The problem with writing your own bio is that it feels as if you’re writing your own obit. It’s sobering to try to sum up your life in a few paragraphs. Even more sobering when you realize you can sum up your life in a few paragraphs. My accomplishments seem too few and too trivial, my adventures too tame, and my humanitarianism too rare.
What have I been doing with my life?
Professionally, it’s all there on the LinkedIn profile. You can find more about me on Facebook. Read my blog and you can get an idea of my politics, values, ethics and occasionally, sense of humor. If you check me out on Twitter, you’ll find six key dates where my bio should be: 1951.1978.1984.1989.1995.2004.
For someone who the adjectives, shy, reserved, and private are often used to describe my public persona, social media has brought the extrovert out in me. I feel like I am now an open book.
But, none of that tells you what experiences in my past brought me to All The Single Girlfriends. It doesn’t tell you why I am so excited about this community and the women who are going to be sharing their stories. It doesn’t tell you why this is how I want to spend a good portion of my free time.
I do this because it’s fun and deep down I have a driving need to tell and share stories with girlfriends. It is a need that has been as constant in my life as the freckles on my face, which didn’t fade with age.
I can trace the need to share stories by writing them back to 1962 when the Brunswick Company decided to transfer employees in its Marion, Virginia plant to a new facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. Included in that transfer were two of my closest sixth grade friends—Judy Broutman and Jan Bocook. Judy’s family moved to Lincoln. Jan ended up in Clearwater, Florida.
As solemn sixth graders are wont to do, we pledged to write every week. I took that pledge to heart. And so began my Saturday morning ritual of writing long letters to my now distant friends. With my powder blue personalized stationary that I kept in the top drawer of my desk, I would sit in the quiet of my room and write and write and write until my hand ached and the bump on writing finger prospered and grew.
My friends, who I now imagined having very exotic and fascinating lives in Lincoln and Clearwater—communities much larger than the 6,000 people living my hometown, did not share my passion. Their letters were few and far between.
Because writing letters was so much fun for me, it was difficult for the 12-year- old me to understand that my friends didn’t look forward to sitting with paper and cross pen and capturing the week the week that was . It would take me years to understand that their silence wasn’t a rejection,
When I was a reporter, my favorite part of the day was sitting down in front of my orange Royale manual typewriter and soaking the blank piece of paper staring back at me. With a deadline pressing, that blank piece of paper forced meto figure out how I could tell today’s story so that the viewers of WWBT –TV in Richmond, Virginia would experience what I experienced as I was on assignment. Could my words make them feel the joy, the fear, the shock, the disappointment? Could I connect with my audience through my story telling?
Could I tell the story in such a way that they would want to tell the story to someone else?
It’s been nearly 50 years since I pulled out that powder blue personalized stationery and tried to recapture my week in Marion, Virginia in a way that would entertain and delight my friends in far away places. 50 years of telling stories of my life. That is who I was, that is who I am, and that is who I hope to be.
I hope you will enjoy reading my posts.
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