The Purpose Of Life

Life's Purpose

Saturday night, I met an array of interesting people. Among the crowd, there was a man who, when I asked if he’d ever been in love before, plainly said, “That shit hurts.” I giggled at the idea that a man could be so candid about his feelings, that a man could, in a sense, be vulnerable enough to share something so personal.

“I’m traumatized. You have any idea what it’s like to give someone your all?” he added.

I sure do, and I can relate, but as a male friend (I keep running into insightful men!) said recently, “Love is worth it all.”

If we live in fear, and limit our experiences for the sake of avoiding pain, we’re depriving ourselves of the greatest experiences life has to offer. So whereas before I scurried at the sight of pain, I now appreciate it as much as I do happiness, because pain has taught me things about myself, about others, and about life I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Moreover, pain reminds me that I care that deeply about someone, and when I contemplate how amazing it feels to love (and I don’t just mean romantically), the ache is well worth it.

The brigade of fascinating people continued when I met the alluring young man a friend of mine is currently talking to. He donned a seemingly tailored suit and spoke softly, yet confidently. I was captivated not by his appearance, but by his presence. At just 26 years old, he has an old soul, one that demands attention. Within minutes of meeting, we were engaged in conversation. I’m not sure how we landed on the topic, but it might’ve had something to do with the fact that I no longer shy away from revealing that I don’t want children. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and it tends to spark interesting dialogue.

Upon my revelation, the refined man said something that irked me, a phrase very similar to others I’ve heard in the past: “I guarantee you you’ll change your mind by the time you’re 30.” He then went on to say that he believes procreation is the purpose of life. “We are here to pass down our genes, to pass down what we know.”

To this point, I asked, So then does that mean that a person who can’t bear children has no purpose?

His eyes widened, but his tone didn’t escalate. He mentioned adoption and a broader idea of passing on knowledge. While it would’ve been easy to jump to conclusions, after listening to him for a while, I realized his views weren’t limited to the traditional perception of parenting. He spoke of parenting in the sense of teaching and inspiring others.

He was surprised when I said the following: I don’t believe we were put on this earth for the purpose of procreation. If you look back in history, there have been various authors, which I can’t name off the top of my head – Elizabeth Gilbert being a modern example – who have chosen to be childfree and have passed down their knowledge through their writing. That is what I aim to do through my writing. I want to inspire and empower women of all ages. I want to start an organization for poor children. So while I don’t intend to be a mother in the physiological sense of the word, I do intend to mother.

That conversation tagged along with me into the following day. I was feeling a little down, because there are times when I wonder if my heart is leading me astray, but then, after speaking with a friend of mine, the one who feels like her clock is ticking, I realized, I have nothing to worry about. In response to the conversation I had with the alluring man, my friend said, “Some people are parents and spread no wisdom and if they spread something, it’s bad examples to follow. I think artists spread their knowledge better than some parents. As long as you’re true to yourself and your wants, nothing else should matter.”

I don’t want to sit around waiting for the feeling of motherhood to find me. I’m okay with the idea that it might eventually, but I’m also at peace with the possibility that it might not. For now, I’d rather focus on my dreams, on the things that fill me with love and hope, so that I can radiate the same onto others.

Just a couple of days ago, a coworker told me that her daughter is also a writer and that she hopes to teach her daughter to be as confident as I am. The beauty in her statement is that she acknowledged that confidence has to, in part, be taught. Like so many other things, it shouldn’t simply be expected. Perhaps it is part of my purpose to teach women how to believe in themselves. Maybe we all have a different purpose, and for some that includes having children, while for others it does not. Deep down inside though, I believe that maybe, just maybe, the purpose of life is to learn how to love.

Have you ever pondered the purpose of life, or is that too big of a question for you to think about? Do you know what your purpose is? Share below!

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Waitressing And What I Learned About Myself That Surprised Me

New York City

Have you ever experienced many changes at once? I am nervous and excited about what’s to come, but more importantly, I’m thrilled by the changes I see presently flourishing. I am changing, and I love the woman I am becoming. She is stronger, wiser, and more open-minded. She is more herself than she’s ever been, and that has taken a great deal of courage.

Weeks ago, I started waitressing, and when things didn’t turn out as “easy” as I envisioned, my energy began to falter. I dreaded going to work, and I complained about everything. In just a matter of days, I’d let go of the attitude I had going in: I’m doing this temporarily for a greater goal. More importantly, I’d forgotten to enjoy the journey. Despite how many times I’d said it to others and to myself, it wasn’t till a friend said, “Enjoy the journey as much as the goal. Love the people, love what you do, love where you are now,” that I realized my mistake – I had focused so much on the future, that I was forgetting to see the beauty of now.

In a matter of days, my perspective shifted. See, the thing is, even if your work isn’t so great, when you’re working with amazing people (I kid you not! I will be sharing more on my coworkers soon!), it is easy to surpass what’s insignificant in the long run. What matters isn’t the little tasks that annoy me or the fact that sometimes my coworkers [understandably] lose their tempers, but the relationships that I am building, the friendships that are teaching me something new about others and myself, the people I am meeting, and the endless opportunities that abound.

If I am to be completely honest, I’ve shocked even myself when I said these words out loud: I enjoy waitressing much more than I enjoyed working at an advertising agency. Sure, it’s tough physically, but I spend my days interacting with others as opposed to in front of a computer screen, and to me, as a writer, that in itself is heaven on earth. The more people I meet, the more inspired I become. I’ve noticed that it is no coincidence that I want to (apart from publishing my first novel) wholeheartedly pursue a career in entertainment journalism – I love meeting people and getting to know their stories. Simply put, I love stories.

The other day, as I thanked LatinTRENDS‘ web editor, Shelley Mendoza, for allowing me the opportunity to interview Kim Cattrall, I said, I can’t believe I get to attend these events, interview artists, and in exchange, all I’m expected to do is write about it. It’s what I love on top of what I love! Waitressing is more of that. The plates are heavy, serving makes me tense, but God, I love meeting and interacting with people!

Have you ever been a waiter or waitress? What was your experience like? Any cool stories? Let me know in the comments section below!

My New Business Cards

Business Cards

As you all know by now, a few months ago, I rebranded. While The PR Woman had similar colors and a similar feel, there was no way I could keep those business cards. I took some time to decide which route I wanted to take in terms of design and recently decided.

I know some people disapprove of business cards with images, but I find them much more fun and memorable. Furthermore, they match my personality, and that’s probably what matters most.

A couple of days ago, I read a post somewhere about taking a picture of the person handing you the business card holding their own business card so you can remember who gave you a business card. Wouldn’t it make more sense to include a photograph? Now, don’t get me wrong, I know this doesn’t go with every business card, but I’m a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and an entertainment journalist, so the portfolio design by Moo seemed perfect. I selected the luxe cards, because I’ve held them before, and the material feels incredible. I chose five images, and which one I hand out will depend on the conversation I have with the person.

I’m relieved to finally have my business cards. Being a waitress and not having any was nerve-wracking. I meet tons of people each day. You never know! Ready to order yours? If you’re new to Moo.com, use this code for free shipping: Q8S5KW.

Do you have any questions regarding the process? Let me know below or send me a tweet @TheWriteWoman.

A Writer’s Greatest Foe

Carrie Bradshaw

I wrote a novel. The other day, I said it out loud for the first time, and I found myself repeating it just to hear it again, just to remember how much work went into it.

When I met Kim Cattrall (Sex and the Citys Samantha Jones) on Thursday, she said that to her, her projects feel like her children, and I smiled, because I knew exactly what she meant.

This blog is my baby, and so is the novel I’ve written. I treasure this blog because it has helped me make sense of what goes on in my life, but more importantly, because it has connected me with you. Whether you leave me a comment or silently read, I am overwhelmed by your constant support and by the idea that my journey is continually inspiring others. I included love in my vision board because I wanted it in all aspects of my life, especially in my work, and I feel like it has been overflowing as of lately.

When I think of my novel, the years of over-thinking the story, of waiting for the story, and then the months of writing it, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of love…and peace. For a long time, the dream of writing a story haunted me, like a pending homework assignment, or similarly to how my subconscious nags me when I skip a few gym days.

I know that I have accomplished something magnificent. I have written a story based on my experiences. I have created characters, and there is purpose behind my work. Yet, when I’m not busy at work or blogging for LatinTRENDS, the array of questions, of doubt, start to line up: What if my novel doesn’t get published? What if I wasted all those months writing something no one will ever read? What if no one gets from my story what I hope they will? What if this isn’t the novel I’ve dreamed of my whole life, the one that gets published and becomes well recognized? What if no one sees in my work what I see in it? 

Those questions envelop me during moments of silence. Time and time again I cause the doubt to scurry by asking myself two questions I know a dear friend of mine would ask if I shared my uncertainty with him: What if your novel doesn’t get published, Gera? What will you do then? And then my answers fill me with renewed hope: Why wouldn’t my novel get published when it is a meaningful work of art? Sillier things have been published! Plus, I have options. I can give it some time and if no one picks it up, I can choose to self-publish. I can make good use of my advertising and public relations background! Or I can go on to write a second novel. Similarly to editing, novels don’t have to get published in the order in which they are written.

For now, I am going to focus on pitching to as many literary agents as I can (based on what I’ve written and what they accept). I am also going to start doing some research, because I have a story brewing inside me. I thought that writing my first novel would diminish that heart-wrenching desire to tell a story, but fortunately, blessedly, it hasn’t.

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Interviewing Kim Cattrall At The Red Carpet Premiere Of “American Masters: The Boomer List”

Kim Cattrall (Getty Images for AARP)

Kim Cattrall (Getty Images for AARP)

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Sex and the City, and while I relate to Carrie because I’m a writer, I’m more of a Samantha – which is part of the reason I was over the moon last night upon meeting and interviewing Kim Cattrall at the red carpet premiere of PBS’ American Masters: The Boomer List.

American Masters: The Boomer List celebrates the baby boomer generation’s impact on American culture through intimate interviews of 19 iconic boomers. Erin Brockovich, Kim Cattrall, Tommy Hilfiger, Samuel L. Jackson, Billy Joel, David LaChapelle, John Leguizamo, Tim O’Brien, Rosie O’Donnell, Maria Shriver, Amy Tan, and others speak candidly about their experiences, the history they lived through, and ultimately helped to create.

When I asked Kim Cattrall what inspired her to be a part of this project, she said, “I am very proud to be part of this generation, because so much change happened. I was very fortunate to grow up in a time where I had more choice, a lot more choice, than my mother had, a lot more decisions to make based on how I wanted my life to be, and that’s something my mother didn’t have. We were an immigrant family to North America. I grew up in Canada and then moved to New York at an early age. And what was always apparent for me and clear to me is that if I set my mind to something, I could achieve it, on some degree, I could achieve it. And I was lucky enough and stubborn enough and determined enough to learn and to be an actor, which I’m still working on.”

After the red carpet, the media and an array of guests were ushered inside the theater to view the documentary. Needless to say, there’s at least one icon each viewer can relate to. Kim Cattrall speaks about ageism and how she almost imposed it on herself. She acknowledged that Sex and the City producers originally wanted to give Samantha a daughter, and she laughed it off saying, “That isn’t going to fly with this character!”

American Masters: The Boomer List (Getty Images for AARP)

American Masters: The Boomer List (Getty Images for AARP) 

Furthermore, Tommy Hilfiger knew where he wanted his life to go, but he didn’t know how. “If you have a dream, don’t give up,” he says fervently, right before the camera switches over to the next American Master.

After the screening, I caught up with Kim Cattrall over hors d’oeuvres and red wine. (I’ll never be able to look at servers the same way!) I thanked her for speaking up about not wanting children, for bringing Samantha – a female character who openly embraces her sexuality – to life, and for inspiring me…and many other women. When I shared that I’ve written a Huffington Post article on being childfree and that it received over 38,000 likes on Facebook, she said, “We are not alone. There are many of us!”

American Masters: The Boomer List premieres Tuesday, September 23rd at 9:00 p.m. on PBS (check your local listings). I highly encourage you to watch. You’ll be inspired!

My New Gig, The Thing Most Artists Do At One Point Or Another

A lot has changed lately, but I guess that was bound to happen when I decided to be completely honest with myself.

Two weeks ago, I made a decision. While I won’t discuss that decision just yet, I will say it pushed me to make choices I would’ve hesitated to make otherwise. After speaking to a bunch of people I knew, one of them connected me to a waitressing job.

I work for a catering hall in Manhattan. It’s a short-term gig to help me save money, but so far, there are things about it I really like.

For starters, I work with an array of characters. I should probably change their names and tell you about them. Maybe I will! Then, there’s also the fact that I get to meet new people every single day – which is a writer’s dream come true! Inspiration abounds, yet I’ve taken some time off of writing to really submerge myself in the experiences. Truth is, though, last night I realized it’s easy to get distracted, to let a break become a permanent thing. Also, I missed blogging, so I figured it was time to share.

While most people fail to think much of catering jobs, I believe this is an excellent opportunity to network my a** off! I’m ordering my new business cards this week, since I rebranded not too long ago.

Last week, I offered Adriana Lima champagne. Christy Turlington was in the same room. I met an up and coming designer, received two dresses, and had the opportunity to chat with a fellow Latina who works for Forbes. There’s no telling who I’ll meet this week, or next.

I find that most artists have at one point or another waited. There are plenty of artists where I work!

Have you ever been a waiter or waitress? What was the experience like for you? Any cool stories?

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Doubt And The Perfect Pitch

Letters

So much has changed lately, that I’ve debated when and how much of it to share. As I’ve told you before, I intend to take you on every step of my journey, with the hope that it will help you navigate through yours. Still, timing is a funny thing, and I’m not quite ready to spill all of the beans.

Nevertheless, there is some stuff I must share with you right this instance.

Remember how I mentioned that doubt is common for writers, as well as all other artists? It is more prevalent now than ever. It is in various aspects of my life, but I won’t mention everything that’s going on. If I do, your brain might explode. Let’s just say things are currently shifting for me, and I’m under the impression that this roller coaster is heading upwards! Still, doubt has been ever present as I commence the querying process for my first novel.

I spent a great deal of time editing my novel and can’t seem to look at it the way I once did, which I knew would be the case, but it’s still tough to accept. This is the part where I must trust the creative process, the result of my hard work, and God. Because to say that I’ve accomplished this on my own would be silly.

I’ve started drafting query letters. I’ll share more details next week. In the meantime, please drop some comments on how you cope with doubt. Does it diminish with time? Or will I always, as a creative, face this ordeal? If so, I’m more than willing to accept it. After all, I’m happy to accept anything that’s a side effect of doing what I love most!

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What Happens When You Don’t Feel Like Writing?

Writer's Block

To say that writing a novel has been a roller coaster is an understatement. After all, regardless how intense a roller coaster is, you usually get off within minutes. I’ve been on this ride for quite some time. I began working on my novel in January, imagining I’d finish it in record time. Ha! Joke’s on me! And that’s not even when this ride began, because before an author starts to pen a novel, the concept has to be there, and for me, it was, sort of, but not entirely. I just figured it would come only if I started writing – and holy moly! It did.

As I approach the grand finale – which is really just the start of this process called getting published – I’ve contemplated the bumps in the road, including a laptop that decided to malfunction, only to return to normal after I frustratingly opened it up to figure out what in the world was wrong. (Note: I was unable to remove the battery as I originally planned, and I was too afraid to try anything else, so all I did was blow into the fan because it looked pretty dusty. If you need tech assistance, I’m your woman!)

Lately, I’ve been comparing the process of writing a novel to the process of getting in shape. If I went to the gym only when I felt like it, well, let’s just say the progress I’ve noticed would be nonexistent. The same is true for novel writing – had I waited for the magical feeling, I wouldn’t be about to put the finishing touches on my greatest dream. So, when I don’t feel like writing, I write anyways. Then, because this is my passion, the feeling always finds me, just like it does at the gym every time I begin cardio.

What happens when you don’t feel like writing? What do you do?

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The Ticking Clock

One of my closest friends is about to turn 30, and she’s been stressed about her dream to become a mother.

There are days I’m a bit annoyed when having to explain why I don’t want children. Women who want them seldom get asked that question, but I understand it’s a majority thing, and it’s mind-boggling to some to meet a woman who contradicts the norm. Yet, as difficult as it sometimes is to “stick out,” there is one wonderful thing about my decision and my choice to embrace it – I don’t hear the sound of a ticking clock. I’m not thinking to myself, I have this many years to conceive, or it may never happen. Sadly, though, it’s a concern many women – and not just my friend – face. It’s a concern I wish women didn’t have to face. And maybe, just maybe, they don’t.

While I may not hear a ticking clock when it comes to childbearing, I have heard it in other aspects of my life: When will my career finally take off? How long before I land the book deal of my dreams? Just months ago, I envisioned myself visiting Italy this year (I’ve always wanted to visit in the summer), yet it’s not happening. Sometimes, it feels like the things I want are never going to happen, not because I don’t think they can or because I doubt that I am capable of making them come true, but because they seem to be taking forever. That and I cannot control what happens.

And yet, there is one thing I can control, and that’s how I choose to perceive what happens (or doesn’t happen). I can either dwell on the past and what hasn’t occurred, or I can trust that everything will happen in due time, when the time is right. Of course this is much easier said than done, but isn’t that the case with many things in life?

Do you feel like your clock is ticking? If so, how do you cope with those concerns?

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My Novel And A Tough Decision

The Write WomanWhether you’re following me on social media and on this blog, or doing one more than the other, you’re probably wondering: When will Geraldine finally finish that novel of hers? I’ve been wondering the same, mostly because it has taken way longer than I envisioned. Thankfully, some of you have shared your enthusiasm for its release, and that makes me even more excited.

Truth is, I’ve been working on my novel for a couple of months now. At times, there’s a rhythm to writing that follows me for days; everything just flows. I’ve written over 70,000 words! Lately, though, I’ve been struggling with the remainder of my novel: How do I finish it? Do I want this character to do that, or would it be best for her to do something else? What message am I conveying with each prospect?

Then, when I’m not analyzing what to do with my characters, I’m concerned about pitching: How long will it take long for someone to see, understand and believe in my vision? Doubt settles in for a few seconds, only to be dismissed by that inner voice of mine that tells me over and over again that I want this too much for it not to come true. They say the power of the Law of Attraction lies mostly in feeling, and let me tell you something, I am not a crier, and yet the visualization of my published novel is enough to make my eyes water – that’s how bad I want this. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was a little girl. Through trials and tribulations, ups and downs, worries and doubts, writing has remained the constant in my life, the love of my life, the one thing I’ve always wanted to do. In a strange way, I believe everything I’ve been through (and my, has it been tough!) has been leading up to a specific moment, the moment when I finally get to hold my greatest dream.

Recently, I’ve come to the conclusion – a conclusion I’ve come to several times this past year – that in order to accomplish my goals, I have to prioritize. Hence, the seemingly sporadic posts on this blog. I can’t continuously blog and work on my novel. Still, my goal is to share my journey, in the hopes of inspiring you – especially if your dream is to be an author, too. For this reason, I assure you that I will eventually return to this blog and share each step: from pitching to choosing the cover – and everything else I am lawfully allowed to share. But for now, I have to take a break from The Write Woman to be The Write Woman. 

In the meantime, I encourage you to look through this blog. There are many posts I believe will inspire you, like this one and this one. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram where I’ll soon be revealing details, such as my novel’s title and synopsis.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for accompanying me on this journey! Xoxo.