Hello again, I’m happy to meet you, and me!
“A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.” – Jon Pertwee
Hey! Good to see you again! I’m happy to meet you, and me, actually.
I hope you’re saying the same. After all, it’s been almost eight years since my last column. The previous one was published in the first week of 2009 and I’ve been on sabbatical ever since.
Actually, believe it or not, the president had very little to do with my leave of absence. I would’ve easily been able to sneak in my duties as a special ops secret agent guarding Air Force One AND write a weekly entertainment and humor column. It’s also not like I didn’t have opportunities to continue writing in various formats for various websites and publications. I did, but I just felt like it was time to not just turn the page, but to put the book back on the shelf and move on to another entire library. I didn’t have a drug problem, no drinking problem (unless you count caffeine), no addictions to strange porn fetishes with Asian midgets dressed up as melon soda cans wearing Hello Kitty underwear. There is no truth to any of the “Caitlin Leary” rumors. Nor did I eat too much turkey and take a long nap, find myself in a dream where I woke up and Patrick Duffy was in my shower or fall into a hibernation chamber and emerge to find Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho as president.
Although, looking around, I’m not so sure about the last one.
“Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.” – David Tennant
No, most of my last eight years has been spent in John Lennon “Watching the Wheels” mode, working on creative projects and writing of a more personal level, freelancing to pay the bills (mostly taking more lucrative behind-the-scenes ghostwriting gigs and things of that nature), going to grad school and, most importantly, spending as much time as possible with my son, Jackson, who just turned eight. For a long time, as an editor and columnist for three local newspapers and an on-air personality for two television stations and six radio stations, as well as a producer and director for a theater company, I worked extraordinarily long hours into the night, and for most of that time, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed it immensely. But while it was a blast, there’s no doubt that it was also very time-consuming. And while some of that time was consumed with fulfilling things, some of it was not quite as exciting. After my son was born, I realized that in doing these things, I was missing out on time that I would never again have the opportunity to experience. So while yes, I may once more be able to review Diamond Rio at the Mississippi Valley Fair, perhaps even the following summer, or following four summers, I would never again be able to recapture the time when my child uttered his first words or took his first steps. And I didn’t want that to happen while I was writing a review of a band I didn’t care about while people spilled beer on my shoes.
As such, it was far more valuable to me to take a step away from the media spotlight, which I didn’t care much about anyway, and instead bask in the glow of my child’s affection and attention. And for having done so, I have nothing but happiness and no regrets. I got to be there when my son took his first steps, said his first words, crafted his first pictures and letters. I taught him to read, played sports with him, joined him in unleashing a cacophony of musical instruments and generally explored this wonderful world by his side, sharing in a myriad of wonderful adventures.
It was a magical time. And it still is.
But as children grow up, they become independent. They want more time to do their own things, to spend with their friends, to follow their own paths in addition to the one they share with you. This is a good thing. It means you’ve done your job as a parent and given them the character and strength to take those first steps out into the world with the advantage of a keen mind and a caring heart.
And when that happens, the child’s parents find themselves with a lot more time to explore their own paths again.
“There’s always something to look at if you open your eyes.” – Peter Davison
And one of those paths I found myself coming across along the way was this one, my long, circuitous, strange road as a columnist.
I first started writing professionally at age 11 (for the Comics Buyers Guide), and started writing a column at age 13 (for the long-defunct music magazine Alternate Waves). I’ve written columns for newspapers, magazines and websites, for a variety of media companies. I always enjoyed it, and for a brief time as a teen and early twentysomething, enjoyed the attention it brought. But the added attention was quickly recognized as ephemeral and hollow, leaving the creative pursuit as my sole motivation. Once I lost interest in the creative aspect of it (somewhere around my 1,537th column about some worthless reality TV star), it was time for me to move on. At least from writing that type of column.
But there are a lot of different ways to write a column. Especially when you’re unfettered by anything but your own imagination. And I enjoyed the time away, because it gave me new insights, perspectives and angles that I’ll be bringing to this column, which to me, is more of a conversation, a window I’m offering into new worlds.
Will it be the same as my previous entertainment and humor columns?
Yes and no.
Sometimes it will be. Sometimes it won’t. With this column, I’m not chained to the world of showbiz as my source material. I can write about whatever I want, pretty much. I’m going to try to keep things positive, fun and upbeat, try to make you think, try to make you smile, try to make you glad you stopped by and took time out of your trek around the sun to scan the zeroes and ones transcribed into magical symbols before you.
Human nature being what it is, some of you will love it, some of you will like it, some of you will go “meh,” and some of you will hate it. So it goes.
If you love it or like it, stick around, bookmark the site, and have fun reading me every week. If you’ve got an idea for a column, or a comment, compliment or suggestion, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you really love the column, or even if you really like it, by all means please share it to your social media, tweet it out, share it to Facebook, email it to your friends, whatever. Please let other people know what you like about it, tell them to check it out. Thanks! Thank you very much for your support. I appreciate it.
“There’s no point being grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes.” – Tom Baker
And if you really hate it, do the same. By all means, please feel free to share it to all your friends and family, tell them to check out this thing you so despise, so that they may feel the same. And make sure you do that every week. Perhaps even more often. Every day. Maybe more than one time a day. Go ahead and dissect every line. Keep finding things you really don’t like about it, so that you can share the column again and again, telling people to look at all of these reprehensible syllables that truly deserve no soup, no matter how many times they ask for it in adorable Cockney accent.
If I write about something you deem offensive or controversial, please, for the love of God and the First Amendment, share my unadulterated shame. Why, you might even want to go so far as to write several letters to the editor to the local newspapers, going on and on and on for paragraphs on end about how offensive this column was to you, and making sure, in every paragraph, so that people may see this scarlet letter of a column, that they can scald and scold Sean Leary’s column only at www.QuadCities.com. You could even provide that helpful link in each paragraph as you mention it, and you might also want to hashtag #quadcitiesusa to make sure that everyone can share in your angst and agita. If you’re also so inclined, you’ll probably want to call in to the local radio stations, especially talk radio, and go on and on – on-air, of course – about my column, and make sure that you stop by the local television stations several times a week, or, why not several times a day? That way you can tell them about it, and say that you’re demanding that they cover it on their media outlet.
Hey, I’m just being helpful. God bless America.
“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” – Matt Smith
But, that said, I hope the incredible majority of you enjoy the ride. Because that’s what this is, it’s all a ride. Life. A short trek at amazing speeds on a freakish blessed rock around a molten sun in the middle of an endless universe, in which you’re an evolving collection of cells that has been fortunate enough to act as a sublime biological Ferrari for an infinite being of light that has found itself living subjectively through your consciousness shaped by this time spent zooming through this world, having wonderful adventures in your own personal time machine and finding whatever magic you are open to breeding and achieving and dreaming within that fertile, flowing, blooming, ever-expanding magical realm you call your mind.
We are all wonderful time machines electrified and enchanted by magic and wonder.
And in all that time and with all this chance and coincidence and happenstance and opportunity, you have fired off the synapses in your brain and driven yourself and taken your time up to read these words, to open yourself up to these magical symbols and to spend this time with me.
I feel honored. I feel lucky. I feel blessed.
I appreciate it.
So, get ready, open your eyes and open your minds, and let’s make this a good one, eh?
Enjoy the trip…
Copyright © 2016 Sean Leary / For more writing see http://www.seanleary.com/