A New Way to Learn – A New Life

My son, Jesse, and I were driving back from Pennsylvania together.  He graduated from college last spring and in a few weeks will be going off to Minnesota to pursue his dream of “reffing for the NHL.”   I was thrilled to be able to spend the three hours with just him and looked forward to having some great conversations.

“I’d like to play a podcast for you, Mom.  Is that ok?”

“How long is it?”  I asked thinking I would be bored and would rather talk.  I had never heard of a podcast before but it sounded like a science fiction term (Return of the Podcasts), that didn’t appeal to me.

“90 minutes,”  he said.  “But I think you will like it.  Trust me.  Jamie Foxx is my inspiration.  I think you’ll understand me better if you just listen.”

“OK,” I said.  I’ll humor him, I thought.

How wrong I was.  The podcast was Tim Ferriss interviewing Jamie Foxx.  Jamie started  talking about how his grandmother shaped the course of his life by encouraging him to learn to play the piano.  He made money playing classical piano for the white people on the other side of town…………  I was riveted.  Jamie’s story was fascinating.

I was also blown away by Tim Ferriss’s lack of trying to be politically correct.  I admired his freedom to swear, be himself, and genuinely be enjoying himself.  He had obviously done his research and knew just what questions to ask.  He didn’t seem to be worried about what people would think, but was after a real and authentic version of who Jamie really was.  I loved that he seemed to cut right through the bull shit to get to the real person.

I’ve always loved hearing people’s stories.  The whole concept of a podcast as a way to hear them opened up new pathways in my mind.  I was starting to vibrate.

Listening to the podcast helped me understand Jesse’s admiration for Jamie’s music, comedy, acting and out of the box thinking.  I got more of a feel for what motivates Jesse, in addition to his reffing ambition.

An Aside:    I’ve always wanted Jesse to perform on Saturday Night Live.  He is very handsome, a talented singer and musician, and when I’m with him I am always laughing.  My secret wish is that I could be in the back room of the show with him, writing new material for him to deliver on the show.  Our family provides us with plenty of material.

Just thinking about Jesse’s imitations makes me laugh out loud, especially the one of the old english actor, “really dahling, what are you thinking……………”

Going back to the main thought:  For many reasons, a whole new world opened up to me that day.  Since then, whenever I’m in the car and not talking on the phone, I play a Tim Ferriss podcast.  I have heard the life stories of entrepreneurs, coaches, tennis players, comedians, authors and a bunch of other people.

I am inspired by their stories and the challenges that they have overcome in their lives.  And mostly, by their fearlessness, courage, and audacity to accomplish what other people have not.   And also by Tim’s pioneering a new world of podcasts and his unique spin on how to interview.   The whole thing has ignited a new path of thinking and creating in my own life.

And then I wonder why I haven’t done anything that would qualify me to be a potential interviewee.  Why have I never really played “Big?”  Why, when I have such big dreams and self-proclaimed potential, do I keep it safe and hide my writing and real self?

I discovered the real reason in an inquiry a few weeks ago, called “One Step Beyond.”  The reason is  FEAR.  Fear of people thinking I’m crazy, fear of being criticized, fear of being disappointed, and fear of me calling myself stupid for getting my hopes up.  That was literally all it was.

When I saw that that was the only thing in the way, I started taking actions.  “Take the shot,” was a lesson I learned from George, the football coach.   Another woman said that adversity and failure just made her stronger.   You’ve got to fail at the beginning.  It’s just what’s on the way to success.  It’s normal.

I can see that listening to these amazing stories as I drive has kept me in the zone.  Since that day in the car, I emailed Arianna Huffington, submitted 4-5 stories to her web site that were published, am working on my book proposal to finally submit to a publisher after 5 years, and I’m speaking up more everywhere in my life.  I am less of a victim and more of a person who can have what I WANT!!!!

This is all miraculous for me.  My daughter doesn’t recognize me.  My mother is proud of the fact that I am “a published author.”  And Jesse and I get to support each other in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Life is way more exciting now.  And, I credit listening to these podcasts.

I am grateful to my son for innocently playing me the interview with his hero.  Who knew that that morning in the car would change the trajectory of our lives?

Can’t Believe this is Fun

My book has finally come back from my editor.  I finished writing the first draft in December, 2012.  It is now August, 2018.  I’ve been rewriting it for almost six years.  And that seems like a freaking long time.

And now what?  I have been tormented over what to do next for a long time.  I’ve never published a book before.  How does one start?  Somebody please save me……..

That’s right, I remembered, I am Creating Life Out Here.  That means that instead of staying in my paralyzed mind, I needed to start talking to people.

So I did.  And I learned that there are many ways to publish a book.  Everyone has a different opinion and different advice.  I got completely overwhelmed and I froze.

And then I decided I didn’t want this to be hard.  I want my book to get published with ease.  I want to be “in the flow.”  I wanted fun instead of struggle.

I called my friend, Deb.  She works in publishing.  She told me she is willing to forward my book to her memoir counterpart.

“Just follow the submission guidelines,”  she said.

Yesterday I looked at them.  Holy Shit, I thought.  I have to compare my book to 3 best selling memoirs and tell them why mine is better (I’m paraphrasing).  That sounds like a lot of work.  How the hell do I find them, and how long will it take me to read them?  OMG

But then I started getting excited.  I really have to sell my book to these people.  I have to research books in a new way.  Learn something completely out of my frame of reference.  Expand my mind.

I remembered my first few writing classes that I took in 2013.  It felt like I was learning a new language – scene vs summary, back-stories, dialogue, etc.  I never knew about any of that.   I was fascinated by what I didn’t know.  It was fun to rewrite my chapters using my new techniques.

And now I have something new to learn and apply – how publishers think and how to sell my book.  I’m surprised that I am looking forward to this.  Who knew?

So back to work.  I’ll keep you posted.