Laptop and TeaBlogging in the time of Corona seems a bit absurd, does it not? Well, add that to the reality that this week will mark my 43rd trip around the sun, and the world comes across as even more borderline surreal to me. I guess it’s a good thing that absurdist is my favorite type of theater and surrealism is my favorite period of artistic expression. Isn’t that just like a Pisces? 😉

Anyway, the only thing I can do during this strange little in-between is take to my keyboard and write, write and write some more. … Well, I can also clean. And read my book. And go for a walk. And create art. And … OK. So there are a lot of things I can do, so perhaps it’s not the major life-altering disruption for me as it may be for others.

Not to mention, I also have freelance assignments and projects to fulfill and a wonderful day-job that is doing everything it can to keep the doors open during these uncertain times. I’m well aware many of my fellow freelancers are not so fortunate, and I will do my best to push any support I can their way. No “man” is an island, and I truly believe it is our ingenuity and compassion during times of crisis that truly reveal the humanity in us all.

With that being said, I hope no one is upset with my cheerful demeanor and desire to be more productive than usual at this time. I plan to tackle my next solar revolution with a deliberate shift into realizing a better life for myself, while forging ahead to help create a similar path for others. I don’t want to share too many details at this time, as the plans are still being developed and, as they say, the card is subject to change.

What I can tell you is that I still plan to redesign my website this year, and grow my business to a level where I can simultaneously 1) pay off debt, 2) save up for my next bucket list trip (hint: it’s a country known for its gorgeous landscapes, delicious cuisine, and high llama count), and 3) navigate a major emergency without worrying about eviction notices. ::cough::

While I plan to seize the day, I can’t help but look back on where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. Five years ago, if you told me I would be living in Newark, NJ, working as a copywriter/freelance journalist and art gallery manager, I’d have demanded you talk to someone about the voices in your head.

Ten years ago, if you told me I would have gained an alarming amount of weight due to an extended period of double depression, but somehow managed to launch a website and blog that would still be online 10 years later, I’d say you are just being cruel.

Twenty years ago, if you told me that one day I would marvel at bands performing in LA’s Whisky a Go Go and NYC’s The Cutting Room; gawk at great actors treading the boards of Chicago, LA and NYC’s most esteemed theaters; and find myself profoundly moved as I walked the streets of Toronto’s Kensington Market, visited the hallowed soil of the Musée Rodin in Paris, and stood at the edge of the world’s best preserved meteor crater in Arizona, I would’ve quoted Joe Biden and said, “Come on, man!”

The truth is the life I’ve led ’til now is not too far from the one I asked for after I realized that I wouldn’t get to show off my fan kicks on a Broadway stage. As an ambitious, college co-ed trying to determine how I would parlay this  “other talent” into a career, I realized the writers I admired most were those who didn’t limit themselves or their experiences to the traditional view of the wordsmith.

My favorite authors wrote short stories (O. Henry), advertising copy (Vonnegut), plays (Hansberry), novels (Joyce), poetry (Nin), diaries (Grant), theater reviews (Parker), op-eds in the leading newspapers of their day (Twain), and whimsical musings on napkins without the constant concern for convention or pomp. And plenty more dabbled in a little bit of everything in order to make ends meet. And an even greater number did all this while holding down a “normal” job that put a roof over their head, food on the table and supported a family.

Whether or not my words reach the same level of fame or attention remains to be seen. But I recognize that I am in a blessed position for now, and the plan is to build on that in the face of major transition (and global pandemics). I know it’s odd to assert such concepts when so many are grappling with their mortality. Honestly, I get it. But until that day arrives when I can no longer push forward and everything becomes a matter of simply surviving, I welcome my next birthday celebration, and will continue blogging in the time of Corona, no matter how absurd or surreal it may be.