The great Molly Shannon used to do a character on Saturday Night Live, the sassy Sally O’Malley. Sally was usually auditioning for a dance gig of some sort. She would hike up her bright red stretch pants and declare, “I like to kick, stretch, annnnnnnd kick. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII’m 50! Fifty years old.”
Like Sally O’Malley, I’m 50. Well, 51. Almost 52.
And my life is better is so many ways. This is my 100th post, and while I am not exactly setting the world on fire readership-wise, I would not have traded these long hours for anything in the world.
I love writing. It was my major in college. I do a lot of writing for my living, but it is not what you would call creative writing. But forcing myself to write three blogs every week has been liberating (yes, I took last week off, so sue me). I finally have a creative outlet. I can voice my opinions, point out absurdities, poke fun, an make up stories.
I read a story about how GE Capital, some months after the Newtown tragedy, self-righteously announced that they would no longer make loans to gun shops. Of course, they were still going to do business with Walmart, the largest firearms and ammunition seller in the world. My first impulse was to write a screed condemning this hypocrisy, but instead I wrote a satirical interview with GE’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt. It was much more fun, and I think my point was better made. A gentle hand is always better.
I am becoming more myself; my true, honest self. And I am no longer afraid to show my real face to the world. The mask is off, at least as far as I am able today.
[O.k., I know no one is going to read this so here goes: there is a paradox in Christianity. The more you surrender yourself to God, the more you become your authentic self. The unique individual that God made you. I am more at peace and more comfortable in my own skin today than ever before. It is deeply satisfying.]
Another great thing about writing regularly: like our friend the shaahk, I am constantly on the prowl for new material. I read three newspapers and two dozen news feeds every day, and several books per month. I try new things, meet new people, and live constantly outside my comfort zone.
I can no longer sleepwalk through life, and I never will again. I am fully engaged, more alive than ever.
So Sally and I have a lot in common.
Maybe I will try my hand at writing fiction.