Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Girlbomb

ETA: If the picture appears upside down, sorry- it looked OK on my computer at home! :)

Every once and a while a series of events happens and you feel lucky.

Three or four years ago someone gave me a copy of the book "Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir" which I immediately devoured. I adore memoirs--I think everyone has a story and a good writer can keep me spellbound with their own story often far better than someone spinning a fictional tale.

I looked up more information on the author, the fabulous Ms. Janice Erlbaum, and found she had a blog. On which I commented. As a fangirl. Gulp.

See, that's me, the fangirl. If I like something I want to let the artist know.

Ahhhh, little did I know my commenting led her to my blog.
At some point I sent her an email. We were going to visit New York City (what? us? there?) and I was sad she wasn't having any public readings. She responded, and to my fangirl shock, she asked me to lunch. Because she had been reading my blog. Double gulp.

The first lunch "date" is a blur but I am happy to say that while I'm still a huge fan of her writing, the more I've gotten to know her I'm now more a huge fan of her.

You know my feelings on volunteerism, right? That most people don't do it enough (myself included here) if at all, and I feel like everyone has something to give so they should find a place to get out and give it. Well Janice is a volunteer and mentor extraordinaire. She has dedicated herself to so many worthwhile projects and she really lives a life of abundant giving. She is also a great encourager--and since she teaches creative writing and is such a successful writer herself her encouragement of me and my writing has gone a long way. See? I'm still blogging :)  OK I know that doesn't 'count' officially but it's a start. A start.

So our past few trips to NYC we always manage to connect. Her amazing apartment is now one of my mental happy places. It is because of her I got to hear James Gandolfini reading poetry. Gah. But mostly, she's just one of those people I feel lucky to know.

When we met up this past trip I was brimming with news. The news. The pictures. Getting to share them with her in person only two days after getting them was one more part of the story that just makes the whole thing magical.

Sheesh I really sound like a gushing lunatic, don't I?

Her life has not been easy.  But she is an example of how you do not let life's circumstances--even when they are the absolute shittiest (pardon my French)--deter you from leading the beautiful, full, giving life you were meant to live. Her first book detailed her time in a homeless shelter as a young teenager and her second book Have You Found Her details her time of going back to same shelter to give and give and give. And then give some more.

Everyone has choices....we can be mired in our grief and the 'it's not fairs' and we can stay stuck--stuck and miserable-- or we can choose to keep living, keep moving forward, and even more than that, we can choose to live abundantly and joyously. Did I always do this in the midst of my pain? No, I'll be the first to admit. But everyone has a story, mine just happened to be an infertility story. And that chapter of my life--albeit a long one--is just that, a chapter. And it's done.

So I keep writing--both figuratively and literally--because while that chapter is finished, the next ones are still unfolding.

Thank you, Janice.

*and the rest of you peeps, please get yourself to a bookstore and buy her books.


  1. I love me a good life I'll have to go check out her book! I'm so glad that you are starting this new brilliant chapter. And, yes, run a mile for me. Breathing in crisp, cool air, feeling your heart beating, and know you are alive and living this one crazy, hard, glorious spin on earth we get.

  2. I think I need to hear this today. I am having a hard time remembering this is just a chapter as it feels all consuming at the moment.
    I will be checking out that book for sure, sounds very inspiring.

  3. sounds wonderful!

  4. totally buying it today! have been looking for something to spend an amazon gc on :)
    you are glowing in this picture...and so is she. im happy you had someone else but your husband to share the news with.
    you may have said this already, my retention rate is nil lately, did you share the news with family yet? i wouldn't blame you if you haven't. it's so hard to keep it a secret but such a relief not to have to share every detail.
    as always, im waiting for your two little ones to be in their mama's arms where they belong.

  5. What a cool story! And what a neat relationship! Hope you have that picture in a frame somewhere :)

  6. How cool is that?! I love memoirs too. Everybody does have a story to tell and I find most of them fascinating.

  7. What an awesome story. And how cool she got to know you through your blog! Amazing how we get connected. :-)

    Looking forward to your next chapter...

  8. what an inspiring story....the word serendipity comes to mind. it's funny how people come into our lives by chance or fate and we don't know why at first. sounds like the beginning of a very special friendship!

    your picture was right side up. :)

  9. OMG! Just found your new blog. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your two lines! That is SO wonderful. Two lines, two babies. I'm so eager to follow this journey with you. You two are going to make the very best, coolest, most loving, commited and fun parents to two extremely lucky babies who don't even know it yet. But they will!

  10. Just started reading your new blog. How awesome! I am intrigued by adopting in Ethiopia, so I will continue to follow along!

  11. So cool!!
    Hey, I gave you a little award on my blog :-)

  12. You are so inspiring to me. Thank you for the reminder that infertility is just a VERY long chapter in my life.

    You are GLOWING in that picture! :-)


  13. going to check that book out!!

  14. Just stopping by to say I am so excited for you! You have both been in my thoughts even though my comments in the blog world have been missing...I will be following your story!
    Christina (aka RetroGirl)

  15. I loved this post more than words can say. Love you too my friend!!!