When You’re a Jet, You’re a Jet All the Way

I scribbled this all down on a napkin once – with a permanent marker too!

I’ve been scribbling down these notes, or notes just like it, probably since I could scribble down notes. Sometimes I think I’m getting closer to what I want to be when I grow up, and other times, I realize I’m already there, or past there. Writer. Photographer. Mama. Did I think my photography would be on museum walls? Well, yes, I had hoped. Having it on family walls means more these days anyway. Did I think I’d be a published author? Well, yes, I had hoped. Having my name on three different co-authored books means more these days anyway. Did I think I would write for magazines and bring coffee to senior editors in NYC? Well, yes, I hadn’t really hoped, actually (at ALL). Writing my blog means more these days anyway.

I’m thin-skinned. I’m not used to heartbreak or rejection. I think more times than not I’m on fire. Moving, prowling, crawling, reaching for what I want and getting what I want. Not always. I’m either a diligent perfectionist or completely useless. There’s no in-between. There’s a difference, though, and it lies with when I’m doing what I should be doing vs. when I’m doing what I shouldn’t be doing. This week I broke all sorts of molds and records. Did I do well, though? Well.

That remains to be seen.

The contractors returned and we now have a hole in our house. I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s all progress. Even though I live in my basement office and I sometimes can’t remember the last meal I had, or full drink of water, and I’m scheduling back to back photo sessions (which is as big of a no-no to me as drinking two cups of coffee in one day), and I’m writing four blog posts a day, and I’m managing two inboxes, and other people’s content. Can you do ALL of that well, though? Well.

That remains to be seen.

Here are the notes I scribbled down once, on a napkin, and with permanent marker. It’s about writing:

When I was just about Scarlet’s age, I wanted to be a Garbage Man. True story. I’d tell it to anyone who listened! Then I gave up that dream and settled on movie star for a few years. Finally as a teenager, I had things much more figured out:

I wanted to be a Filmmaker/Marine Biologist/Pianist/Poet.

These were all floating dreams. If you nitpicked, you’d see why none of it would have worked:

1. I have no love for the art of film. I’m seriously horrible. I just like movies that have happy endings or make me gasp.

2. I failed Biology freshman year of college. I think Marine Biology might have something to do with Biology.

3. I think to be a Pianist, you need to take piano lessons. For more than two months. That’s just what I think.

4. I’ve only written a few poems in my life and I’m almost certain all of them were written under the influence.

And by “under the influence,” I mean NyQuil or Benadryl.

So when it was time for me to choose a college major, I treated it as the game I thought it was. I deferred my decision. While all of my friends had been focusing on Psychology or Business or Basket Weaving, for years, I finally declared my major the summer before senior year. Somehow I still graduated in four years. I was just that good. It was Journalism.

The magic answer. Six writing classes at once. Enough to make me nauseous. And it did.

After seven years blogging, I think it was the right answer. It wasn’t so random. I was a child who once stayed up nearly all night trying to write a letter to my fourth grade teacher because I had seen her with tears in her eyes one day. She tried to hide them and called them allergies and every other kid in my class believed her. I didn’t. It took me nearly all night to compose what I wanted to say and I said it. She appreciated it and called me at home. She called me “expressive.” I am.

I am someone who has felt like crap about myself FOR YEARS, because I couldn’t seem to figure out what to do with my life.

And maybe, somehow, I’ve been on the right rocky path for awhile. Always over the years, while I was spouting nonsense about being a movie star or poet, I was always writing. (And taking pictures but that’s a separate story) My instinct taught me how to express myself, and maybe even a bit about how to pace myself and find my voice. The schooling in Journalism taught me how to structure my writing, and to consolidate powerful thoughts into more concise stories and articles.

And then one day, seven years ago, I found blogging. And the rest is mere history. I find myself changing so much that I can cringe at the immaturity of a draft I started only a month ago. You have to do it in order to learn it. Then it grows.

I’d like this to not be the end of my story about finding my way back to writing through blogging. I’d like it to be the beginning. I don’t know where this will end up but I know I found my way here for a very strong reason. I’m a writer.

This is what I know. When you’re a writer..

..You spend nearly all night writing a blog post about writing.

..You treat greeting cards as challenges – to write something powerful in as few words as a piece of cardstock will allow.

..You don’t think feedback forms give enough room to say something that’s enough.

..When you go to the Pediatrician and have to fill out forms about your kids, you write so much that you have to turn it over and write on the back. If the back has other questions, you ask for extra paper to attach.

..You’ll find your way to write, no matter what you go through and how you get there.

..When you’re a writer, you always know why you write. It’s the same reason you breathe.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “Why I Write…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.

Why do YOU write?

How She Became Part of My Journey

This post is sponsored by True Chews® Dog Treats and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer NetworkTM. I am being compensated to help share information about the True Chews line of all-natural dog treats, but Tamara (Like) Camera only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. All statements made reflect my true opinion of the product. True Chews is not responsible for the content of this article.

My dog Athena has become an integral part of my life's journey. Find out how we got her from a rescue in AL and what we do together every day #ad #TrueChews

And the thing that often happens, is that you don’t even know what you need in your life until it’s there.

It was a frigid Friday in late March, and I was stuck home with two sick kids. It was a long and miserable virus, and we were in deep need of some morale! You know how those endless winter days can be. Cassidy had gone to work, as usual, and it was strange that I hadn’t heard from him that day. I had checked in with him on messenger but he hadn’t replied. With two sick kids at home, I was pretty surprised! Suddenly he pulled into the driveway. He made up a story of a fender bender and asked me to get my camera. I didn’t even hesitate but it wasn’t a dent in a car I was about to photograph. It was THIS:

And so, became my journey as a dog owner. And Athena, a basenji/husky rescue from Alabama, became part of my journey. Part of my daily life. Whether it’s life-altering – like regular exercise at the dog park – or mundane – like errands and appointments, she has become my right hand girl. That’s why I said I didn’t know what I needed in my life until it was there.

It was a DOG. It was my dog.

Cassidy works long hours outside the home, and both kids are now in full-time school. I have created my businesses in home, with only the dog and cat to keep me company all day long. In the fall and the winter, Athena goes wherever I go! We go on incredible errands together, and we also spend a lot of time at the local dog park and community gardens. I think this is where we have really discovered ourselves and each other, through exercise, fresh air, and meeting other dogs and their owners. (notice that I didn’t say owners and their dogs!) It’s one of the happiest places I know. It’s OUR place together.

I love that Athena goes on many of our road trip journeys too. When we look for foliage or moose in upper New England, she comes! When we go visit my parents in New Jersey, she comes. She always comes on our annual summer trips to Cape Cod.

My dog Athena has become an integral part of my life's journey. Find out how we got her from a rescue in AL and what we do together every day #ad #TrueChews

The thing is, though. My relationship with Athena is special. I like to think that we’re on our own life journeys, but we’re a big part of each other’s journey too. I don’t know where I’d be without her. One of our favorite things to do is go to the pet store and get True Chews® Dog Treats. They’re available at pet specialty stores, like PetSmart, Petco, Chewy.com, and your neighborhood pet store. Life is a journey and True Chews knows that companionship makes us happy. Dogs are family!

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I love being known as the woman with the fox-like dog always by her side!

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My dog Athena has become an integral part of my life's journey. Find out how we got her from a rescue in AL and what we do together every day #ad #TrueChews

Where do you like to go with your dog?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of True Chews. The opinions and text are all mine.