Daily Archives: October 27, 2009

The Person Underneath

Over the past few months, I’ve been interviewed and asked to write guest blogs on publicity, marketing, promotion and the processes of a writer. I think it’s about time to talk a little about who I am aside from that. We’re all a giant ball of a thousand things that make up the whole. Like a well developed character in a novel, we have layers of personality, likes, dislikes and obsessions that make up the image we portray to the world. Everything  buried has a prominent mark on what we do, how we do it and why. I thought it might be a good time to peel the onion and tell all (well some). This won’t take long, I’m not that interesting. 

Business PartnersThis is a picture of my cousin Charlene and me (that’s me in the stylish plaid jumpsuit). We grew up almost in each others pockets, had the same friends, the same teachers and on at least one occasion, shared the same boyfriend. She was the adventurous one, I was the follower. Once at around seven years old she sprinted across the street and I actually trailed after while her father charged to catch us. He caught my ponytail, thinking it was hers. We were so inseparable even Uncle Charlie couldn’t tell us apart. 

Charlene liked to dabble with the unknown and take the challenges; I liked to tag along (knowing full well we’d both be in deep doo doo if we got caught). She was the opening for me, the expansion that created the me I am today. 

Life and adulthood took over, we each married, had children and went our ways but we talk on the phone often. She lives in Florida, I’m in California. I miss her, or perhaps it’s just the craziness of our youth together I miss. These days I follow seldom and blaze my own paths, although I’m still glancing over my shoulder every now and then to see if Uncle Charlie is barreling down on me. 

This is the landscape of my life now. Aside from being a publicist and writer seeking publication, I’m a retired chef, mother of a grown son, grandmother, friend and roommate. Three years ago I moved from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Los Angeles, yes drastic and the time between making the decision and actually moving was less than three weeks. At that point in my life, it was time for a BIG change. 

I’ve been married and divorced twice and to the shock and amazement of many, would actually try it again. I like the yin and yang of marriage, the symbiotic partnership and the dream of “happily every after”. Here’s the kicker, I also like the independence and empowerment of being single. There has to be a middle ground for this but I’m not sure I’ll find it in this lifetime. 

GOOD_F__VMy loves include English bulldogs, cooking and entertaining, experimenting with ideas and presentation, with deep thoughts and the ever present “what ifs” of life. I’m a problem solver in every room in my house from the kitchen to my home office, with a tight household budget, a tough cut of meat or a difficult client issue. 

I’m a spiritual person, a bit Catholic, a lot seeker and I’ve studied under a Native American medicine man. Everything in my life seems to focus on a spiritual guide post of some sort … an enlightened friend, family member or tarot card reader. I’m a universal believer, a Christian aware of the vast number of paths toward salvation. 

I love chocolate (who doesn’t?), the ocean, mountains and (yes) big cities. I love nature when it intrudes boldly with intense weather, something I sorely miss in Southern California. 

I’m not political and spend a mess of time seeking the center for any given situation. As a Scorpio that seems like a contradiction. An argument or heated blow-up has never helped me make headway in anything, so long ago I chose to pass on the drama. Maybe I’m a Scorpio by mistake. 

I enjoy movies, the black and white ones especially, and I think Russell Crowe is brilliant. I’m a stagnant music lover and never have been progressive in my preferences. Everything from classical to crooning 50s and up to classic rock fits the bill to accompany my work. Meatloaf, Beethoven, Rusted Root, The Eagles, Bing Crosby, Counting Crows. Yeah, not a big explorer where music is concerned. 

I love my family, so far away now, and talk to my three grandsons as often as possible. And … I wonder everyday what made me move so far away. 

I don’t get extremely sad but I can reach ecstatic panicles of joy over a clear winter California day when I can see snow on the San Gabriel Mountains from my house. Guess it just doesn’t take much to please me. 

I am a bunch of contradictions. I’m a social animal who seldom leaves the house. I love to laugh but often find myself deep in serious conversations of a metaphysical nature. I am creative and prolific with a client’s goals and budgets but can’t balance my own checkbook if my life depended on it. I totally adore counterpoints in flavors, ideology and personalities. I’m an acquired taste. 

There … see. Told you I’m not all that interesting but writing this all down has reminded me that I’m more than a publicist and struggling writer. I’m a whole person and I’m hungry, starving everyday for the success looming for my clients, finding publication for my own writing, the prospect of flying home for the holidays, and the simplicity of working effectively in my home office exactly fifteen feet away from my bed and thirty feet away from my coffee brewer. 

What makes you what you are? What sits under the surface that defines the person you are and the profession you’ve chosen? Come on. Share. Otherwise I’ll feel like a goof for writing this blog.