Who am I and Why am I Here?

Back in elementary school, I wrote my first two “books.” The assignment for a young author’s day was to complete an illustrated book. I could not choose between topics, so I wrote two. One book was about a girl with telekinesis and the other was about a flying horse. Now, some 30-plus years later, I still do not have a flying horse, super powers or any published books, so I figured; I may as well start chasing my dreams and begin writing.

I am not sure how I could spell telekinesis back then or how I even heard of it, but it (and flying horses) inspired me to begin to write and dream. Through writing, I was free and alive.

As the years passed, I continued to write short stories, journals and poems, but writing was never a full-time affair. It was always pushed the side for things like homework, cheerleading practice, boys and social events.

I completed my journalism degree, but it was on the extended 10-year plan due to a full-time retail job, a hard marriage and wonderful kids. Therefore, yet again, writing took a back seat to life with bills, children and responsibilities.

The only time writing took any kind of lead, was in my decision to join the military. After completing my journalism degree, I could not afford to take an entry-level job. In 2000, my journalism job offers were about $12,000 less than my retail management position. Taking that big of pay cut just to do what I wanted, would have been selfish and irresponsible. Consequently, I signed the dotted line. The way I saw it, joining the Army Reserve was one way for me to actually do any form of journalism and still pay the bills.

Nearly 14 years later, I am still a Soldier, a mom, and happily NOT working in retail nor in an unhappy marriage. Everything in life seems to be pulling me back to where I should have been long ago. I am finding the me that I lost in my 20s when I was trying to hold on to everything that was wrong for me. I suppose stubborn naive youth made me keep clinging to stuff that was slowly killing me (miserable jobs, despondent marriage, unhealthy habits, limited ‘me’ time).

Now older and wiser, I realize that life is short. I need to hurry up and do the things I want to do before I run out of time. I must stop making excuses to live because in doing so I am not really living anyway. I have to release the thoughts in my head as they never cease in bombarding my waking moments. I want to express the passion I feel and yet still crave to find. I should at least attempt the items on that unwritten bucket list so I have no regrets. I am obliged to show my kids that life will not wait for your situation to be perfect.

So ready or not, here I am, on a blog. Blogging is my path to find that little author inside of me. By writing more often, I hope to find my stories, and myself. Frankly, my topics on here will vary. I will write about whatever is on my mind. It may be a story from my past, a make-believe adventure in my head, or vent about a pet peeve. Along the way, I may entertain people or bore them into a blissful nap, but either way, I will not continue to be afraid to start nor make excuses on why I cannot. I will take each day to chase those dreams, and ultimately, find my life.

*This was my first assignment for Blogging 101. It seemed to be a bit harder to write on an assigned topic, but yet, made me realize why I chose the name for my blog in the first place. There’s irony for you.

Words are Dangerous

As I look at the world today, I realize that words are important – very important. Words can make you famous, save someone’s life, or even, get you killed.

Today’s news states that James Foley, a reporter, was murdered. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/19/james-wright-foley-beheaded-isis-video) I am not sure if I met Mr.Foley while dealing with media on deployments, but I had some friends who did. They are in shock. The world is in shock.

Though I have been deployed three times now, I still do not understand the hate in the world. I’ve seen it in the eyes of people I have walked by. I have heard it in the whistle of rockets coming onto our base. And yet, I don’t understand it. I refuse to understand it as it has neither humanity nor logic.

Many of the journalists I have met over the years have had more combat experience than me. Though I wear the uniform, they have seen more battle. I’ve spoken to some who have been shot at or held prisoner, and I am called the Soldier. The Soldiers are the ones fighting the wars, right? Yes, we are, but we are not alone. The world should not forget those brave few who fight with no uniforms or the protection of comrades. They fight terrorism, injustice and international problems with the simplest, and yet most dangerous tool in the world – words.

Bullets have never truly made someone change their beliefs. Rockets have not solved cultural differences. Only through words can people compromise and understand. Only through dialogue can people develop and grow. I don’t know all of Mr. Foley’s work or the level of impact his work had, or could have had, on the world. I just know he was a respected journalist who was apparently passionate about telling stories. His stories took him all over the world and put him in danger, and yet he continued to go. He must have felt that he had to tell these stories. He had to explain what he was seeing so that the world could understand. And maybe, just maybe, someone could be helped. His words were his weapons, and he was murdered for them.

Again, I don’t know Mr. Foley. Nor am I well versed in political events or the actions of terrorist regimes. But I am not here to discuss those things. I merely wanted to honor a fellow Soldier who was fighting for justice and peace in the world. I wanted to remind the world that not all heroes wear uniforms. They don’t all have rifles. They fight with their ideas, their hearts and their words. They make the world a better place to live. May you rest in peace Mr. Foley. You will not be forgotten.