Tag Archives: comebacks

Making a Comeback … On a Tuesday …

30 Nov

It never occurred to me that I could lose it … but I did and now I’m just coming around to finding it again.

Sort of …

I’m at square one.

It’s hard to be a storyteller and not quite be able to tell stories. But it happens and you get sad about that. You hang onto what you got and try to ride it out, which is where I found myself these last few weeks, clinging onto that surfboard during the big wave. And it was in the midst of that ride that I wiped out.

I lost it for a minute there … but I’m resurfacing, catching my breath. It’s hard taking a tumble. You feel beat up and worn down.

Takes a lot determination to try again, to see it through, to finish the goal, to be who you said you’d be, to accomplish what you said you would, takes a lot of something to be anything really.

Doctor. Architect. Lawyer. Teacher. Engineer. You follow the course and eventually with enough steps in the right direction. It happens. You reach the point where you are doing what you set out to do. You are it. The goal, reached.

Storytellers’ journeys are not that linear, or at least my sidewalk wasn’t, I was zigged and then zagged. It’s a roller coaster road. I’d been successful before, but with this new project everything was harder than I thought it would be. No connections, and low budget, means a lot of grit and hustle while I figure it out.  I failed to finish one of the biggest story-telling projects on my list, so I needed a minute there to regroup. I’d been working on it for a while when things fell apart. My subjects changed their mind and then I couldn’t find people who wanted to be part of the story.

So, I’m back to square one, looking for subjects and collaborators with the multitude of parenting and Wish Factor adventures that have followed me along the way. It was hard to regroup after this one. But I’m inching my way back. I took a step back from the project and found a different creative outlet … for just a minute.

And that helped.

I bought a camera.

I had no idea what ISO, aperture, or white balance was, I didn’t know about all the gadgets or tricks, but I learned quickly. Still learning. During this little creative growth adventure, I learned to rebound through an alternative way of telling stories. I admire a lot of picture-taking peeps and the way they communicate through what is captured, either black or white, or color. I like to see the story through the lens. It’s a different way of telling a story and I’ve enjoyed the learning process so far. It might help me with my original project. I learned to find what to center, what to keep in, what to leave out. I’m learning what perspectives looks best and what I want to feel when I see the picture, whether it’s the kids, a game, or the landscape. I want to feel the feeling. Just like with words. And I’m liking the new outlet.

These bits and pieces have been helpful. Building confidence and gaining voice back serves as a building block for a comeback, because after all … a setback is nothing but a comeback in disguise, and mannnnn was it hidden there for a minute. Incognito. But I’m working my way back.

I’ll be picking up that other project, looking for other subjects to interview and getting the story told.  Takes a minute to start the engines and build up steam. But once you start typing away on the keyboard hope finds a way of sitting next to you, ready to be your co-pilot again. I got to remember that.

So, thanks to my buddies for checking in on me.

Buen Camino ….

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Learning From Mistakes …

20 Oct

One of the best parts of sports I enjoy, aside from awesome shows like Friday Night Lights and movies like Hoosiers and Miracle, are the teachable moments that happen often throughout the season and in the playoffs.

We pay attention to the hardworking players who let their game speak for itself and point out that being flashy might not be the best avenue. This whole dabbing thing drives me up the wall.  I enjoy celebrating goals, 3-pointers, home runs, and awesome defensive plays, but dabbing … ugh … it’s in poor form. It’s really for the other person, not so much for yourself. I know there’s going to be all kinds of trash-talkers and show-boaters on teams, giving kids bad examples to follow. They’re always there. Most of the time, though,  jumping and fists up in the air are instinctual forms of celebrating. That big YEAAHHHHH yell is genuine exuberance. You can’t contain your happiness so you just soar.

I’m trying to teach my kids to soar. Not be flashy just soar. But I found out they don’t need lessons in soaring, just in learning from their mistakes so they can soar again.

As I’ve mentioned before … this is a House of Sports and all games involving our favorite teams are on our television. Watching the NLCS playoffs and cheering for our Boys in Blue during the postseason is something we do every chance we get. I remember cheering for them back in the day with my Dad hoping for El Toro, Fernando Valenzuela, to earn the win.  You see we had Fernandomania and continued to bleed Blue ever since. It happens with everyone in their own city with their own team, I imagine.

And as with any playoff series mistakes happen, over, and over, and over again. The only point I can make after my frustration subsides is  … What do you think they learned from that there? What would you have learned?

Don’t beat yourself … let others try to beat you … let them earn their win.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

 

 

This was the common theme for the most recent series. It’s something I often put out there to my kids … the whole “you better empty out your tank when you’re out there, give it everything you got and don’t let anybody out-try you.”

That’s my thing … don’t let anyone out-try you. They may be faster, they may be able to throw the ball farther, they may score more goals, but they better not out-try you. You need to Ninja-Warrior Up! No matter what mistakes you’ve made, learn from them and get back out there. And that’s something my kids pointed out during the series. Mistakes and getting out-tried. It happens. But if you learn from it, you can make a comeback and so our team did.

I’m all out about comebacks and the underdog. I’m all about Cinderella stories and defense winning championships. I’m all about earning the win. I’m glad my kids got to see the ugly parts of losing and winning, as well as the good parts of trying. I’m glad they got to see what can happen if you get it together, even if it took seven games.

You can make it to the next round … and see what happens next.

Buen Camino, my friends.

 

 

 

Accidental Sabbaticals, Broken Chains, and Storytelling Comebacks …

19 Sep

I broke the chain.

One day became two, then three, then four, then it was two weeks. You write everyday and you end up building links that connect, and at the end of the month you have this long chain of events that contributed to the creative spark that fuels your storytelling nature. You build something and every time you log onto your computer or tap away at your typewriter, you add another link to your creative works chain.

sabbatical

But I broke the link. And now I have to start over.

I didn’t think I’d be one of those Missing In Action writers as I tend to roll on in consistently, but it completely snowballed here in sunny California. I fell off the creative wagon for a bit there to churn out some grant-writing pages and the energy for anything creative slowly drifted away as my head hit the pillow and snored away until the next morning. Now I don’t know if they’ve gotten the funds yet, but I sure hope they do.

But while I was testing out the philanthropic waters and trying to do good for others, I lost my mojo there for a bit. I lost my juice. But I’m working my way back. Bit by bit, one day at a time.

It’s not a big deal, as the world of blogging continues to spin and people keep moving forward, and discovering new sites as old ones fizzle out, but for those wondering about my accidental sabbatical … it’s over for now. I hope to not have another repeat. Someone told me it’s good to step away for a bit and recharge your battery, even if it wasn’t intentional, it’s still good to gain new perspective on your storytelling ways. I’ll find out if that’s true.

In the meantime, I’m still finding the funny in the not-so-funny situations, or at least I’m trying to, and I’m weaving experiences into the best kind of stories I know how to tell. Like with my washer ordeal and the battle with Sears and their Customer Service department and how Sebastian over there is not in favor of customers or service, or warranties. I relied on comedic moments to help me return to a state of Zen.

And while on this unintentional break, I did have something good happen. A couple actually, but I’ll save one for the Friday Feel Good Post. This one is reserved for recharging batteries. And I found that being surrounded by good music, good food, and people that make you laugh works its magic like chocolate.

I hadn’t on a Girls’ Night Out in probably a year, there really hadn’t been one. Everybody has been so busy with life. So when I got invited to go to an outdoor concert, I wanted to go, but paused for a minute as sometimes I fall into the … “man that’s too far, or parking is gonna be a nightmare, or I’m just too exhausted from parenting to go,” categories. In fact sometimes I just don’t feeeeeel like going. But I remember getting the invite and then remember an old Jim Carrey movie where he ends up saying yes to everything, and all these experiences take him on a new journey to a new self, a new perspective. They help him find his way, even though he gets lost somewhere in the middle, all those yeses leaded to something good in the end.

And so … I said yes. I said yes to Los Tigres del Norte.

And I found something good in the end. I found something in the accordion playing, the brass of the trumpets, in the strumming of the guitars under the starry night sky, in the gritos of the crowd cheering for more from this legendary group.

I found the good of the night and gratitude for the yes, and for the enjoyment.

Something about hanging out and getting good vibes made me smile and jump on in feet first. There were a few ladies I wished had been able to make it out there, but I was still very much in good spirits and feeling  the vibes of the outdoor amphitheater and the contagious laughter that comes about when people get together.

I was recharged, for my storytelling comeback, and I’m hoping to keep the chain strong this time.

 

Buen Camino, my friends!