You’re in Your Skivvies Now

I’ve sat down to write this blasted first blog fifteen times. Nada. Zip. The anxiety of making a profound impression on you, the reader, has caused me to question my self-worth, my ability as a writer & perhaps most damaging, how I really look in my bathing suit.

Anita On the Cliffs of Torrey PinesI even tried an old trick from my Advanced Rhetoric class. Imagine the crowd in their underwear. Makes sense. How many of you ever dress up to check email, Facebook & Tumblr? I don’t know what Tumblr is, but that’s my intended hook for the younger crowd.

Still, nothing. Even with you in your skivvies, I’m not coming up with anything that will undoubtedly change how you see the world, me & the final episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

So, new plan. I’m punting the idea of being brilliant & witty & instead, I will write about something that everyone loves and no one can get pissed off about: puppies.

I really, really like puppies. I like puppies a lot. I like all kinds of puppies.

I credit that last sentence to my daughter when she was in first grade & had to write an “essay,” minimum length: 3 sentences. She could talk for 78 minutes without a breath, but ask her to write 3 sentences, & she jammed up like a car out of oil.

I’d like to publicly apologize for the pressure I loaded on to my 6-year-old. “Just write,” I’d say. “Something. Anything.” Now I’m the one writing about puppies.

When I was 28, the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California accepted me into their MFA program. I applied having no experience in film. The only video camera I’d used was a 1984 Panasonic VHS, roughly the size of a small car. I sometimes laugh at my own audacity in even mailing the application, and yet, USC said Yes.

What did I do? I fucking jumped. I didn’t over-think it. I moved forward hard & fast. My Beagle & I hopped into our ’86 Honda Accord & drove 2,800 miles cross country, Rochester to Los Angeles, our cassette player blasting Enya. In August. With no air conditioning.

I jumped. Fearless.

17 years later, I can’t write a friggin’ blog. Everyone blogs, tweets & tumbles. I have 2 master’s degrees, & I’m stuck on a 500-word essay. What the hell happened? I no longer jump off swings (bad back), eat spicy food (gas) or run with scissors (you just never know).

When did I take on the fear? The angst? Maybe when I opened my 401K or first considered life insurance? I feel like I need a wire brush to scrub off the layers of self-doubt.

I just did a word count. 452, including title. Finally. My first blog is done.

By the way, my niece just texted me. Tumblr’s out, Instagram is in. I need a nap.

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