I am not a writer.
But I am going to try
my hand at storytelling. I am not a 'words' person. I am not a 'Literature' person.
I am not a crossword puzzle person. I do okay with vocabulary but I would never
bet my life on my spelling ability. I get very frustrated watching Wheel of
Fortune when too many letters are still hidden and I'm easily distracted by the
prizes. Especially the vacation prizes. I am sure you 'words' people cringed
when you noticed my second sentence began with a conjunction. You may have
already noticed I spelled spelling correctly (I checked that too, for irony's sake). The world
needs more people who value accuracy.
I would describe myself as more of a
'numbers' girl. I like numbers and they seem to like me as well. Numbers have
served me well, most math classes came easily to me, and numbers have kept me
employed over the past decade. My ability with numbers helped me win the Math
Bee in my school in the seventh grade, and then my numbers left me in the lurch. I moved on to the Brooklyn-Wide Math Bee
of 1991, where I was swiftly, though not painlessly, knocked out in the first
round. I was broken. I sat in the front row of the audience throughout the
remainder of the competition, trying to distract myself by checking out the
uniforms that the other math chicks and dudes were wearing, rationalizing that my navy blue
plaid was much better than some of the maroon plaids, the brown plaids, or worse yet, the Kelly green
plaids represented on stage. I stewed in my own misery until the competition
ended and there was a new Math winner. I couldn't, for the life of me, remember
who won that day, so hopefully no one else remembers the girl in navy who was
the first one down.
I think when you work with numbers everyday, it's
possible they lose their luster. Then, at work, I spent one day on a very large figure. One Friday, I had to move two
billion dollars. That's $2,000,000,000.00. It wasn't like a 'cash in a
suitcase left in a dark alley or bus terminal locker' type of thing. It was
legit (so they tell me). Once that event was settled, I thought it was a good
time to go grab a beer after work. Despite my big money day, I only had $3.77
in cash in my wallet, so I settled for a Latte. The only way you can get a beer
for $3.77, in Midtown, is if you find a really good happy hour, because I doubt
you will find a dive bar on Park Avenue. And if you find a really good happy
hour, it's probably 11:30 in the morning. And if you're drinking at 11:30
in the morning, you're probably not going to work. And if you're drinking at
11:30 in the morning, probably no one is going to trust you to move
$2,000,000,000.00, unless, of course, it's your own money. And if
I had $2,000,000,000.00, I wouldn't be dusting off nickels stuck at the bottom
of my desk drawer to upgrade that Latte from a Tall to a Venti.
Year's is all about numbers: calendars, clocks, countdowns, resetting, restarting, refreshing, and finding those
number-shaped glasses to wear on your party face (which will ultimately leave you covered in glitter). Earlier last year, I thought it would take some monumental shift of my entire being to kick-off this blog and switch off my number-head and switch on an ability to write creative non-fiction (or what I am hoping will be interpreted as creative non-fiction). I was wrong. However, I was not stewing in my own misery this time around. Last year, my entire being was monumentally and irrevocably shifted when I became a mom, and I'm feeling a bit more skilled at multi-tasking these days. I'm sure that's somewhat out of necessity and also due to, what I'd like to call a 'Maternal Delusion of Grandeur' whereby a peacefully sleeping baby makes you think you can do anything and everything is just right with the world, even when it's not. Also, from what I've taken in over the last few months about writing, is that it all just comes down to giving yourself the time and space to think, to be disciplined in protecting this time and space, and to have a notebook handy to jot down ideas (or in my case, I send text messages to myself, which I am sure will look interesting if my phone records ever get subpoenaed). And I think if you boiled down most New Year's Resolutions, they come down to disciplining yourself to do something that's good for you. If not also good for others. I have already come to realize this blog will be a good exercise for me. I hope you will like it too.
See you next Saturday at the Seventh Borough!