I've always told my kids that an individual can make a difference. I believe that to my core. But it's very hard work. When I would get discouraged, someone would come along and toss out an encouraging word and I'd regain my motivation and plod on. That's a great thing about the progressive community. Rob, at one low point, recommended that I read Paul Rogat Loeb's The Impossible Will Take a Little While . It's a terrific collection of essays by all sorts of progressive activists contemporary and from earlier days. It did the trick -- and me being me, I went on to interview Loeb!
On a more personal note, during fully half of the eight years
I've been at OpEdNews, I've been engaged in major life changes. I
woke up one morning to find that my marriage had irretrievably
fallen apart. I separated and eventually got divorced. I packed up
and sold the house we had lived in for almost 30 years, moving
twice in three months. I had to find a good home for Emma, my
nine-year-old dog. The job I had for 15 years evaporated at the
worst possible moment and I found myself financially at risk for
the first time in my life. I transitioned to full-time employment
at a time when many of my peers are slowing down or retiring
And all the while, I kept writing. In fact, you could probably figure out which were the most stressful periods by the increase in my writing. It's how I cope -- along with a big helping hand from family, friends and supportive colleagues. So, I'd guess you'd say that OpEdNews has kept me sane. Thank you! A million page views is not the end; I'm just hitting my stride!
MAB: Wow! Thank you, Joan. And thanks for sharing your inspiring story with us. It's always fascinating to me how situations that seem so challenging in life can often have so many hidden gifts -- and your challenges have certainly resulted in many gifts to others -- OpEdnews gets a lot of its special "flavor" from your contributions, and we are so lucky to have you. Even the way you live your life is a great example of the powerful effects of positive journalism -- thank you!
JB: Thanks to my readers, without whom I'd be like a tree falling in the forest with no one there to see. And thank you so much, Meryl Ann, for this opportunity to examine myself and my time at OpEdNews. It was challenging but fun; I'm glad it was you holding the scalpel!
Joan's OEN Member page
Selected Series by Joan Brunwasser: