My Opinion about That Word In The Graphic Over There:
I hate it. I mean hate, as in abhor, detest, loathe, and despise. I consider the word blog to be an abomination to the English language. I’m none too fond of selfie, twerk, and bestie, either. Even Grammarly wants to change bestie to best friend. Never mind SEO keywords, which are nothing short of a living nightmare, spawned by Satan himself (aka Bill Gates), for anyone who owns a thesaurus and knows how to use it. The worst thing is, if I ever want to “drive traffic to my site,” I’ll have to figure out what that damned SEO likes when it comes to what I like to write. Grrr…
One day I’ll tell you how Bill Gates himself, infamous founder of the legion of dark angels known as Microsoft, broke my television. What bitter irony if someone writes and tells me, “I found your blog because you mentioned Bill Gates and Microsoft.” Perhaps the scales will balance by someone else telling me, “I adore you, and now read you regularly because in your very first blog, you said that Bill Gates is the spawn of Satan.”
If that that SEO keyword site traffic logic holds, then all I have to do to generate “hits” to get you here to read me (and buy my books, yes, yes, I admit it) is to mention whatever insanity Donald the Atrocity Trump is up to. Today’s Yahoo blurb mentioned “abortion remarks.” Would it work if I just copy/paste the titles of the current Yahoo sliders into my opening paragraph?
Let me know
On to today’s blog topic, which is continuation from my Welcome page:
Welcome Page Recap (in case you’re starting from scratch):
I thought it would require years in school, mid-five figures of student loan debt, and a whole string of letters behind my name, but no. I’m there now. His colleague. Me. Kate. This little writer person. Why?
“Because I knew you’d be an asset to our profession.”
Dedication to Your Path:
I came up with a wildly quirky bio for my new little venture, “What’s in Your Chart, Doc?” I sent it off to my friend in Chicago, the one who does marketing and organizes conventions for doctors. She said she thought what I wrote about Dan was “dangerous.” (I called him “this crazy old analyst”—which is the truth—both adjectives—in that order) and that my hyperbole regarding his “luxurious waterfront estate” sounded like sour grapes. I didn’t think so. Still, I trust her, so I read it to Dan at my next session. He all but fell off his chair laughing.
“So, you don’t think it’s insulting? I’ve been making semi-snarky remarks about analysis for years, and sometimes you can’t breathe, you’re laughing so hard.”
“Every negative is a plus.”
So we’ve decided that I’ll be the Phyllis Diller – or maybe the Erma Bombeck – of Freud. Woody Allen profited a hell of a lot of careers and wasn’t always nice about analysis. Why can’t I? Besides, isn’t it about time for a female voice when it comes to complaining about what happens on a couch?
But back to this colleague business.
I’m currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. In it, she talks about the definition of success. To paraphrase her very wise words, don’t judge your validity as an artist (writer, painter, small business owner, whatever) by your successes and/or failures. Judge yourself by your dedication to your path.
I think maybe I “earned” the honorary position of colleague by hanging in there in the face of—occurring in the span of 15 month—a family suicide, two cancer surgeries (the second one disfiguring enough to drive me into Daniel Nachman’s therapeutic arms), devastating financial loss, and sudden, bewildering widowhood. There’s more, but let’s not go there yet.
I didn’t like it. I still don’t like it. And I still think there was a time when God decided to ignore my pain and anguish. But I (sort of) took a page from Job.[Wait, wait! Don’t run away – this is NOT a sermonette! It gets funny really quickly!]
Job 13:15 in NIV reads like this: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.” Nice and religious, right?
Try the Complete Jewish Bible: “Look, he will kill me – I don’t expect more, but I will still defend my ways to his face.”
I think my dead husband, an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn, would appreciate my takeoff on Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof:
“Fine. You vant you should torment me more? Cancer once vasn’t enough for you, you gotta give me it tvice? Fine. Broke isn’t enough for you? You vant I should live with wolves at the door every other day? Fine. You tink dat’s still not enough, you should take mine husband leaving me nothingk—no insurance, the annuity people promising $1000 a month (bless their hearts) only to tell me three weeks later “ve’re sorry, vee made a mistake”(dirty rotten sons of…)? Fine. Go ahead. Torment me. But I don’t have to talk to you, I don’t have to listen to you. And until if and/or vhen you decide you should stop making my life a living Gehenom, maybe ve’ll talk. Until then, fine. You leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone. But I von’t tell you to go F-word yourself.”
I’m friendly with a handful of most prominent doctors in this little burg, almost all of them Jewish. (It’s not that I’m that great—two bouts of cancer and one husband dead of a basilar artery infarction, and you get to know some people.) I crack them up on a regular basis. My gentile friends love that mindset, too, so you think maybe that’s why they like me, respect me, maybe even love me a little? I do. Because what did I prove by sticking it out in my little hovel and not going off and marrying the jerk down the street who showed up at my door every other day making passes, just so I could go out to dinner once in awhile and get him to pay a bill or two after we Visited The Bedroom?
Dedication to My Path. For far too long, that path was simply to keep on living, to tolerate the devastating financial mess my husband left. To tolerate nearly intolerable lonliness and still not capitulate and sell my soul—and my body—just to up my standard of living half an inch. (Did I remember to tell you the jerk down the street lives in a double-wide trailer while mine’s only a single-wide? Boy, that would be a great move up the socioeconomic ladder, dontcha think? Not.)
I know I earned my analyst’s respect by hanging in there. I’m still not exactly sure why he chose to bless me with the mindset that I’m now his colleague, but I’m smart enough now not to ask. I just, as my Chicago girlfriend would say, “drink it in.”
I shall leave this first of my little…missives (not blog!) with a little advice:
I recommend you read that book by Elizabeth Gilbert. It doesn’t apply to just artists and writers. It applies to finding the creativity inside you whether it’s evident now or not. It’s there. Find it. And then we’ll continue to talk about what it takes to be Dedicated to Your Path so that you, too, can be blessed by the feeling of belonging—as a colleague or even just a well-respected friend–of someone you admire most in the world, and not because of anything you did (other than hanging in there) but because they chose you.
And why will they choose you?
All together now: Dedication To Your Path.