Let’s try this again

This is just stupid! I can remember so excited about starting this blog, that I was having trouble sleeping at night. It knew it was going to be this amazing adventure that would spark all kinds of exciting conversations about the things we keep close. I would write personal essays about the tings that touched the deepest part of me and invite others to do the same.

It started out just fine. There were a few things that sucked but there are things that blossomed and even surprised me. Like the WUWM segments that air twice a month. I’m now about to produce # 35 I think, and I’m still SHOCKED that I was able to pull that together. I’m stunned that  anybody thinks little segments about objects is something worth funding. The conversations are  about how do we sustain and grow the project rather than a kill date. Soon, the segments will air on WORT Community Radio, the place where I got my start and that’s nothing but all good.

So, if it’s all good…why did I stop posting?

It’s hard to tell by looking at this sentence but it’s been an HOUR since I typed the one above. I think that in order to get to the answer; I have to back up a bit. I got my first real job at the age of 15 and I’ve been working ever since. At the age of 47 ish…I left my last full-time job. Let’s do the math. That’s 32 years of working. That’s 32 years of having a boss or bosses who told me what I needed to do to earn a living.

Here’s the scary part. I didn’t realize how accustomed I’d become to being somebody’s employee until I started working for myself. I had no concept of what it was like to truly be in charge of myself. Oh, don’t get it twisted! I wasn’t a punk. I bucked, kicked, and railed against authority as more than I needed to. I hate taking orders and I question authority all the time. But, there was a part of me that needed someone to create some kind of structure…even when I hated it.

As a radio producer, there are very strict rules to follow. The story is always about the guest, event, crisis, or whatever and never about self. In fact whatever I was producing had to have absolutely nothing to do with me or what I thought or who I was when I turned off my recorder. I was an instrument. My job was to record the information and relay it to the listening audience. Ok, it was more than that but I don’t feel like writing all of it and believe me…you wouldn’t want to read any of it.


Now I find myself self-employed and free to write what I want when I want. That’s the problem. What are the rules? What should I write about? Should it be about the projects I’m working on for school?  Maybe I should focus on Material Culture. Should I interview a bunch of professors and historians? Maybe I should write about what happens after the interviews over and the recorder is switched off. Maybe I should get all personal diary with it and write about my adventures in art history and material culture. But, how much of myself do I share? Do I have to tell the truth or a can I tell good stories? I mean really, a good story is maybe 90% true and the rest breathes life into the tale.

It this was a perfect thing; I would be able to answer all of those questions in a tight little paragraph and keep stepping. But, perfect is far from anything I know or have ever experienced. So, I will trudge along. I’ll make mistakes. I will write stupid things, take bad photos. Write grammatically incorrect incomplete sentences. I will share what I’m working on, what I’m blowing off and shit that just ain’t working.

All that said, summer will soon be here and I’ve got a lot on my plate. Somehow, I’ll get through it and hopefully a few people will join me for the ride. It’s not going to be pretty or graceful but it will be what it’s supposed to be. What that “it” is at this moment…beats the shit out of me.

3 thoughts on “Let’s try this again

  1. Welcome back to your personal blog. I told you that material culture would change your life. But, in your case, in a much bigger way than I thought possible. You have been able to take your journalistic talents and apply them to a broad set of issues and ideas; balancing scholarly thinking and everyday experiences and storytelling about people and objects.

    Kudos. Ann Smart Martin

  2. Kristina Watanabe says:

    Funny how you fight all your life for freedom, and then when you get it, it’s a big mystery. If anyone can do it, you can!!!

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