Blank Pages

It is always surprising to me how the various areas of my life converge. Not surprised in a “Oh my gosh, how did THAT ever happen?” way but, more of a sheepish, “I shouldn’t be surprised, because of course that is how life is!” way. Lately, I have been wanting to write more. Professionally about my dissertation research and my own journey as a mid-career mom. I have also been wanting to write about our journey through childhood cancer and how it is has impacted our marriage, our family, our faith, and our future.

Yet, excuses always stop me.

I don’t have time (not true).

Who am I to pretend to know about these things (well, I am someone who has lived them).

No one wants to hear what I have to say (if true, who cares?)

Two things recently happened within weeks of each other that have finally pushed me to sit here and write.

First, I was invited (thank you godesses!) to a meeting about how to write for publication. In that meeting, the Dean of my college asked me, “so Monica, when are you going to publish your dissertation?” Later in that meeting a colleague whom I deeply respect and admire said about her own research, “well, it’s not research if it’s not disseminated. I owe it to my participants.”

Gut check.

Isn’t this why I landed on my own topic as well? To learn something from my amazing participants and then, have the profession learn from their experiences as well?

Second, a young cancer warrior named Zach Sobiech died on Monday morning. Many people the world over know Zach because of his beautiful, soulful song, “Clouds.” We “know” Zach because he is a student in my sister-in-law’s youth group in Stillwater, MN. I am friends with his mom on Facebook and have occasionally written to each other as the moms of cancer warrior sons. Laura has documented Zach’s journey on his Caringbridge site. Her words, Zach’s life are awe-some, in the truest sense of that word. Laura recently wrote:

“Blank pages can be very frustrating and intimidating.  Where do I start? What words do I settle on this blank page when there are so many words clattering around in my head?  Sometimes it’s just easier to walk away and leave it blank. But, it’s our story.  It’s Zach’s story.  And I need to reign in these words and lay them out for today and for tomorrow.”

Gut check 2.

So, with that, no more blank pages on this blog that I started almost 2 years ago. I now have 2 goals for Summer 2013:

1. End the summer with a submittable journal article about my dissertation research. Submit to peer reviewed journal by August 31, 2013.

2. Blog, about whatever I want/feel, once a week.

The ten amazing women who were participants in my dissertation research have a story. I should help them tell it. I have a story. My son has a story. Maybe he will want to have these words to go back to someday. Maybe not. That’s okay. Either way, I have a voice. I want to write. I am going to try harder to do more of it. I appreciate your cheering along the way. Thank you.

One thought on “Blank Pages

  1. Go, momma! Write it and we will read! Thank you for paving the way for future academics who are searching for that intersection between real-life and that research-life. You are doing it with grace – sending you lots of love and cheers! Get writing!


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