Wednesdays is for writing: The Stranger

Wow. I’m not sure I knew what I was getting myself into. It is Wednesday and, as I decreed, Wednesday is for writing.

I’m still looking for writing starts. You don’t have to be a writer… just offer a few words, either meaningful or ordinary, that I can write from. Personal essays can take on a life of their own from just a single word.

The challenge today is that all the starts I have been given are meant as fiction starts. I am not a fiction writer. I’ve been staring rather blankly at them looking for inspiration. The challenge with writing starts it to take a word from someone else and make it your own.

I’m not feeling too confident at the moment but, here goes…..

“The face looking back in the mirror was a stranger’s”

Did you ever wonder how you ended up where you are? That sensation of looking at a stranger is one I have feeling a lot lately.

I think it began when I heard a former broadcast colleague took a job that could be described as one that places him at the pinnacle of his career. It has fostered a lot of mixed feelings for me. The two of us worked together as rookies, competing for leads and trying to top one another for good assignments. We developed a loose friendship but lost touch when our careers took us to different locations, and ultimately in very different directions.

He took the path I thought I wanted. I planned to work in various major cities and end up on Parliament Hill. I thought I might take the international route as well, to my mother’s great dismay. Instead I took the much more cliche route of getting married and having kids.

It is a decision that surprised even myself… and, as many of my friends prepare to return to the workforce as their kids enter school, it is one that continues to surprise me. I was always career driven. I wanted the lead story. I wanted the investigative report. I wanted the feature documentary. Now I want to find time to read the Big Dude his first chapter book.

I only work two days a week and yet, even that, seems too much to let me do all the things I want to with the Dudes. Being at home with them is surprisingly satisfying. That said, I do feel wistful sometimes. My cramped, cold and windowless basement office is not the ideal place to make a go of a fledgling freelance career. It’s not easy managing the schedule of five people, paying for child care and trying to create work out of thin air from a rural location. When I turn on the radio, I sometimes wonder what might have been… but usually I look down to the child attached to my ankle wanting a ride around the kitchen while I make breakfast, and smile.

The life I chose is not an easy one, but bedtime stories and sleepy I love yous are far more rewarding than bland hotel rooms and long Toronto commutes. Dark Mommy may rear her head more often than I like but, to my continual surprise, home is exactly where I want to be… now if I can just master the work-from-home side of things, I’d be all set.

Breaking stories are one thing but a Big Dude who only wants to cuddly with his Mommy is much better.

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3 Responses to Wednesdays is for writing: The Stranger

  1. dawna says:

    a few words, which may or may not be connected to each other, as you wish:spirit, nature, green, river, trees

  2. Divawrites says:

    Well done, my friend. I've been staring at the stranger in the mirror myself lately.I found yours just as challenging. It's good for us to stretch ourselves!

  3. Anonymous says:

    "If only, if only," the woodpecker sighs, "The bark on the tree was just a little bit softer." While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely, He cries to the moo-oo-oon, "If only, if only."

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