Aug 27, 2014

Essay Contest.

So there is this magazine that has an essay contest every month. I used to get this magazine and every month when it came I would eagerly turn to the essay contest page and read what the topic was for the month and dream about writing an essay for it. I never did it. Why? I do not know. we could probably have a great conversation about what issues I had that made it so I did not ever actually act on this.

So eventually I stopped getting the magazine but the contest that went on every month without me still stayed in my mind. And I would occasionally think about it. So fast forward to two weeks ago when I arrived at my parents house and my mother plopped her latest copy of this magazine in my lap already folded to the essay page and she said you need to do this. I knew she was right. I read what the topic was and I smiled because it is all about me :) No, it is not about over thinking :) No, it is not about being under five feet tall. No, it is not about being an open book. The assignment is to write about an eureka moment you have had.

You all know that my first order of business was to go to dictionary.com and look up the word eureka. And I found out that eureka is an exclamation of triumph on discovering or solving something. It is the phrase that supposedly Archimedes called out when he solved a problem that had been set to him. Now that I knew what it was according to Webster I spent two days wondering what I would write about. I could not for the life of me focus on one perfect eureka moment. I kept thinking what "eureka" moments have I had in my life? At first there was nothing but the glaringly obvious recent divorce and move across the country and then, all of a sudden, the floodgates opened and I realized life is full of eureka moments. Isn't our goal in life to have moments where we discover something or solve something and have an awesome exclamation of triumph....like saying eureka :) Yeah, when was the last time you said that when you discovered something or solved something? :) We will save that discussion for later when we are eating salad and steak together :)

Some of our eureka moments are little. Like when I discovered that I could always change the paint color if I did not like it. So many wasted years I insisted on only white walls. Afraid of color. Afraid even more of the wrong color. When all of a sudden I had this random moment when I somehow discovered if I got the wrong color I could just change it. An inconvenience but not the end of the world. Geesh.

Another little eureka moment I had was when I realized that sharpening claws on important furniture, shedding hair, knocking cups of water off of the counter, and jumping on the kitchen table were what all cats do and if you had a cat you just had to be okay with that....or not have a cat.

I got out my book/journal that has blank paper in it and I found a fresh page and I wrote on the top "eureka moment" and then I wrote what it meant and then I wrote the word "ideas" and doodled a box around it. And then I just started writing the moments that I could remember where I discovered or solved something....I tried to write whatever came to my mind without stopping to think too much about it.

I wrote:

Library job made for me
not a cat owner
did not matter if someone liked me or not
people pleaser
could not control anyone but me
everybody's view is different
just read my favorite book in the world
I do have a favorite movie
can do self check out in the grocery store by myself
can always change the paint color
courage is what it is all about
I like helping people
I have faults and it is okay
my primary relationship was not healthy
people who do not merge when the sign says to merge and wait to the last minute have feelings too :)

So these were just a few times when I felt like I had discovered or solved something. I am sure there are many many more. Now I just have to figure out what I am going to write about for this contest. I thought the list I made would help me figure that out but it just made me want to write about all of them. Did I mention that the essay is due by the 18th of September? Did I mention there is a $3,000 dollar prize for first place? Did I mention it can not be more than 1,500 words? I eat 1,500 words for breakfast :)

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