Now that I’m an Elephant Journal veteran (he says facetiously, I’ve published one article, Compassion: The Game Changer with a second article in queue) I have some thoughts on the platform.
I don’t think I’m a great fit for Elephant Journal.
I submitted four articles prior to being published. Elephant Journal wanted me to re-craft the articles away from my experiences and more on how their readers could benefit from my lessons – the antithesis of my writing. In each case, my rewrites didn’t pass muster.
I write about my life, my new chapter and my perceptions. Telling people what to do isn’t my deal.
I think I am fairly unique, as a midlife male doing so, as opposed to the scores of trained professionals embracing the voice, “If you feel this way, you should do this. If you feel that way, you should do that.”
My focus is on me and what I’m trying to do. No big deal. I’m just rewiring how I perceive my world and my self.
Not too long ago, the monumental nature of such an undertaking was beyond my comprehension. Imagine a helicopter dropping you in the Black Hills of South Dakota with a ball-peen hammer. Your assignment, sculpt Mount Rushmore.
“See ya in a few years when you’re done.”
When I was in the depths of depression, the helicopter dropped me off. My only tool, a tiny hammer too heavy to lift.
Now I appreciate, that with perseverance, the smallest of tools is capable of forever altering the largest of landscapes. In my case, dear friends and professionals, trained in sculpting, were required as well.
I have no pretensions I understand the circumstances that led to others’ landscapes, nor do I dare suggest what tools might be most effective in altering their landscapes.
Instead I try to articulate where I was, how I felt, what I’ve done, and why. In short, my journey. In doing so, I hope my words resonate and people contemplating how to proceed on their own roads
In my blog, I’ve strived to be honest, to share the pleasures and pains of my existence. When I haven’t been totally honest, it is by omission, not an attempt to deceive. The omissions are driven by concern for my relationship with my three adult (sorta, they are 26, 24, and 20) daughters.
I am trying to rebuild those relationships. With my marriage over, I appreciate how trying this change is for them. In that light, there are aspects of my journey, I’d rather they not learn from my blog.
It turns out blogging about one’s life can be tricky. There’s Jon on the blog. There’s a slightly different Jon who shows up to group therapy and individual therapy. And then there’s Jon juggling what the different iterations look like.
It can be exhausting but I’m sticking with it. My goal is to eventually write under my own name, in my voice. And one day, making a living do so.
In the meanwhile, I hope my chronicle of a midlife resonates.
Stay in touch. Connect.