Lately, I have been musing about things like growing older, the real inner me, and how can I age with chutzpah, but graceful chutzpah!
Would that we knew our authentic self when we are young, but I think it takes some age before we know who we really are. Then, some of us never hear the siren of the authentic self inside our being. That is just the way it is.
To become reacquainted with my authentic self and to feel closer to that entity within, I hung, in my laundry room, a picture of myself as an eight-year-old. On every trip to the laundry room, I look at that little girl. Her eyes are clear and wide, her hair straggly, her teeth wide and her clothes nondescript, but I do remember that photo being taken. She represents the child within me, the one I want to remember as my authentic self.
I have certainly aged since then, but my fervent hope is that I have aged gracefully and that I will continue to do so. But more importantly, I hope I have given myself the gift of becoming myself. My authentic self.
What do these ruminations have to do with writing, as several of us enjoy? Not a lot, except to say, it is only with age I have been able to delve into my long-harbored desire to write. Oh, I’ve written in numerous and varied ways all my life, as you may have also. My theory is that writing is somehow in our family’s DNA. My mother wrote, I write, my kids write and my grandkids write.
To write seriously, though, and with the intent of publication, goes beyond just loving or having a desire to write. I, my daughter and my grandson have been published. In the 1930’s, my mother had a chance at publication, but it was a vanity press offer and we all know at that time the depression was rampant and money scarce.
First, let me say how greatly I admire the younger-aged women and men who manage to juggle writing, family, and careers. They are a special breed to be able to accomplish what they do. I was never able to achieve what this young segment does so well. My desire to write seriously went like this. I began this business of writing after my late-fifties retirement. My diagnosis of thyroid cancer a few years later only cemented my decision to commit to the writing I so wanted to do. I didn’t know what lay ahead with that diagnosis.
Thankfully, I’m an eleven-year cancer survivor and, in that time, have had three books published, placed in two anthologies and am marketing my fourth book. For five years, I wrote an inspirational column for a magazine focusing on women’s health and spirituality.
I have a passel of kids and grandkids who smile with me, and I worship a God, who says ‘use the gifts I have given you.’ I am aging, I want to age gracefully and I want to be my authentic self.
And, oh, I want to keep on writing.
Have you thought about your authentic self?