Standing in Gratitude

I am preparing to travel to Costa Rica for the month of October, where I will finish my memoir (sans any more earthquakes) and complete my final manuscript for my master’s degree. It’s an opportunity that I am very grateful to have, and I am looking forward to experiencing Costa Rica as well as finishing my book.

As I’ve written over the past two years, I embarked on this master of fine arts in creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles to force myself to finish this memoir, which I started more than five years ago. Along the way I have met wonderful friends and colleagues, and learned to have faith in my long-term writing goals. Given the current state of publishing, I have no idea whether my memoir will attract the attention of a publisher. But I advise my clients to try traditional publishing first, so I will too. Stay tuned on that.

Here are some things I’ve learned over the past two years: 

  • Go after your dream, no matter how outrageous.
  • Take one concrete step toward your goal every day.
  • Do not be discouraged by setbacks, because you can be sure they will happen.
  • Believe in yourself, even when it seems no one else does.
  • Let the past be the past; learn from it and then let it go.
  • There will always be people who try to make you feel small or pooh-pooh your dreams. Do not pay any attention; it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
  • Take time each day to read, to write, to meditate.
  • A walk on the beach with your dog is balm for the soul.
  • A walk on the beach with your dog, your friends and their dogs is super balm.
  • Feeling gratitude is more empowering than feeling put-upon.
  • The world owes you nothing. Create the life you want to live.
  • Never, ever give up.

I never imagined in my wildest dreams where my life has taken me. Great failures, deep sadnesses, wonderful friends who stood by and supported me. I stand in gratitude every day, and wonder at the capacity of humans to love.