Portlands Funny Girl

Thoughts from a Weird, Strange, Funny Girl

Committing to Commiting

Kate White was one of my all time favorite editors of Cosmopolitan. It was a combination of her monthly letters from the editor’s to simply the way she edited the magazine each month. Even though it occasionally made me upset to see her reamp up the magazine’s layout issue every several months or so (especially if the column was one of my favorites) I always admired the way she wasn’t afraid to try new things, shake things up, and kept working on finding ways to improve and look at life from fresh angles. Without even realizing it, I think in a way, Kate White understood who I was, someone with the constant need to try on different versions of outfits on oneself. Yesterday I was an astronaut, maybe today I’ll be a cow girl and who knows, tomorrow I might feel like being clown. Because in each of us are not wholly or entirely one entity but a million tiny little fragments of people we could be and could have been.

For me, one of the most impactful letter’s Kate White wrote was about committing to your commitments. Never had I ever realized how many missed opportunities, missed memories and missed dreams I have made in my life simply because I didn’t follow through or kept putting it off. You could say my life is like a boatful of coulda, shoulda, woulda’s. Because I hesitated, because I waited, because I was scared. I feel as if I have put off most of my life on hold because I keep saying I’ll get to it later. But later only comes in jerky stop and go motions like a teenager learning to drive a car with long pauses in between before I get up the nerve to turn the ignition and try again.

At the end of this letter to her reader (which I have retyped wholly at the end of this blog for you to read at your leisure) Kate White points out, “Rather than allowing you to focus on what’s ahead of you, it keeps you stalled in the past. You’re still working on something that should already be done, and you’re wasting mental energy worrying about it.”

At the beginning of this year, I made a promise to myself. To say yes more often and keep my promises once I say yes. So far, while I haven’t been perfect with my promises but, I like to think that I’ve done a good job so far. More often than not I’ve stuck through more commitments when I would have rather said no. I have put myself out there when I would have rather stayed in bed. I sort of like to think that this new blog is sort of one of those promises, a promise to commit to a project and see it through entirely. It won’t be easy, I know. It’s been a project I’ve wanted to implement for years and only just getting the creative vision to finally put it together. But this blog will also be part of a testament that I can follow through and stick it out to make my dreams finally come alive. I feel if I can do this, as long as I keep saying yes more than I say no, doing what I need to do now and not tomorrow, that in some way I have made my mentor proud.

Love until later,
Letter From the Editor
“Whenever I read a great story about a successful woman, I usually comb through it to see if there’s something I can steal from her life and use in my own. I know that sounds a little stalkerish, but what I’m looking for are just good strategies- for getting things done more effectively or coming up with gutsy ideas or even on how best to enjoy an often rushed life. when Kate Hudson was on the first of several Cosmo covers, I discovered that her mother, Goldie Hawn, used to host Sunday night pasta nights at home, often including other families. I immediately hijacked the concept. for years now, Sunday night has always been pasta night at my house. it’s been a great family ritual (for company, just dump an extra box of pasta into the pot), and hey, it’s the perfect excuse to carbo-load.

when I came across a recent piece in the New York Times on Natalie Portman, I suspected there might not be anything to steal. that’s because the topic was how freaking brilliant Natalie is. The reporter interviewed Natalie’s mentor when she was at Harvard majoring in neuroscience- yes neuroscience- who said she knew few students who were “as inherently bright as Natalie, who have as much intellectual horsepower, who work as hard as she did.” Okay, so she’s gorgeous, beyond talented, and brilliant. It’s enough to turn me into a player hater.

As my eyes ran over the piece, I did find one nugget I could steal. Natalie’s mentor said her awesome student had never once asked for an extension, or to be excused from a responsibility. if she had to be on the Late Show With David Letterman, for instance, she’d just get the project in earlier.

I’ve tended to be pretty good about not asking for extensions or bailing on appointments, and yet lately, because of some extra projects at work, I’ve been tempted on a couple of occasions to delay or reschedule. that quote as a great kick in the butt for me. it reminded me that When you ask for an extension on a project or reschedule a lunch, you think it buys you time, but ultimately, it’s really a giant time suck. rather than allowing you to focus on what’s ahead of you, it keeps you stalled in the past. you’re still working on something that should be already done, and you’re wasting mental energy worrying about it. so stay up a little later and turn in your project on time (or start it a little earlier, like Natalie apparently did). Then you can devote your attention to what’s brand new… and concentrate on winning your Oscar.”
Kate White, Editor in Chief

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