I want people to know my friend Carolyn is amazing at her job, but more than that, I want people to know the stuff inside her that makes her a great friend. The stuff that makes you want to stand by her at a party, in hopes that her thoughtful observations and quick wit rub might off on you. Let’s stop introducing the people we love based solely on what they do, who they cash their checks from, or what’s on their twitter profiles. Let’s instead start reminding them of who they are.
Our son Henry is eight, and he is all imagination. For most of his life, he’s been wearing costumes everywhere he goes—capes, masks, gloves, imaginary jet boots, power rings. We almost don’t notice it anymore. He loves Halloween, and a couple years ago he asked a few times if we could have decorations. We told him we’re not really decoration people. We hoped he’d forget about it.
It didn’t matter to my mom and sister whether or not I had a future as an athlete, or if I knew the difference between hopscotch and the long jump. They were there because they loved me and because as much as possible they wanted to never see the bleachers of my life empty of their support. I come from a family of celebrators and I hope to celebrate others in the many ways they’ve celebrated me.
What that person was trying to say (I think) was, “treat your spouse, and your marriage, like there are no guarantees, like relationships are fragile and like this whole thing could come to an end.” I think they were saying, “If you want your marriage to stay together, you have to acknowledge the fact that this could all fall apart.”
Here in Tennessee, an important piece of legislation is about to be passed or rejected. And it’s a hot topic. The more I speak with my fellow Tennesseans about Amendment 1, and for that matter the challenging personal and social issues surrounding abortion rights, the more I realize people who are able to see an issue from multiple angles are being forced into the woods.
Writing books is a no-feedback game. Certainly you can ask friends to review your work, but that’s dangerous. The truth is you know when it’s good and you know when it’s not and if you’re asking for opinions you’re likely not doing your best work.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself saying horrible things about people that perhaps I disagree with, or believe things opposite of me, or maybe have slip-ups in character. They are comments that if repeated in their presence would ruin all credibility I ever built as a “loving” human. We know the feeling of our heart on one shoulder saying: don’t do it, remember what you said about her last week and how you felt when you saw her? And our mouth on the other saying: Get it out! It feels great—and added bonus: you will feel better about yourself after, too!
I meet writers all the time who have talent. They can turn a phrase and reel the reader in. Their use of words is almost magical. And yet, as the years go by, they fail to produce. What’s the problem? I know it well, because I deal with it myself. And it’s a challenge I […]
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Your Growth May Threaten Others, Grow Anyway
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