Evolution: Heiddi 2.0

Evolution?

I should say so. After a year-long hiatus preceded by a two year hiatus, you figure why do I keep doing this to myself? Haven’t I figured out what I’ve wanted to do yet?

Frankly, no. Here I am a college graduate and bilingual licensed mental health counselor working with low-income families in New York City. As of 2011, when I received my licensure, I also accomplished my goals. Which is an amazing feeling and a proud moment for me.

Turning Point

But, with all my accomplishments and achieved goals as of 2011, comes what next? For the past few years, I’ve been trying to find out. I’ve reduced a lot of my extra-curricular activities such as playing guitar at my local church (12 years), paid blogging (6 years) and writing in general (too many years to count).

Self-Evaluation

I’ve been spending more time in self-evaluation mode while also prepping for the arrival of my second son, Benjamin who arrived on June 21, 2014. Yes, Andy’s a big brother now and I’m still the single mom of now two amazing boys. I’m a very happy mom.

While being a proud mom is great, I still have goals simmering within me waiting to be unleashed in the world. I’ve found that I need to set new goals and discover new passions.

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What I hope to share on this website is positivity and wellness – whether I’m writing about mental health or the simple things that bring me joy. I’d like to keep writing and sharing these with you.

The Heiddi 2.0 Evolution is here – will you join me?

Whitney Houston: A Tragic Loss

One of the rarest, most memorable voices of all time has been silenced. Whitney Houston has always been a favorite of mine ever since her song “The Greatest Love of All” was released. I sang along with “I wanna Dance with Somebody” and “How Will I Know” even though I couldn’t hit her notes. Not many people could.

And that’s what is special about her. Her voice was a gift and it was fleeting. I’ve read about her lows the last several years of her life – drugs, erratic behavior and her rocky relationship with her now ex-husband, Bobby Brown. For me though, all of that pain heightened her gift. Her voice is one of the most, if not THE most, distinctive ever. Anyone hearing her music would know it was her. Because of her difficult last years, her triumphant early years became more so for me.

Her music was amazing. By far, my favorite song is her version of the national anthem and no one will be as recognized for that song than Whitney. So here, I won’t talk about her problems – we all have them. I want to share my love for her talent, her gift; the gift of her voice.

To Whitney, may you sing now with the highest of angels in heaven for you were one of their members graciously lent to us here.

Rest in peace, Whitney. (1963 – 2012)

Queen of the Mist: A Review

Last Wednesday found me on a musical adventure with Anna Edsen Taylor. Taylor is a real-life NYC renegade who was the first woman to survive a plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel of her own making. Created by Michael John Lachiusa and presented by the Transport Group, Queen of the Mist is the musical journey of a woman initially dismissed as a crazy, old lady.

My first impression of Taylor (played by two-time Tony Nominee Mary Testa) was that of a woman who lived a hard life. Widowed and having lost a child, Anna had to figure out how she would support herself while also trying to make a name for herself. I thought she would make a great writer given the stories she told trying to avoid eviction at various points before coming up with the idea of going over the falls in a barrel.

Narcissistic and grandiose were the words that came to mind as the story began. Fiercely determined were other words that came,too, as she began designing her barrel. As the tale progressed, I found Anna lonely, isolated and withering in character as she got closer to her goal.

Something I didn’t expect to feel for Anna was compassion. At the beginning, I felt none for her thinking that she was in bad situations because of bad choices she made. But, as the story continued, a nugget of compassion grew. And I didn’t want to feel for her and feed into her grandiose and somewhat, psychotic, persona. Anna grew on me.

She ended up being a woman that I admired for her courage, determination and unwillingness to accept society’s definition of her – an elderly woman who needed to settle quietly into old age. If there was ever a song that defined this woman, it was “There is a Greatness in Me.” She did not let anyone’s doubts stop her from achieving the seemingly impossible. This is one I’m going to see again! You can see it for yourself through December 4th!

And for my readers  – Use this DISCOUNT CODE: $10 off with code TGMAMA

“For more blog posts on Queen of the Mist, visit MamaDrama.”

MamaDrama on Facebook & Twitter

The Transport Group on Facebook & Twitter

This post has a Compensation of Level 1: The product or service mentioned was provided to Heiddi free of charge (or at a considerable discount not available to the public).

Love Note Day

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is in celebration of National Love Note Day according to BrownieLocks.com. I’m a sucker for a great love note so I thought we could use this as a prompt. Share what you like about love notes and even one of your own! Below is my contribution. Enjoy!

Happy Writing!

 

Dear Son,

Little boy, you’re the center of my world. You’re my motivation to get up everyday to work hard. You’ve pushed me far beyond my limits and even my dreams. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I love you. You’re my favorite kid in the whole, wide world and I live for your smile. Remember that I’ll always be there no matter what.

Love,

Mami

Notable Quotable

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. This week’s quote is from The Lion King, which I had the pleasure of previewing last weekend. (Thanks again to Mommyslinks!).

As writers, I feel that we focus a lot on who we are (or are not) and sometimes forget that we’re not alone in this. In the movie, Simba has a spiritual encounter with his father who reminds Simba that in forgetting himself, he has also forgotten his father.

It is very important for all writers to remember the writers who came before us. In their works, they remind today’s writers that they are not alone. Every time you feel lost and alone as a writer, read the first book, essay or manuscript that inspired you to become a writer. When you remember them, you remember yourself and your writing dreams. Whether it’s Joyce Carol Oates, Sylvia Plath, or Stephen King. Someone inspired you Freshman Writers to pick up a pen (or turn on the computer) to share your stories and thoughts.

“In forgetting yourself, you have forgotten me. Remember who you are. Remember.”

~ Mufasa a.k.a. James Earl Jones (The Lion King)

Also, for more inspiration from the movie, check out The Lion King 3-D for two weeks only starting September 16, 2011.

9/11

Hiya Freshman Writers. Hope this finds you well and writing.

I hadn’t planned on writing today. I planned to rest today. Given the solemnity of the occasion, I really wanted to stay home to rest and reflect. Then a friend of mine over at Mommylink’s asked me to share my 9/11 story. Everyone has one, but as New Yorkers, ours can be very unique.

So, in honor of the many loved ones lost, I encourage you Freshman Writers to write your story. Express your thoughts and feelings about that day. This is how writers live on, through poignant messages and stories. Please come and share them here as well.

9/11 – We will never forget.

5 Tips on Handling Rejection

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about something that touches writers all of the time – rejection. Yes, to some writers who’ve dealt with it, rejection is a hard blow. Especially after putting in hard work and heart into the writing. To others, rejection is motivation to keep on going; to keep tweaking the writing; to keep the pen moving.

After hearing about The Help movie, based on the best-selling book by author, Kathryn Stockett, I was amazed to learn that her manuscript was rejected an amazing 60 times! 6-0! According to More Magazine (on Yahoo Shine),  Kathryn Stockett went through 60 rejections before her manuscript was accepted on try #61. I couldn’t believe it! She’s made of strong stuff indeed. And in sharing her story, she revealed one tip that kept her going until her writing was accepted.

1. “Give into your obsession.”  Kathryn simply zeroed in her focus on her manuscript. Over and over, she worked on it. Writing and writing until she felt it was ready to send out. Which leads me to the next tip:

2. Find a space for your writing to grow. Kathryn went so far as to rent a hotel room to work on her writing after her daughter was born. Find a nook just for you to write in. Which brings us to tip number three:

3. Have supportive friends and family.  Someone had to be there with the little one while Kathryn was writing – that was her hubby. Nothing helps a writer more than to have people who understand your compulsion to write. Even if they don’t write themselves. Having a support system can help you when (and it happens to all writers) you DO get rejection.

4. Celebrate the first rejection. Kathryn shared her first rejection letter with friends. This is a great way for writers of all levels to reframe the idea that a rejection is truly a rejection. Sometimes, writers can get caught up in feeling sorry for themselves and then stop writing. Here, Kathryn took a lemon and made lemonade by cheering and then getting right back to work.

5. Don’t quit. Kathryn didn’t stop writing. She kept going. One of the easiest things to do after a rejection is to quit; to think that you’re just not cut out for writing. Kathryn pushed through this and kept working. And you Freshman Writers can do it, too.

Freshman Writers, I hope Kathryn’s story inspired you the way it inspired me. She stuck to it and now her book is a best-seller that has been made into a successful movie. Cheers Kathryn! I salute you! Thank you for inspiring Freshman Writers, readers and movie-goers everywhere!

Happy Writing!

Travel down Memory Lane for Ideas

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post was inspired by my lack of ideas last week for a parenting blog that I write for. I just could not come up with anything current to blog about.

I actually went back to the blog to read posts by other writers there. We all have children of different ages. My son though is probably one of the older kids written about on the site and sometimes I just run out of things to say.

Cruising on the site for awhile found me laughing at the adventures in potty training that some of the other moms had posted. I laughed because their posts reminded me of my own problems with diapers and potty training. So, I decided to go back in my memory to write about my own adventures. And it worked! I came up with two posts on the spot and then a couple more for future publishing.
Writing consistently for a website can be challenging when you’re idea bank has been exhausted. If you Freshman Writers are stuck on ideas, try going down memory lane to see what ideas jump out from the past. You never know where it’ll take you.

Happy Writing!

Stepping out of my comfort zone

This past weekend, I attended an exhibit for my friend’s son, who is a photographer. I was happily surprised when a picture of my living room was there and told him so. He apologized and I told him how honored I was to have my living room in his photo exhibit.

As each photographer presented, I noted that some were less confident than others in talking about their work. Some of the students were nervous, fidgety and it was clear that speaking was not their forte. Enter me with my bright idea.

I quickly jotted down the idea to talk to one of the staff members at the program about working with the students on their speaking and presentation skills. Then I picked up a course calender to quickly scan for classes on speaking and presentation. I didn’t find any there.

Surprised at myself, I waited (a bit nervously) patiently until the end of the exhibit to speak to a staff member who enjoyed my comments on the students’ work. (The audience was invited to share comments on the pictures exhibited.) She asked me how I was connected to my friend’s son and when I replied, I added that young people need support from adults who care about them.

It was here that I launched my pitch to work with the teens on speaking and presentation. I asked if there was any thought given on working with the teens on presenting their work and added that I didn’t find anything on that in the course schedule. She stated that the students are busy for the ten weeks of class and don’t get the chance to work on it whereas students in the year-long program had presentation lessons scheduled in. The staff member then stated that it’s definitely a need that someone could fill. So, I presented her with my handy, dandy business card (since I keep them with me at all times). To which she replied that she would pass it on to the program manageer.

Yes, I was scared, but I was also really excited about my idea. My goal in life is to make a difference. Whether it’s with my writing or counseling skills doesn’t really matter as long as I can help people be better for themselves. I’ll keep you posted! Keep your fingers crossed for me.