Re-booting, the edited version

Recently, I had a Letter to the Editor published in the New York Times, responding to a front page article about the high cost of college debt.


But today, I’m not writing about what I said. Instead, I’m writing about the daring it required for me to submit it and the aftermath that comes with actually having it published in a huge venue, out there, for all to see, evaluate, take issue with, or compliment. This experience has everything to do with re-booting one’s life because the act, in and of itself, of re-booting means that we have to be brave enough to try something new and be confident enough in our actions that whatever the results may be, we’re willing to stand by our choice.


Writing to a large newspaper like the NY Times may, in fact, require less courage simply because the chance of getting published is so slim. Although this may sound self-congratulatory, that isn’t my intent. But when I wrote it, when I hit the “send” button, I knew it was a good letter, with a good point, and I knew there was a chance it would make the cut. My fear of being published and subsequently criticized existed even as I prepared the email, but I did it anyway.


That’s my point to you, too.


Steps like whether or not to speak up in some capacity or to break a pattern of reaction that people have come to expect from us or consciously trying to retrain our brains to think differently about a situation which continues to bother us, each of these efforts are like my being published in the NY Times. Taking any such steps doesn’t guarantee an end result, but it opens a door—no small thing, indeed.


The letter I sent was longer and more nuanced. The edited version that made the cut, while very much mine, was shorter and more forceful. Packing a sort of one-two punch. And now, here I am, elated to be published, but also fearful of the judgments others might accord to my printed sentiments.


Yet, at the end of the day, three things are equally valid: 1) what I wrote reflects an opinion and concern shared by a lot of people, 2) nobody is going to give my letter more than a second’s notice, so I needn’t worry so much about the possible aftermath, and 3) having taken this small step, I am that much more confident about revealing more of the “real me” in the future. And all this came from a fly by night moment on the treadmill where I decided it might be fun just to try.


Sort of like writing this blog!


Homework assignment: I want you to go out there this week and just try something new, experiment, see how you feel afterwards and report back. Good luck!


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2 Responses to “Re-booting, the edited version”

  1. Patrick Ross Says:

    Congrats on the letter being published! It is a strong one, and some recent journalism in the Washington Post would seem to support your point.

    As to the courage, yes, it helps if you assume the odds are too high, but you still have to do it. That often is a reason why people choose not to do things. So kudos for trying, and seeing that it could be fun to do so.

  2. abitravel Says:

    Right on, Chrisanna! I say this re your post and your letter to the NY Times. I’m glad you’re taking risks to say what you think and feel. Keep it up!

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