I’ve been absent from this space for a few months — and I have to admit, returning is not easy.
Of course, there are some good reasons for my absence.
Since July of this year, I’ve become a frequent contributor to Salon.com. My first piece, “My happy Detroit,” was a reflection on my childhood growing up in Detroit – a counter-narrative to the stories of ruination and destruction that followed the city’s sad and historic bankruptcy filing earlier this year. Since then, I’ve published a few other pieces on Salon. More publication for mainstream publications means, unfortunately, less publication here. For convenience, I’ve copied the titles and links below:
“SNL’s gender equality movement left black women out” (published October 18, 2013)
“No, child support can’t be a choice” (published November 7, 2013)
“Naked screaming Oprah dress treats black women’s bodies as placeholders” (published November 15, 2013)
“I could have been Renisha McBride” (published November 18, 2013)
“The sexism of “selfie-gate”: America’s dangerous suspicion of women working with men” (published December 12, 2013)
I also had the distinct honor of speaking at Harvard Law School’s Celebration 60 reunion event this year. Celebration 60 commemorated the 60th anniversary of the first class of women to graduate from Harvard Law School. My panel – “My Brilliant but Unusual Career” – drew a standing-room-only crowd. Unlike most career panels, which feature successful women talking about their wonderful lives and keeping the dark moments to themselves, we kept it real almost to the point of when keeping it real goes wrong. (This link has a pretty cute picture of me with my classmate Brande Stellings of Catalyst and Susan Estrich of Quinn Emanuel.) In November, I spoke on a similarly wonderful panel at the National Association of Women Lawyers General Counsel Institute.
In other “good” happenings: I made my first, and definitely not my last, trip to China this year. I got to visit Shanghai on a business trip and it was a real highlight of the year. Shanghai wasn’t at all what I was expecting — far more modern than I expected, and remarkably easy to navigate for someone who speaks and reads no Chinese at all. Truly can’t wait to go back, albeit to a different city next time.
If those achievements were the sum and substance of my 2013, I would have written and posted this recap post much earlier in the day. It’s easy to talk about one’s triumphs. I’m glad I had quite a few this year. Very happy to build a foundation for 2014 and beyond. But of course, life is not all roses everything.
What was the bad? Ending the first serious relationship I’ve had since my divorce. Helping – or trying to help – my kids through some particularly rough moments in their lives. Planning – or avoiding the planning of – the next phase of my life, that stupid “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question I can never seem to answer definitively. All those pesky what? when? where? who? how? questions that you discover still need to be answered, no matter what stage of life you find yourself into.
But even in the “bad” moments, I learned valuable and important lessons. Lessons about letting something (and someone) go when it no longer serves your needs. Lessons about realizing there’s only so much we parents can do to help our kids, even when they’re really going through it. Lessons about patience…about going back to basics…about remembering the whats and whens and wheres and whos and hows of joy, and taking it back to what actually works, as opposed to what people tell you is supposed to work.
So what lies ahead in 2014?
More publication. More travel. More self-care. A renewed focus and commitment to physical fitness. More dates. More dancing. More orgasms. More love. More openness. More joy.
I’ll leave with this:
WordPress does an “end of the year” blog recap that includes the top five posts on this blog. Their top 5 are not necessarily my top 5, though. I’m proud of all of my posts this year. So I’ve listed them below (with links), in no particular order:
6. Solo Mom
Happy New Year, and thank you for your continued support in 2014!