For years I’ve been referring to myself as a “Writer, Wanderer, Crone, and Snappy Dresser.” It’s on my calling cards and my LinkedIn Profile, as well as a tag line on my bio. And for almost as many years, I’ve felt it was a lie.
There is no question that I am a Wanderer. The wandering comes naturally. I come from a family of wanderers and explorers and adventurers. The mileage I’ve put on the Hovel in the past five years is a testament to strength of that DNA. From the edge of Glacier National Park in Coram, Montana to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico in Port Aransas, Texas to edge of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, I’ve pulled my home on wheels from one adventure to another.
That I am a crone is not in question, either. I’m 69 years old. Just because the picture of a crone in YOUR head is old, gray haired, warty, and sallow-skinned, bent from sin and osteoporosis does not mean that this is a reality. There is a long tradition of the crone in various forms and traditions as the elder wise woman of the tribe. I’m willing to claim that for my tribe. I’m the oldest and I’m not too stupid. How wise I am may be open to debate; however, it’s a skill I am always working on. So, there’s that.
Snappy Dresser was always kind of a joke. It began when I asked my oldest dearest friend to help me with some adjectives for my calling card. This one was on the list as sort of a dance-off line; and I loved it.
Am I a snappy dresser? Probably not, if you’re thinking in social influencer or red carpet runway terms. I’m mostly clean and not sloppy, and I know how to put colors together. I’m not one of those folks that causes other folks to go “Whoa! Will you look at that!” Whether that means “Oh. My. God. Did she not even look in the mirror?!” Or “Wow! That’s just stunning!”
I do get dressed pretty quickly, however. Comes from years of AF training and mommy hardening. So, Snappy Dresser is not really a lie.
It’s the Writer thing.
How can I call myself a writer? Do I meet the criteria? What is the criteria? Is it being published? If so, I am kind of sad. I have one poem published in an anthology I helped fund. Is it audience? Is it volume?
It occurs to me I don’t have this trouble when I describe myself as a reader. I read. Therefore I am a reader.
And THERE is the problem. I feel uncomfortable calling myself a writer because I am not writing. Audience or no. Published or not. If I am not writing, I am not a writer.
I suppose I could just take a Sharpie to my business cards (does anyone ever run out of those things?) and edit my moribund LinkedIn page; but, I thought I would try something else. Writing. Daily. Some of it will end up here. I thought it only fair to warn you.
I’ll be going on another big adventure soon, and I hope to have a lot to write about! A train ride from Denver through Chicago to Washington DC and then a trip to Portugal to walk the Camino de Santiago, visits to Lisbon and Fatima, Madrid and Barcelona. Places to go, people to see, things to do…the life of a wanderer!
Of course, you’re a writer! And a very good one. It’s time to stop doubting your natural talent. Does one negate that they are a swimmer, a gardener, a traveler just because they haven’t done it in a while? You are a writer and I, for one, am really looking forward to what the future brings.
Take in every moment of your special adventure!
<3 Thank you, friend.