When we were kids, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was the bomb.
It was quite a hike. The zoo is literally on a mountain. In Colorado Springs. But when you’re young and spry, it doesn’t matter. We might not have done all the cool things the white kids in our neighborhood did, but this one was awesome.
As a dad, I got to bring my girls to zoos, too. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. Greenville (S.C.) Zoo. North Carolina Zoo. Knoxville Zoo. Man, those are some great memories.
This is another prompt from the book 300 Writing Prompts. As you might have read, it’s a book a friend gave me when I left Red Ventures. I carry it with me everywhere. When I’m on a plane, I ask someone to pick a prompt for me to tackle.
It usually goes well, the ask.
The person who helped me with this one was in for a huge change in life. I’m going to send her the link to this, so I don’t want to give all the details. It was a great conversation and I have a feeling she’s doing wonderful things where she is.
I got sick of the normal X words. As if X words are normal. I’m sure somewhere someone is writing about xylophone adventures and xenophobia. More power to ya.
I say, let’s go with 10.
You know, the roman numeral for 10, X. Quick story here: I was a no-soccer-experience soccer coach at first. I made my own formations and positions, such as junker. (It was like a sweeping fullback, full of badass.)
You know, one that would have all the stuff I do. So I typed it all out. And it turns out, I’d have to reduce the font size to 0.0003 points, or expand the card to 37 cubic yards.
We have roles, y’all.
But there’s got to be one that stands out. That defines you, as much as you want a role to define you. At least, be the color you color with. A writing prompt in that book 300 Writing Prompts takes on this issue. And with help from my flying friend, Jeffrey, I took it on. (He doesn’t have wings, but he did sit next to me on the plane.)
Are you seeing this too? Some days are good. Some not. Like the Raiders’ draft history, there appears to be little rhyme or reason to it. But Wednesday? Wednesday, I felt calm. I felt … vital.
Walt Disney is a dude lots of you know, and he said something kind of profound about making dreams come true.
He cited 4 Cs – curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy. (I’d have added cheeseburgers, but he didn’t ask me.) The greatest of all, Walt said, was confidence. (Again, no opportunity to pimp cheeseburgers.)
I’m not even kidding … this is a book review! And I read it all by myself.
Schooled: A Love Letter to the Exhausting, Infuriating, Occasionally Excruciating Yet Somehow Completely Wonderful Profession of Teaching
By Stephanie Jankowski
Stephanie, the loveable voice of the blog When Crazy meets Exhaustion, has written a book! She’s a long-time blogging friend of mine and I’ve loved her work for years.
Schooled is a collection of stories from the field. Her essays are humorous, sincere, and beckon to every crush on a teacher I ever had. As a dad of three kids, it gave me insight into what life is like on the other side of the desk.
No, though. I mean, I love reading others’ blogs, meeting new writers. Seeing new people and people I used to know among commenters. I hate what a reader I become during the #AtoZChallenge, is what I hate.
I’m a shitty one, no bones about it.
And that’s kind of the point of blogging. The interaction. I’m grappling with those times, like tonight, at 10:06 p.m., of whether I should be writing or reading. To keep up, I choose to write, but it sure does feel shitty.
I left school early for a job that sounded like a dream for me.
I got to cover the NFL and NBA (plus high school sports) for a tiny afternoon newspaper. I moved to Morganton, N.C. I slept in two three-hour shifts. One after my desk shift ended around midday.
The other, at night, after I filed my story from Hornets home games (Sometimes, I got up extra early to write instead.)
Rebecca Reid took a more global approach to that fresh-out-of-college job. She’s my guest for #GirlsRock today. I met Rebecca in Target during her 4-month stint in Charlotte. We became friends, and her story of success intrigued me.
I’ve pondered how to streamline my life. I’m working from home as many of us are. I’m struggling to find balance. I wake up every day encouraged that this will be different. Often, I go to sleep wondering where it went wrong.
See, I’m the same guy who has found success before.
Not success in dollar signs or prestige. In peace of mind. In the moment. In trusting that the process is the thing, in that I must keep my eyes and heart open. The stuff that makes the biggest difference are things I haven’t planned for. But you have to have an efficient way to get to those things.