Archive for the ‘Chapter 43’ Category

When I returned from visiting Kristen in Maryland, I had lots to do. I had to email the director at Camp Dudley about Yanni, I had to update my resume and bio for the essence.com opportunity and I had to file for unemloyment. I also thought I might submit a writing sample to essence; after all, how could I expect essence.com to hire me if they dont know my writing?

I took my laptop to Dewey’s coffee shop and I decided to write.

…about being a writer.

This is what I wrote that day at Dewey’s:

“I’m a writer.” This was my response to the stranger I met in Georgetown on Sunday who asked me what I did. I said it a second time on the airplane, to George, as I was traveling back home from Maryland to Cleveland on Monday morning. George and I will become friends, I suspect. He is a mid-forties Italian-American financial consultant from Connecticut. George is working in Cleveland to shut down operations for a local bank that was unable to survive the economic crisis. This is a welcomed assignment for George, as he is going through a “messy divorce.”  Somehow seeing many people loosing their jobs is less stressful than going home to what must feel like a loosing situation with his wife and children. George shared his pain and fears of loneliness with me on the plane and I shared mine with him…

But back to me being a writer… Why not? This is who I am deciding to be. Mostly this is a response to an urgency and need to share. My experiences over the last few months have been incredible. My life has actually been pretty incredible, but these lasts few months have been extraordinary. “My people” (that circle that I hold most dear) have encouraged me to write. And then I got a call from a friend who has a friend at Essence. Essence-dot-com is looking for a columnist on spirituality and faith and of all people this friend-of-a-friend called me…   and at just such a time as this.

The Universe is responding.

So having no formal experience at this, I have decided that I will begin by altering my perception. I will tell people that I am a writer until I believe it. I said this to my grief counselor, Monica, today and she suggested that I go a step further and actually start writing. “Brilliant,” I thought. So now here I sit at Dewey’s Coffee Shop (my new home away from home) and I write, with a chi tea latte by my side (every writer needs a good companion drink).

I am a writer!

And what better to write about than my new identity?

Professionally I have been a banker, a headhunter, a minister, a social worker and an activist, and that’s just in the last 8 years. I’m 30. Apparently these transitions are consistent with the trend of my generation (Y); we work to live while our parents’ generation (Boomers) live to work. The Boomers often criticize us Ys, but I think we’re on to something.

Do we really need just one title, one stagnant career path, or does that restrict creativity? If I look at my work history as a series of titles, I feel unfocused and all over the place. However If I consider the collection of experiences (working on the NYSE trading floor, helping to facilitate life transitions, advocating on behalf of incarcerated men and women, MINISTRY..) it feels incredible. And I don’t cease to be the things I have been; I just continually grow to become more.

I feel that I have been responding to a series of assignments from God. All of my assignments have had meaning and purpose for me and for others. All of my assignments have forced me to grow.

My last assignment ended abruptly. For two years I was the director of a women center in Trenton, NJ. My staff and I worked to help spiritually, emotionally and financially impoverished women facilitate lifestyle changes meant to lead to greater stability. We made a difference in the lives of many women. But alas.. with the loss of funding, the loss of staff, the ending of my apartment lease and yes, the sudden death of my beautiful partner (hence, grief counseling) , I can’t think of a clearer sign that an assignment is over!

And what about my PhD plans?… I have no plans. I am choosing, rather, to embrace life’s open question mark. I have my Soul Friend, Jessie, to thank for giving me permission to be open. I am still in conversation with Rutgers and others about funding and housing but nothing is solid. Things will need to be solid and very CLEAR if I am meant to return to New Jersey this fall.

For now the only thing that is clear is that I am a writer. And I know this how? Because in this very moment I am writing, and this very moment is the only thing that is real.

God is here; God is in this very moment and I am in it with God…


I heard the analogy once that God is like a song that has been played throughout eternity and it is our responsibility to remain present with God and to sing in harmony with God’s song. I have asked myself how I can sing along with God’s song if I choose to be bound by a single label or title. I think one must choose to be bound or be free. I choose to be free. I choose to be present and to sing. And apparently there is something that I am meant to sing in this season of being a writer. I hope that it is helpful. So I humbly assume this new assignment, peacefully resting in the uncertainty of this moment with the hope for incredible experiences to come.


Kimberley S. Copeland -Writer

© Copyright Thank You Very Sweet, 2012

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