Lessons in Life Can Fool You
I was very anxious last week when the Reno Gazette Journal wouldn’t run a last column for me to explain why I’d no longer be in the paper. My concern wasn’t in losing another job, it was in losing an audience. It was my last writing connection to Reno and I didn’t want to lose it. Some of you had followed me on my blog, but most kept up with me in the paper. I wanted to explain what happened to me, not to dig at the paper, because I do realize their constraints. Of course my argument is that no matter what platform you use, print, audio, television or the Internet, you need good content.
But we all know how that went.
What I didn’t see at all, was that if people appreciate your content, they will follow you. I do that. I read everything Dave Barry writes, columns, books, short stories. I think, in a way, years ago, I wanted to be him. But just as physical newspapers are fading away, syndicated columns are becoming a thing of the past as well. You can’t fight progress. But the feedback I got from all of you this week was a mental game changer for me.
You’ve overwhelmed me. The notifications on Facebook, the e-mails, those who have subscribed to my blog, the suggestions, the support for interesting stories (Reno-based or not) have shown me that I’m not just fading out. I still have a lot to say, I still see a lot of life as impacting us all, whether we experience it together and at the same time or not. There are universal truths in life that we sometimes don’t recognize until someone points them out. I’m not ahead of anyone else in understanding life. In fact, some would argue I am woefully behind.
At this age I have taken on an adventure many of you would not even consider. I’ve learned a ton about getting more out of life and taking risks. Now, I’ll admit that to be out of work at this age is the reality of taking that risk, but I don’t regret that, because it has been worth it to do this. I’ve broadened my horizons, proven to myself I am not too old for new things, and found a new platform for storytelling with my podcast. And I have maintained my courage to write about what strikes me as funny, poignant, meaningful, sad or important.
The lessons life throws at you can fool you. You see, in reality, changing jobs forces you to be creative and believe in yourself; divorce teaches you to be independent and believe in yourself; the loss of your parents teaches you to be thankful and believe in yourself and your kids teach you to stay youthful and believe in yourself. And the outpouring of support from all of you has taught me not to look back but to look forward to what’s ahead, and to believe in myself.