The choice to write

It’s Blogazpalooza hour at ChicagoNow. All bloggers are given a challenge: publish a post in one hour! The challenge to write about tonight is: “You made a million choices in 2015. Write about one of them.”

My father’s favorite mantra was “Choices, Nina. Life is all about choices.” We make hundreds of choices every day: oatmeal or a muffin, to meditate or not, to slather your skin in night serum or head right to bed, to connect with our partners or spend time online, being right instead of being kind. The list is endless. Every day.

Sometimes our choices land us in a shit storm. Sometimes our choices land us on a sunny beach. Looking back at 2015, I know I made choices that were doozies – one really bad one, a lot of in betweens and one really fabulous choice bringing me here today.

Last January, I chose to expand my love of writing and reached out to ChicagoNow (CN) to pitch my blog. I’d been blogging on my own for a while, inconsistently and only sharing my words with a few friends. When CN community manager, and all around guru, Jimmy Greenfield called me and said ‘Welcome,” I knew this choice was a great one.

In sixth grade, I wrote a series of silly murder mysteries. I loved them. I adored them. I remember smearing the ink on the white looseleaf paper because I wrote so fast the ink had no time to dry. I remember using white out because I loved being able to make the story better with just a few tweaks and swipes of the brush. It lit my 12-year-old self up.

I wrote on and off throughout my life, channeling the writing into a public relations major and then into a career. Somewhere along the way, I stopped writing, my sweet kiddos and life as stay at home Neen took precedence.

And then. My dad died in 2012. Before he died he told me his biggest regret was not walking through all the open doors that were open to him throughout his life. He said “Nina, if the door is open, walk through it. You can always walk out.”

I started writing again. A little blogging, a little free-lance. My feet walked through the door but my heart was lingering behind. At the end of last year, though, I remember feeling determined, ready and clear in thought: Writing brings me joy, I need to write more.

So I wrote more. I blogged more. I wrote in my journal. I wrote some letters. I wrote to ChicagoNow. And they said ‘Welcome.’ By choosing to pitch my blog, in essence choosing to walk through a door, I honored myself. I honored the truest place inside me.

Some of my blogs are good. Some are really bad. But I write anyway. I write and I post because it feels good. It feels right. The rest of my world runs more smoothly when I’m writing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When I write, I feel most like the person I’m supposed to be.

I choose to write and I choose to post and because I chose to walk through the ChicagoNow door, not only do I GET to write and post here, I GOT to meet a whole slew of fellow writers/encouragers/tribe members. It’s like I walked through a door into a room full of old friends that had been waiting for me to arrive.

2015 was a year of thousands of choices. I regret a few and I am proud of many. My goal for 2016 is to keep walking through the doors the Universe opens to me and writing about them along the way.

Tell me about a choice you made this year. What doors did you walk through?  Did you choose to eat clean? Give up coffee? Did you choose to binge watch Friends on Netflix? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

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