, and not opening my eyes until I was in a position to stare straight ahead. Then, and only then, did I slowly turn my head to Darcy.

Her chin was in her left head, her arm on the window sill, watching the cornfields shoot by. She’d been awake the whole time! Clearly she hadn’t pushed me off or woken me because she was mortified with embarrassment. I was so ashamed, and yet I didn’t want Darcy to think that I thought she was ugly. I wanted to say that I thought she was beautiful but at the same time I was terrible sorry for violating her. My mouth was dry and I felt shaky.

“Darcy..” I whispered loud enough for her to hear, but too quiet to carry over the road noise to any other listening ears, leaning towards her for greater privacy.

“I…I was asleep…I…didn’t…” I stammered.

She turned to me slowly, her eyes big and kind, bashful from underneath her brow, a slight smile upon her lips. She leaned toward me, closing the space between us I’d made by sitting up straight, and laid her hand on my knee.

“I didn’t mind,” she said softly. She searched my eyes, her serenity and kindness pitying my confusion and fear. Squeezing my knee, she sighed contentedly and returned to watching the landscape out the window, giving me a last over-the-shoulder smile.

I sat in total confusion. Darcy was the kindest, most gentle soul I knew at the time. Growing up in a world that divided women into nice girls and sluts, Darcy’s credentials as a nice girl were impeccable. She was quiet, demure, modest, and serious. She knew the Word, and walked the walk…and she told me that I had done nothing wrong and she enjoyed having my face down her shirt. I realized then that maybe good girls did want to be kissed, held, and touched. Maybe, just maybe, good girls might have sex drive, and maybe a girl could want me, the geeky guy with the thick glasses, because I was OK, and not because she was screwed up.

High School Poem 10-22-92

My poetry stash (or at least those that I care to share) is getting low.  This was a poem written as a result of a creative writing assignment in High School.

Blue

Blue water, cold

Freezing your body

It covers you with chills

Thousands of tiny mountains

A blanket of them across your skin

Blue sky, hot

warming you with sunshine

Rolling off your cheeks and nose

like teardrops, but you are not crying

Cooling you inside

Blue eyes, bright

Staring at you with love

Feeling care from those eyes

Satisfaction in knowing

something is there

Blue

a color

a feeling

an object

a dream

Blue…..

Seventeen…

I wrote this poem 9-25-92.  I was 17 years old.

You see what you think

You believe you know what I live for

Maybe you do know

But I can’t admit that

You turn things around and question

You don’t let me learn

Instead you try and teach

That I am wrong

You walk with your head up

Believing I walk with mine down

I believe I walk seeing straight

Believing I can live on my own

Do you want to start a revolution

Are you trying to change me

Well the harder you push

The faster I run

I see what you live

I don’t consider it bliss

I would say you’re as down as me

So where are you to judge

We’re falling a part

Everything that made us

Because you look at me in dark

You don’t know how to trust

You can’t hold onto it any tighter

That can’t make me you

You show an image

That I never want to be

High School Fun

So my friend Kasey mentioned my very favorite place in her blog the other day.  It’s a park called Freedom Park in Charlotte.  I love that place and have such good memories of it.  One night in high school my friends and I went there in the middle of the night (sorry mom and dad).  It was such a great experience that I wrote a poem about it in my 12th grade creative writing class.  Here is that poem:

It was dark

We made it light

We were tired

Yet we were all awake

It was closed

We opened it

We ran and we danced

We could do anything

We stared at the water

And lost ourselves in reflections

We let go of all restraints

And our bodies were free

Then daylight broke

It was over, but real