I first stumbled across Growing Bolder back in 2008 when…just wait for it…I was trying to find something else. Seriously, isn’t that the way most good things happen?
I have to really laugh now when I think that we were both literally “works in progress” at the time. I had recently published my first book, “Running with Stilettos,” and was browsing the web late one night, trying to figure out how to contact the producers of “Menopause the Musical!” for a possible shout-out for my essay collection based on my blog of the same name.
And as luck would have it, I saw a small banner ad for something new called “Growing Bolder,” and the name just pulled me right in! I sensed a natural fit, and immediately reached out. I started with the short synopsis—former journalist and soccer mom, now an attorney and author—but saved the best for last.
“I’m a 52 year old woman currently shopping for my first motorcycle jacket. ‘Growing Bolder’? Definitely!!” (I also admitted that when it came to mastering technology, I was “a few steps beyond a quill pen…but not by much.”)
And the rest, as they say, is history…very fond history! While I continued to write for my own Running with Stilettos blog, there were plenty of things that I just naturally turned to Growing Bolder to share first. I’ve been with GB since before I bought that motorcycle jacket, before I ever spent a weekend at Chicago’s Printers Row Lit Fest selling and signing books, before I learned to enjoy standing up in front of a crowd to read an essay, before I “ran the Rocky stairs” in Philadelphia with my son, before I ever thought of myself as a photographer, before I sat at my father’s deathbed. And the power of words was never more real or clear to me than when I shared a piece I wrote for Growing Bolder during the last awful stretch of my elderly father’s decline. I wrote about bringing my dog, Bandit, to the nursing home to visit. I called it “Have Dog Will Travel,” and instead of a dirge it was a warm reflection on a wonderful old retriever, himself well along in years, and his attempts to play with my father.
I then I shared the post in an email to my writers’ group in Chicago, to let people know about the stormy seas I had recently been traveling, and I got a response from a person who I have never met but still remember. Her circumstances dealing with failing parents was even worse and more dire than mine, but she found both connection and hope in the essay, and I still feel humbled when I think of it.
And then just look at Growing Bolder over the past few years! Radio! Television! Magazine! Film production! And a quarter million “likes” on Facebook!
And so I am absolutely thrilled to death to be included in the ranks of the newly redesigned Growing Bolder blogging team as we both embark on new frontiers. And if the past is any predictor of the future, it’s the ones we don’t expect that will be the most challenging and rewarding!