I am an immigrant.
I moved to the United States at the age of 25.
English is not my native language.
But I made a career writing in English and wrote for 12 years for The New York Times. The New York F-ing Times.
I still write.
And I teach writing. In English. To college students. Sometimes, I write words on the board and ask them to pronounce them for me. Because I know how to write words, but don't always know how to pronounce them. And that’s cool.
Since my husband died, I‘m also raising a child and paying bills on my own.
On Sunday, I fixed a leaking toilet. The toilet had been hissing for a while. My daughter said it wasn't hissing, but that it was speaking Parseltongue, the language of serpents in Harry Potter's world. When I was finished, she high-fived me and said, "Girls can do anything."
There is a lot of pressure when a new year starts. We set resolutions, draw expectations and make plans that, on paper, are wonderful, but that are tough to fulfill because we’re so overwhelmed by the resolutions we can’t keep and the unrealistic expectations.
That's what I did year after year after year.
Not this year. This year I’m focused on being good to myself. I’m focused on doing what I’m doing well while understanding that I can’t do everything.
I am a wonderful woman, but I am not Wonder Woman. I am not a super hero. I am human. And that’s cool.
I woke up feeling a bit down today, so I sat down and wrote this as a reminder to myself. And now I'm sharing this reminder with you.
Believe in yourself. Be you. Because no one can be. And that is enough to make you awesome.
With love, always.
WHY – AND HOW – I WRITE
The key to writing a good story is knowing what you don’t know and finding the right people and documents to help you learn it. You have a fundamental question that leads to a bunch of other questions that need to be answered so that your fundamental question makes sense. This is how I write.
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