Moving forward

This summer has been filled with one adventure after another. And I don’t just mean family reunions and trips to the beach.

My dad in 1944, when he was stationed with the U.S. Navy in Seattle.

My dad in 1944, when he was stationed with the U.S. Navy in Seattle.

The truth is, much of my spare time has been spent writing. You wouldn’t know it by my lack of blog posts, but I have been devising a plan to publish a book.

I thought about moving forward with a plan for a local magazine…until I realized that the work load would kill me.

Taking on the roles of writer, photographer, and editor for the Hiawatha Advocate (along with distribution and book work) gave me a taste of the publishing world from the hyper-local aspect.

And though I still maintain the website, it’s not the same.

I miss it. I miss holding my creation in my hands. I miss that feeling of accomplishment after sending the PDF pages off to the printer, knowing that my newspaper had value.

And while I had to be careful not to become too prideful, (the typos humbled me significantly!) I couldn’t help but feel that I was providing a much-needed service to the people of Hiawatha.

Just because they weren’t ready for it right now, doesn’t mean they won’t ever be,

In any case, I accepted that it was time to move on and set my sights on other ways I could satisfy my need to create.

I tried freelance; writing, photography, etc. I have had my own company, Meis Communications, for  over two years, so I thought I would throw it out there and see if I had any takers.

I did, just not in the way I thought I would. I accepted a freelance job with the Marion Times as the reporter for the Marion Independent School District. It’s not a lot of reporting, but it gets my name out there.

But then my need to pay my bills got in my way and I accepted a position at Hibu (formerly Yellowbook) as a pagination specialist. (a fancy name for someone who places ads on pages magazines from all over the country in InDesign and performs QA before the magazine is shipped to the printer…I love it!)

Hibu also has opportunities to submit articles and photos to the local magazine-Cedar Rapids NE, Cedar Rapids SW, and NE Marion. I have submitted an article and photos to the Cedar Rapids magazines.

And with my growing family and other responsibilities, I stay pretty busy.

Some of my followers will remember that I wrote a few months ago about my father. I found the manuscript he wrote about his life story and decided to type it up for my family.

But something happened when I started typing his story up. I realized I didn’t really know my dad. I realized that I had resentments decades old that prevented me from wanting to get close to him, to appreciate all the wonderful things he did for me, to know the man who had so much to offer.

And as I started to read about my dad’s many adventures through life, the walls I had built around my heart began to come down, and for the first time, I saw my dad for who he was; a man who was just trying to do the best he could with what he had.

This father of 10 nearly died in a car accident in 1967 and it traumatized the entire family. I’m not sure if any of us ever really recovered emotional. But it’s time.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of my father’s death.  My only regret is that I didn’t try harder to build a better relationship with him.

That may not be possible, but maybe I can resolve old hurts and misunderstandings.

At the very least, it will provide an interesting premise for my next project.

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