Diary Entry (11/13/2014)
I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to go back and look at the puzzle pieces in my life. I’m thankful I’ve kept this blog over the years so that I can see the life I lived. There are things I don’t understand like why I’m in this present moment, but going back and reading the entries over again, I start to remember the steps along this path.
Over this past year, I’ve been struggling with memories. I lost the majority of them after my surgery last year. I had cognitive issues prior to going into the surgery (a side effect of too much calcium in the blood). But this could also just be a side effect from the anesthesia. Who knows. All I know is my present struggle I have with both short and long term memories.
Because I know I have cognitive issues now, I’ve been taking steps to re-learn a lot of things like math. It’s hard knowing that I used to be really good at math, and now all of a sudden I don’t know how to add 2+2. I give up the second I have to multiply anything. I count using my fingers and then get so flustered when I don’t understand what comes after 11.
There are days math is simple and I feel like I’m remembering the simple math. Then there are days when it just doesn’t come to me.
The doctor says I’m too young to have Alzheimer’s. But the fact remains, something happened (or is happening).
Writing used to be extremely difficult. To combat that, I’ve been writing more and reading more. I edit more, too. I go back and read things a good 10 times before I publish. Then after I publish, I end up editing it another 3 more times. But the important thing is, practice makes perfect.
I didn’t start this post to talk about my cognitive issues. I wanted to talk about those puzzle pieces.
A few years ago, my Moroccan friend Driss told me to take a look at my life. This life is leading somewhere. I just have to figure out where it’s going. It’s apparent that all of the pieces are in place. I just have to figure out what it all means.
Going back and reading the posts over this last year when the signs kept saying “Go back to the beginning” and “Start all over again,” who knew that starting all over again would mean wiping out so many memories from before.
I even wrote about ‘Re-Branding Yourself.’ Ends up that’s what I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on. I didn’t realize how re-branding myself would take me into a whole new territory. The direction I decided to take myself and my career ended up being a lot harder. It meant more research. It meant going out and meeting the people I need to know and learn from in order to make this next step in life. They say that when you are on your path in life, you attract the people to you that will help you along the way. The universe will drop into your lap the tools you need in order to grow.
Who knew that going to meet Anne Rice and see her speak about her own career would put me in a unique spot where I realized I’m learning about the changes in going from a hockey writer to a novelist. Hearing her editor speak alongside her helped me realize this unique opportunity to learn what it was I was writing. What set Anne aside from the rest, she was innovative. Interview With the Vampire had never been done before when it was released back in 1976. That was what made it so important.
I thought back to what I was writing and realized…this has also never been done before. As much as I complain (mainly to myself) that there is nothing out there for people like me, I realize that’s because I need to create something for people like me. If that means diving into insanity and hoping I come out alive, then so be it. That may be what it takes to write what needs to be written.
And that has turned into its own theme in the re-branding: to write what needs to be written. What I mean by that is the reason why this blog exists…to help others in the grander scheme of things. If telling a story of someone’s struggle in life in order to get to where they are today helps someone else out there, then that’s the story that needs to be told. You never know who is reading. Just being honest and truthful will help not only yourself, but others.
In the re-branding I noticed the theme in my work that was being repeated over and over again…telling the stories that will help others. Those stories are going to be my main focus.
I also wanted to make sure I had more fan engagement when it comes to hockey, so I changed the way I covered and wrote about hockey. In other words, I’m investing in the fans just as much as they invest in me and my work. I’m giving them different content, but content they will enjoy.
I’m also spending a lot more time researching different subjects pertaining to the content I’m developing. Sometimes this research is hard and difficult to absorb because of the shock that goes along with it, but it needs to be done in order to understand the bigger picture as a whole.
What this all means in the end is that for what I want in this re-brand, it takes a lot of work…much more work than I’ve ever had to do before. Things in life have always come very easily for me. This time around, I want things to be better than they ever were before. I’m branching out of my own comfort zone because I want something bigger out of life…something I’ve never had before.
As I move into the re-brand phase, I am constantly reviewing who to affiliate myself with. I’m looking for the things that are missing in this world, and I’m trying to fill it with an answer. The key to being innovative is to deliver something new to the people. Along the way, you have to pay it forward. Helping others that will help you, those are the people you work with. Most importantly, you promote people that deserve it. Just like if you deserve to be promoted, someone out there will notice your work and promote it. They’ll tell others about you and what you’ve done. Some times, word of mouth is a much louder advertising device than just an ad you pay for. Those are the people you aim to be your audience.
It’s just funny how everything changed last year and I’m now looking back and understanding that certain things had to happen the way they happened in order to push me in a new direction. Starting over again meant starting over bigger than before. That only means that it takes a lot of hard work to do what I’m trying to do. Hopefully, what I’m creating is the right thing in the long run for everyone. It’s amazing to see just what I gave up in order to push myself forward.
The road ahead requires a lot of hard work, but I’m up for the challenge. After all, if the journey isn’t difficult, when you reach the top, did it truly mean anything in the end? What every person has ever told me…it’s all about the climb.