It’s day two of the July Ultimate Blogging Challenge (or will be day two for the next 50 minutes, lol). The suggestion from Paul Taubman, who is the facilitator of the challenge, is to describe how I got into this niche. Okay, hmmm. I don’t really know. A long time ago, and longer than I care to recall, I attended the journalism school at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. My career hope was to become a film critic and to work for the Courier-Express in Buffalo, New York.

What? You’re saying that you’ve never heard of the Courier-Express? Well, there’s a reason for it. It’s been out of business for more than 40 years. My career goals got nipped in the bud. Or snipped. Or chopped. A bad pruning job, I would say. A year before I graduated from journalism school, the Courier-Express went out of business. Closed forevermore. Kaput and deader than a door knocker. I don’t know if door knockers were ever alive but if Doctor Who said it, it has to be so.

And, alas, I never became a film critic. Which made me sad because I really wanted to have an entire career at the movie theater.

So I had to figure out ways to reinvent myself. I tried doing clerical jobs. I really, really tried. I am pretty decent at typing so I thought, “I can type. This is going to be easy work.” Um. No. It really wasn’t. The noise level in most offices meant that I could neither focus nor concentrate. I put so much effort into trying to listen to what any boss or supervisor was saying that I had monstrous headaches. I was sure that I was getting stupider by the day. At that time, I didn’t understand what auditory processing disorder was and how it affected my ability to understand what people were telling me.

I was trying to put a unique me into a little green Monopoly house and I wasn’t succeeding. What I really needed to do was to put a unique me into a lovely little cottage with a garden on the outside and a piano and art supplies on the inside. I needed to be surrounded by trees and stories. And I needed to let my imagination run free to do what it was meant to do. Which was… well… this.

And that brings me to the day 32 prompt for the Daisy Yellow Index Card a Day challenge. It’s cottage. The image above tells the story that I just told about trying to fit me into a little green Monopoly house, instead of that cottage, surrounded by trees. And I know that I’m not alone in that effort. How many of you are attempting to put a unique and creative you into a little green Monopoly house, even if you can’t possibly fit all that wonderfulness that you carry with you?

14 thoughts on “Monopolife”

  1. Glad you kept going and came to find a niche! I know what it’s like to have something you really want go away before you get a chance. I suppose it’s one reason I ended up in the military after college, midway thru grad school! Oh, the pain! But we kept going- my niche is easy to see I think why I chose my niche…I love dogs, I love the vegan lifestyle, I love working out with my dogs, hmmm…

    Monopoly- I love that game, but rarely get anyone to play with me because it’s such a LONG game.

    I know so well about the reinventing myself too…I graduated from college here on Long Island with a degree in Photography, then went and graduated with my Masters in Communication Arts. I later came to dog training, and then health coaching. YIKES!

    1. The twists and turns our lives take are amazing!!! I can see how we have both experienced that! I discovered, in the course of reinventing myself, that I love gardening and entomology. Who would guess that I would have mad love for insects? And then, there was the art. I always knew that I loved it but I was so concerned that I didn’t have any talent that I gave it up. I have learned that it’s really not about talent but about effort and about imagination. And so, here I am.

      As for the journalism, I’m still doing it. I’ve discovered that newpaper reporting probably isn’t my passion and that I might not have been as happy as I thought if I had that career as a film critic. Instead, what I discovered is something I sort of knew when I was a candy striper at a nursing home at the age of 14. I love listening to other people’s stories. Especially old people. So my next step might be oral history. Old people are truly a treasure of lived history, and I would love to share their stories.

      Sometimes, it takes a long time for us to find our path, but it’s the journey that counts, really. Thank you so much for your comments and your insights. They are so much appreciated.

  2. You have a way with words, that is for sure! I loved reading your story of how you got to where you are today! Fascinating. I love your analogy too. It is so wonderful that you can be yourself, and use your creativity to your heart’s content!!

  3. You are a humorist, Alice, and a very good one at that! I keep getting images of you sitting on a stool, on stage, doing your comedy. I am glad you were able to reinvent yourself, and find that better-fitting cottage. 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh! Thank you. I never saw myself as someone on stage performing comedy. That’s not to say that I’ve never performed on stage! I’ve been in plays and dance recitals and operas (which are much more fun as a participation sport than as a spectator sport). I am happy that I was open to reinventing myself because, for a while, I was not. It’s a good process!

  4. Alice, I also lost my first career. My field was absorbed by civil engineering, which I found deadly boring. However, I was moving to holistic coaching/healing anyway, so here I am, healthy, happy, and loving life. I live in a cute little home, get to be as creative as I like, and am very grateful every day. I recognized your little map the second I saw it. I’m not sure what year we met in the UBC, but you have greatly unfolded since then. And I think you’re having more fun! Btw, why can’t you have a movie review podcast and say whatever you want??? Siskel and Ebert each worked until death stopped them. Why not you? <3

    1. I’m happy that you mentioned civil engineering and the boredom factor. At one point , I was advised to do technical editing. I wasn’t sure that it was a very good idea, mainly because, when you’re editing something, it’s hard to be effective if you’re clueless about the topic. But there was this job that I was told about by a job counselor. It was with a pharmaceutical company. So I submitted my resume.

      I was called in for an interview and an editing test. I had to sign a paper, in which I acknowledged that the information that I was editing was proprietary and that I was not to discuss it in any way whatsoever. As soon as I started editing, I could see that this was a lost cause. There were all sorts of complicated formulas, as well as words that were almost as long as my forearm (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration!). I made every effort to edit the document, but I didn’t understand a word of it.

      Once I was finished (translate: I threw in the towel), I was reminded that this was proprietary information, and I was not to share it with anyone. I wondered how I could share information that I basically could not read. I did, however, recognize a few Greek letters in all of the mumbo jumbo. It was truly all Greek to me!!!

      As for the movie review podcast, I don’t know. It used to be that I could just catch a bus and go to the movie theater in downtown Buffalo, but, now, the movie theaters have migrated to places unreachable by public transportation. But check out my next blog post to find out what I’ve decided to do!!!

  5. What a great history of you past Alice. You definitely belong in a cottage in the woods with a gee tky following stream with not much noice and doing what you love. You forgot to mention dancing but that fits in the cottage too. Your drawings are superb, especially the one of Lia! LOL I too could fit in a cottage setting very easily.

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