Saturday, January 28, 2012

Getting in Touch With the Inner Me

While thinking about this particular entry, I decided to go in a totally different direction. Rather than continue my actual story, I wanted to take stock of where I’m at right now. Call it an opportunity to get in touch with me. 
I found myself reading the recent edition of the Temple Review.    I graduated from Temple University in 1977 and as such, I am entitled to copies of the alumni publication. Over the years the magazine has changed. Let’s face it, every aspect of the publishing world has changed as computers and technology further evolve. When I was in the profession, computers were just making an entrance. I never learned how to edit on a computer since even my instructors and professors at the time did not know how to use the equipment themselves. Many were working for the now defunct Philadelphia Bulletin -- and since they were “trying to learn” the systems at work, it was impossible for them to teach us. Thus, all the computers in the classroom were untouched that semester. Obviously, I eventually learned how to use a computer. (Edward is a devoted Apple computer user.) I’m not computer savvy but I’ve learned to use areas I consider essential -- word processing and email. 
As I read through this latest edition, I realized I was actually “reading” many of the stories. (I admit that I usually glance through the magazine.) Now that I’m back to writing on a regular basis, I am also doing something else as well. That is, I’m also reading other writer’s articles -- a practice I had long ago done “religiously.” One of my mentors taught me that it was important to read other writer’s articles; she said it would ultimately help me become a better writer and editor. She was right. Reading the works of other talented writers did help me become a better writer. Back when I was working a non-profit in Philadelphia, countless hours were spent reading the stories in local papers written by my colleagues. Now, decades later, I found myself reading the Temple Review and several major features. 
One story especially caught my interest. A student at Temple’s School of Podiatric Medicine started the nation’s first forensic podiatry club in the fall of 2010. I had to read this article. I’m a huge fan of the TV show -- Bones. The article was well written. I wanted to read each and every paragraph, not wanting to miss any aspect of the feature. The author’s bio noted that she is a writer/editor based in PA and has had articles in numerous publications. (Gee, I remember those days. I used to do lots of freelance writing and my bio would list a similar entry.) 
Why am I writing about this? Well, considering that I only began to “write” again in 2008 -- after years of being too depressed to even think about writing -- I am now realizing that I also need to read the works of others. I may be a much more experienced writer now, but I can still learn. And, I guess that’s what I’m now beginning to understand. As my mind clears away all the clutter within and I can see a bigger, brighter picture of the world around me, I am more aware of me. I have begun to see “me” in a different way. At different times throughout our lives, we take stock of ourselves. It may be a new year, where we sit down and write out a resolution. There may be a life changing situation that forces us to look at our lives and where we are going. It can be the diagnosis of a disease that can affect our lives and those we love. Getting in touch with our inner self, now that’s a journey! For me, it’s a necessity I cannot afford to ignore. 
I’m really happy that I decided to read the Temple Review this morning while finishing up breakfast and downing my second cup of coffee. It wasn’t so much that I was reading my alumni publication. It was the realization that this small moment in my day was actually a huge step within my life. I was beginning to “write” a new chapter -- more like opening up a book that I read years ago but put away on the shelf and was now rereading. The characters were now more vivid; the plot vastly different than I recall. 
The book of me -- a major work in progress. 

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