It’s May! I love May in the Northwest because every now and then we get to see the sunshine and bask in the glow of the possibility that maybe-just maybe-the world is not a cloud-covered, smallish, gray, soggy place. Today, as I write, there is sun. (Later, when I go for my run, it will be raining of course, but we take what we can get!)
Last month there was a flurry of activity in my world as I quickly packed and bought tickets to New York City where I was interviewed on ABC’s The Revolution by Tim Gunn (of Project Runway) and Ty Pennington (of Extreme Home Makeover) about my personal revolution to turn myself from a depressed divorcee into a globetrotting marathoner. Also on my trip to New York, I was able to meet (for the first time face to face) and enjoy the company of my agent, Pamela, as well as spend a little time with old friends who live in the area.
New York City is so grand and formidable that when I arrived on a Wednesday, I instantly wondered what I’d gotten myself into-wondered if I was equal to the task I’d come to complete-wondered if I could even find my way from point A to point B. Fortunately, on Thursday when I arrived (without getting lost) at the studio, the folks at The Revolution took me in hand and made me feel comfortable and safe with their hair and make-up and bustling producers making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time. By the time I actually shook hands with Tim and Ty, I was quite relaxed.
As you can see in the video clip, the gist of the interview is how I used running and my seven continent marathon quest to re-vision my life and my identity. Every word I said is true, but the interview was short and there was a lot left unsaid. In fact, I’ve done a number of interviews about Second Wind over the past two years, and every interview seems to leave something important unexplored. After I left the The Revolution studio, I got to thinking, “Why doesn’t anyone ever ask…?”
The questions no one has ever asked me, but which feel extremely relevant to my personal transformation, are about the deeper issues that emerged as I traveled the world. I’d love someone to ask: Who did you encounter that changed your way of thinking about culture/race/environmental preservation/politics? What made you laugh? What made you cry? What piece of art or natural wonder wowed you? When were you most afraid? When were you outraged? What/who/which place(s) did you fall in love with?
On and on I could go because, although I wrote more than three hundred pages about my round-the-world experience, there are a thousand more words unwritten. And I believe this is true for all of us–whether we are writers or not. Our most profound, paradigm-altering experiences often go unarticulated.
Here’s an exercise: Write down the one question you wish someone would ask you. It could be that you wish your partner would ask you what makes you happy. Or maybe you’d like someone to ask you what the one gift is you’d like to leave for the world when you pass from it. Whatever it is, write it down. Then answer it. Take an afternoon to sit with tea and your journal. Answer that question until you’ve exhausted all you have to say. Explore every angle and facet.
At the very least, we owe it to ourselves to ask the important questions, do we not?