Half Empty, Half Full


“Are you happy?”

It’s not a question that someone recently asked me, but rather the one I ask myself on a regular basis. 

When I’m working uninterrupted at my computer, I’m happy. When I’m sharing a delicious meal with loved ones, or receiving good news, I’m happy. There are obviously people and circumstances that evoke happiness within us.  

In contrast, there are people and circumstances who induce anything but happiness.  

So, emotions are transient; they change with any given day and situation. 

However, I’m talking about the overarching view of our experiences; a more existential perspective like “What is the meaning of life?” Or, more specifically, “Does my life have meaning?”

Like everyone else, I’ve faced challenges along the way. Some people have endured far more than me, and others not nearly as much: 

  • Two decades in a toxic marriage, but I did get out.
  • Always yearning for the college degree that I gave up, and finally graduating in 2013.
  • Putting my ailing father in a nursing home, where he lasted nine months.
  • Mustering the courage to leave the familiar to pursue something better, only to  realize the value of familiar, while redefining better.

Thinking back over these difficulties, I will say that the outcomes were positive. Or were they?

Some people might focus on all the lost years and missed opportunities, which culminated in my current situation. I’m no longer gainfully employed, have no assets, and are attempting a new beginning.

What I do have is my health, people who care about me, and the belief that good things eventually come to those who wait, work, and believe.

If we obsess about the level of the water instead of celebrating the glass, we lose the ability to recognize happiness in any amount.

So, maybe happiness is really just perspective. After all, there will always be bumps in the road. But, how we view those bumps and navigate that road ultimately determines our destination. 


Discover Challenge: Tough Questions


10,384 Words


I’ve written just 10,384 words for NaNoWriMo and the goal is to write 50,000 in the month of November. That leaves 39,616 more to write and only six days to finish. Now, that may sound like bad news, but it’s not. Because I’m that much closer to writing a story that I’ve been thinking about for years.

The good news is that I’ve embarked on a career as a freelance writer and I’ve been busy working with my first client! I’m extremely excited for this opportunity and hope to find success doing something that I truly enjoy. 

I’ve considered doing this for a while now, particularly since there’s been no luck with the job search. I went back to school as a non-traditional student to better myself. I invested a tremendous amount of time and energy considering that I was working full-time. Did I do this to take a job that only required a high school diploma? Um…no.

I’ve always done well in English and writing classes. As a Public Relations major, my coursework was writing-intensive, so I’ve had a lot of practice. But, I wasn’t required to write much in my job. 

When I went home to Pennsylvania in August, I met up with a classmate from high school. She had recently been laid off from a job of twenty years working at a non-profit. Rather than looking for another company to work at, she decided to start her own consulting business and suggested that I consider doing the same.

“Well, I’ve never been paid to write, so I’m technically not a writer,” was my response.

She furrowed her brow and reminded me that I was never paid to go to school, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a student. 

Our conversation lasted a couple of hours and several times I repeated the same phrase: “But, I’m not a writer, because I didn’t do much writing in my job.”

Finally, she got exasperated and said, “Yes, you are a writer. You were known as a writer in high school. You’ve done various types of writing in college. You’ve been writing a blog for almost a year. Do you know how many people out there with no formal education are writing as a career?”

Other people have complimented and encouraged me, as well. They have all inspired me to take the crucial next step and give it a shot. 


I approached a small business, owned by some friends, and offered to write blog posts for their website. They’ve been wanting to do more with their online presence, but simply don’t have time. Unfortunately, their website is bare-bones-basic and I’m currently building a new WordPress site for them. Once I get it finished I can begin writing. They also asked me to give a little love to their Facebook page. Needless to say, I’ve been very busy and grateful to be building a portfolio!


I would love to work from home, be my own boss, and set my own schedule. However, all of this means I had to let NaNoWriMo go for now. But, I don’t see it as a failure at all. Writing even 10,000 words has gotten the creative juices flowing! I had a basic storyline formulated and getting started has helped expand upon that original outline. I’ve come up with new characters and better plot ideas.

I won’t make 50,000 words by the end of the month, but I have 10,384 that I can continue to build on.

I’m not an established freelance writer, because I only have one client. But, I mustered the courage and took the first step. And now I can build on that, too! 🙂