Don’t Quiet the Internet

On this day of the Internet blackout in protest of SOPA/PIPA, I considered not posting. I considered staying offline all day. I considered staying quiet. I am quiet by nature, a classic introvert. I’ve tried rallying against it, tried being an extrovert for others, but that’s not who I am. I accept that I’m quiet – no, I embrace it! But everyone has a voice and this blog is mine. I do not want to silence it. So, while I’m not participating in today’s blackout, I fully support it… …in my own quiet way. Are you an introvert or extrovert? This post was inspired by Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (Amazon Affiliate link). In her book, author Susan Cain explores how introverts can be powerful in a world where being an extrovert is highly valued. Join From Left to Write as we discuss this book. We'll also be chatting live with the author at 1PM Eastern on January 26. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book for free. All … [Read more...]

Why I Don’t Like the Special Needs Label

The first time someone referred to my son as special needs it struck me like a slap across the face. It wasn’t intended that way; I just don’t consider him special needs. But I guess his food allergies are special needs. I just don’t want them to be. I want him to be normal, whatever than means. Food allergies are an invisible disability, which might be why I don’t think of them as special needs. I don’t see my son's food allergies when I look at him. I see an adorable three year old who melts my heart. Of course I would see him that way; I’m his mother. But others don’t see his food allergies either. They just see a toddler. And therein lies the threat. Last fall, before my son had any awareness of his allergies, we went to a parade where participants were throwing candy into the crowd.  A well-meaning grandmother (no relation) kept handing candy to us. I didn’t have the energy to explain to her why our son couldn’t have the candy. Thankfully, at two, he wasn’t all that … [Read more...]

Finding Faith

I recently read Lost Edens - A True Story by Jaime Patterson, a book about the author’s failed marriage. There were so many poignant lines but the sentiment that resonated with me was Patterson’s struggle with her faith during this dark time in her life. She asks “Where is God in this?.” She prays for answers but feels she’s not getting a response, at least not the one she wants. And this I get because I’ve been struggling, too, and wondering where God is in all this darkness. At my darkest point, when I felt I wasn’t strong enough to carry the burdens weighing on me, I turned to a friend whose faith is solid. She encouraged me not to lose faith, that God wasn’t punishing me; He was crying with me and I wasn’t alone. So I prayed. And I bargained. And I got through. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason even if that reason isn’t always evident. I just have to remember to keep believing and I’ll find my faith. Disclaimer: As a member of the From Left to Write Book … [Read more...]

Travel Bug

I was bitten by the travel bug at a young age. I like the adventure of going somewhere new. If money were no object, my husband and I would pack up our family and travel the world. Well, at least to the more popular, more developed parts of it; we’re not that adventurous. I’ve always wanted to drive across the United States. I had the opportunity several years ago but couldn’t find a traveling companion – no one had the luxury of time that I did then. I regret not going because I don’t see that opportunity happening again anytime soon. I regret that I didn’t pursue that dream when I had a chance. I regret that I let fear hold me back. I recently started reading The Unexpected Circumnavigation about a couple who spent two years traveling the world by boat – you can see how I was intrigued by the premise. Here was a couple who combined their dreams – she wanted to travel the world, he wanted to live on a boat – and went after it. I admire their gumption. And I admire that they didn’t … [Read more...]

Being Good Enough

My mom recently told me she thought I’d lost my ambition. Her comment stung. I know she didn’t mean for it to; it was just her observation. It had me thinking, though: Was my ambition gone? I was super ambitious in high school. Geek confession: I retook Algebra 2 during summer school just to change a B to an A and preserve my perfect GPA, which was later ruined by AP Biology. Ah well. I learned my lesson and let go of some of that need for perfection in college…until I graduated and jumped head first into a New York City-based publishing career. But then life happened and I moved back to my hometown – where publishing jobs were very limited – got married and settled down, even though I hadn’t planned to stay for long. A decade later, my roots are planted pretty deep. And yet, I’ve still managed to pursue my dreams: I earned a Master’s degree in writing, I found a job in publishing, and my husband and I started a family. There are still dreams I have yet to fulfill: to travel … [Read more...]