Sharp Edges: where I've been, where I'm going

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I've been a blogger slacker; I confess. It wasn't meant to be this way.

But I've been rolling through and over rugged landscapes in these past weeks, and sometimes it's better to think and to do, rather than to speak.

But now I'm speaking:

Following thirty years of chasing projects in corporate America I am calling off the chase. I loved what I did, the people I met, the meaty, beautiful, complex projects I was entrusted with, the client projects that still sit proudly on my shelves. But in recent years too much has changed—a disheartening disrespect and disequilibrium has entered in. It's a demand and disappear environment out there these days. It's phones ringing after dinner with early AM deadlines, nights tapping away, and the next-day news: Whoops. Sorry. We were wrong. Didn't need that project after all. 

Didn't need you.

I have lived my life putting my family and friends first, my students second, my corporate clients second, too, and me a distant something. I would do it all exactly the same way again; I have no regrets. But going forward I know what I want, where I am happiest, what I must be, must have. More time with books. More time with people who write and read with noble purpose. More time spent beneath a blooming, bursting cherry tree, or on a farm, or by the sea.

More time being the me I need.

Not long ago, in New York, I sat with someone I have grown to love, the great editor, Lauren Wein. Later, writing to me, she wrote words that ricocheted. After so much frank unkindness from corporate America, after too much time spent in the claw and crawl of it all, I had this sudden sense of being seen.
  seeing you i thought again what i thought the other time---beth has such SHARP EDGES. in the very best way. your virtual presence is so much about generosity, encouragement, positive reinforcement--for other writers and artists, for your family, for your students. in person, the other side comes out. and it's equally compelling---it raises the stakes somehow, in the best way! it's still positive, lyrical, poetic Beth, but there's also a tension there--the sense of an oppositional pull. the bold, unexpected shoes to complement and subvert the elegant, basic black.
Being seen. How simple that sounds. How great the journey.


Colleen said...

I love what you are doing, I love how excited and hopeful and smart you sound about it, and I love the thought of what will come next.

I love you - in that crazy online, supportive writer who has been there for me with so many perfect emails at the perfect time kind of way.

Yea for you, Beth. Yea for you!!!

Beth Kephart said...

Colleen, thank you. It is a beautiful thing to finally set yourself (ourselves) free.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Excited for you!
Sometimes it is just time to take another path.

Beth Kephart said...

indeed it is, Jennifer. the writing has been on the wall for a very long time.

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