The Possible Dream

Newsweek, October 24, 1977 cover with Jasper Johns featured

I am a writer.

In 1977, I read the Newsweek cover story shown above. In it, Jasper Johns talked about the moment he stopped wanting to be an artist, deciding he was an artist. I’m there.

I see things many people miss. I have something to say. I have a unique voice.

While I’ve known those things for a long while, I was intimidated by the marketing of my writing. I half-heartedly submitted a piece now and then with no success. I’m over that. I’m treating the marketing as a business, with a schedule, with a plan.

Rejection won’t trigger descent into a spiral of self-doubt and self-loathing.

So how did this change come about?

I’m now able to acknowledge and live with the shame my lack of employment caused. Before we split up, my wife repeatedly said if I lost weight and got a job I’d be happy and regain my sense of self-worth.

As it turns out, few people want to hire a fat man struggling to find his self-esteem.

Go figure.

I’m over that shame. I’ve found compassion for myself. I recognize choice my ex-wife and I made together.

I’m also over shame that I have this extraordinary opportunity without worrying about putting food on the table. My goal is to eventually put food on the table.

Most importantly, writing makes me happy. Writing nourishes my soul. I love writing this blog. I love writing comedy. Poetry. Short stories. Scripts. And that’s what I’m going to do.

I sincerely believe my happiness is fundamental to rebuilding my relationships with my daughters.

I recognize  deciding I’m a writer could be construed as my “midlife crisis.” My red convertible. I can live with that.

I recently contemplated changing the name of the blog. Scrubbing any mention of “midlife crisis” or “midlife.” My motivation is when I told someone the blog’s title.

The reaction: a lifted eyebrow and the question, “How old are you?”

“57.”

With a tone of sarcasm or skepticism. Or both. “I guess that could be considered midlife these days.”

I quickly did the math and realized “midlife” may not be entirely accurate.

In addition, the phrase “midlife crisis” is too pejorative for my tastes. I’m on a road to mindfulness. My journey helps me better understand me and the world around me – the polar opposite of a crisis.

On the other hand,  “midlife” has become a euphemism for a point of reflection and possibly a change of course. And for me, that’s exactly where I am.

Now I just need to get published.

I’ll share my challenges and successes along the way. And I’ll keep sharing on the blog.

Thank you to everyone who follows this blog. Thank you to those who make the effort to comment, here or through email, private message, wherever. It has been all of you who have given me the courage to take this step.

Stay in touch. Connect.

Jon

PS A scene from Woody Allen’s  Deconstructing Harry on writing, religion, and relationships

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