After a long hiatus from blogging (and non-work writing of almost every kind, except letters/cards/notes), I decided to come back and write daily, inspired by Fransi Weinstein and her wonderful blog Three Hundred Sixty-Five. A former creative partner introduced me to Fransi’s blog at some point last fall because she thought I would really enjoy reading it. Not only did I enjoy reading it, I also connected with Fransi via Facebook.
All of this might sound relatively unremarkable in the social media world. It’s easy to connect with people if they want you to. But Fransi is someone that I always wanted to know in “real life” and a writer/creative director I wanted to work with when I lived in Toronto. We knew lots of people in common and we probably spoke at an industry party or two, but life being what it is, we never worked together. But through the magic of the internet, I’ve gotten to know her—and relearn blogging from her. She’s been a great help and answers my silly questions quickly and graciously. I appreciate her—and her encouragement—so much.
And then today, Three Hundred Sixty-Five was nominated for the REALITY Blog award. Yay, Fransi! And then, something completely unexpected happened: Fransi mentioned SowSewSo among the blogs she’d like to share her award with. Even though it’s only been around for such a short time (um, 6 days, people). And she said I am a great writer. Wow!
I am humbled.
I asked her what I needed to do, when someone shares an award with you. Fransi said there are no ‘rules’ that go along with this one. There are some questions to answer, so here goes (and if I do this incorrectly, please let me know):
1. If you could change something about your life what would you change?
I would change nothing. I am fortunate to have had a very extraordinary life so far. As a child I lived in many different places (Arizona, 3 cities in Indiana, Georgia, Southern California, Northern California). Many of my dreams have come true (where I went to college, agencies where I wanted to work, trips I’ve taken). I met my husband Bruce through a mutual friend and our relationship blossomed despite living in two different countries, 3 time zones apart. He and I have had many adventures together including our current one deep in the heart of Texas. Hopefully you all will find my life entertaining enough to keep reading about it.
2. If you could repeat an age, what age would it be?
This is a funny question for a 40-something. My 20s were interesting times and I am fortunate to get to witness what life is like in your 20s every work day. Same goes for my 30s. I’m actually pretty happy with how those decades turned out for me, but I see why having the perspective I have now would be helpful, especially at work. It really helps with understanding how to pick your battles.
3. What one thing really scares you?
As an American who has lived in Canada and is now back in the US, the ignorance and intolerance I have witnessed in the past several years scares me. I worry that the American public is forgetting how to be human and loving. Even though the tv news feeds my worry daily, I am often surprised (and delighted) by unexpected kindnesses and tiny demonstrations of love.
4. What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it?
I dared to speak of this dream with a friend yesterday: I would like to get my already written children’s book published. I don’t think I’ll be able to complete it; I KNOW I WILL. I’ve done many things lately that I never thought I could do, so why not complete this dream I’ve had since I was a kid?
5. If you could be someone else for the day, who would you be?
President Obama. Without getting too political, I’d like to see first hand the chaos that he has to deal with on a daily basis. I’m sure it would make any troubles I have at work look completely ridiculous.
If you keep reading this blog, I have a feeling that some of the above answers will get fleshed out as posts. But enough about me. Thank you again, Fransi, for believing in me and believing in this writing experiment.
I believe I also need to say who I would share this share with. So here are some of the other blogs that have inspired me to start again:
The Grammar Belle is written by my friend and colleague Brandy Slater. A born and raised Southern belle who speaks three languages (English, Spanish and Russian), this life-long lover of all things grammatical has made it her life’s mission to help the English-speaking/writing world fix up their cringe-worthy and erroneous ways. Her grammar lessons are practical, educational, and funny as hell. She also peppers her posts with original cocktail recipes.
DirtyHandsCleanSoul is a blog I stumbled upon when looking for advice for my gardening adventures and made me think that my experiences might be post-worthy. Seana and Colleen are college students who started a blog to record their adventures in gardening. But they write about other things including their foodie travels. Yesterday’s post was a special favorite since it was a reflection on the Central Market in York, Pennsylvania, a wonderful farmers market located in the heart of the town where my mom grew up and my 98 year old grandma still lives.
Finally, I’d like to thank all of the blogs that I’ve discovered through friends and friends of friends. Over the past week, I have found so many interesting blogs and it’s exciting to think that I always have cool stuff to read whenever the mood strikes me. Thank you! Now, I must back away from the computer: today is my first SEWING lesson.
Had no idea you’d lived in so many different places; or that you and Bruce had a long distance romance. Thanks for all the kind words. Glad we have finally met, and can inspire each other. Even if it is at a distance. Enjoy your sewing class. I am looking forward to reading all about it.
Excited to hear about the sewing classes :). Keep writing julie
There is something about living in lots of places as a child that gives you a certain awareness I think… something definitely to be appreciated! I enjoy reading your blog so far, and I hope you don’t mind me saying this, it isn’t meant in any insulting way, but as an ‘outsider’ looking at America, never having been there, just seeing & hearing news…a lot of us worry about the same thing there that you do. I hope you understand what I mean!
Lol. I’m also a Canadian citizen so understand exactly what you mean. After living in Canada for 12 years, I wasn’t too sure about coming back, much less to such a conservative state like Texas. It’s been an adjustment but you’ll probably get to read about that later.
Traveling throughout Europe as a 22 year old backpacker straight out of college, then again as a 25 year old who decided not to go to law school, also helped me to understand how the rest of the world views the States–and why they feel as they do.
Isn’t Fransi a fantastic woman, I really admire her. Congrats on the award. You have a terrific blog and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.