I've been a journalist all my life. Since the moment I learned how to write, I've been infatuated with vocabulary and penmanship.
When my mom took us to the Disney store as children, I was the girl who picked out the Mickey Mouse notebook and matching pencil, instead of toys.
Now, I've traded in the cartoon characters for hardback paisley prints or leather bound depending on the occasion. The older I get, the more nostalgic I become about writing. Often times, I fill my journals with letters (hence the theme of Among Sisters), but other times the lines sit blank for months on end. For some reason, I felt my words weren't worthy of those crisp white pages. Maybe, because I've realized just how powerful writing is.
See -- putting things on paper makes it REAL. Intelligence is conferred and branded on paper degrees. Divorces are made final through sheets of documentation. And, parent-less children are gifted forever homes by contracts of adoption.
Writing changes things.
Several years ago, I'd found myself in The Sunken Place . You know -- the place between college and the after-life where everyone is staring at you with that intense and judgmental glare of "don't fail us now!"
At that point in life, I was writing nonstop. It was my attempt to quiet the nagging thoughts in my head, so I could sleep at night.
I had one thing figured out: I was going to be a journalist.... a professional one. I didn't know how, but I thought enough of my career goal that I wrote down the top 5 cities I wanted to work in. I remember telling myself that this list needed to be modest -- a list of realistic and attainable markets/cities for a first-time broadcaster. Plus, the cities had to be close to home. No Chicago or Los Angeles because I didn't want to further depress myself when the goal wasn't met.
1. Charleston, SC
2. Augusta, GA
3. Savannah, GA
4. Fort Meyers, FL
5. Memphis, TN
I regretted writing that list the moment I produced it. "What if I never get to work in any of these cities??", "Whoever sees this list will know I failed!"
So, I ripped it out of my journal, folded it into 4 parts and hid it so well that I forgot it existed.
About three years later, my phone vibrated. It was a text message from my mother. She had found The List, taken a picture of it and sent it to me with the caption: "Did you know you wrote this?"
I opened that text while sitting at my desk..... working for ABC News.... in Charleston, South Carolina.
Sis -- your visions deserve to be written down. So, don't be afraid to PUT them on paper....TUCK them away...GUARD them with your heart and WATCH your dreams become your reality.
Love you sis,