The Search For Life’s Magic Editing Wand

Stereograms are multi-dimensional, computer-generated, graphic images that contain hidden content (images and text). The hidden content can only be seen when viewed from the proper visual and mental perspective. Stereograms contain multiple levels of reality. The surface level usually contains a variety of colors and patterns that make stereograms appear chaotic and disorganized. Once we penetrate into the deeper dimensions of the hidden content, we discover the real meaning of each stereogram.”

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I think I might be a human Stereogram.

Allow me to break it down. I wasn’t the kind of little girl who enjoyed playing dress up. As a matter of fact, I was such a tomboy that I was most comfortable in my jeans with a torn knee and a t-shirt. However, as I got older I started to enjoy it. Maybe because dressing up then also entailed an evening out and the good time that accompanied it. I love going in my closet and searching for just the right outfit for the occasion, and twirling in front of the mirror once I’m dressed. Herein lies the problem…the mirror. At first glance, I’m usually happy with what I see, but much like the stereogram it seems I contain multiple levels of reality. The more I stand in front of that mirror, the closer and longer I look at my reflection, the unhappier I become with what I see. Much like the stereogram, I believe I start to see “hidden content” in my image I didn’t originally see. Unlike the stereogram however, the longer I look the more chaotic and disorganized my reflection appears to me. And, once I see those flaws it is all I can focus on, leading me to doubt the whole ensemble, making me question my exercise plan, and ultimately sending me spinning back into the closet to change outfits. When did I become such a girl?

I am much the same when presented with a photograph of myself. Again, at first glance I think it’s not bad, but upon further inspection I can’t keep my finger from gravitating toward the delete button. There are very few photos of myself that I really like, and even then that photo is probably the fifth photo taken because the first four were deleted. Anyone who takes a photo of me, knows there is an approval process before it can be shared through any social media. On a recent trip to NYC, some strangers offered to take a photo of my husband and myself in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. I disliked the photo so much, I asked the police officer standing on the corner (much to my husband’s embarrassment) to take another photo of us. Then, I had him retake that photo! Thank you Mr. NYPD!

I’ve always wished I had a magic wand that would allow me to immediately edit those photos, and ultimately the reflection I see in the mirror. My husband doesn’t understand my warped perception of myself, and quite frankly I don’t either. How can I see the results of my hard work from running and weight training one day, yet not see it another day? I see what I see though. When my son was around two years old, he was crying one day and could barely get the words out when I asked, “Why are you crying?” Between breathes he said, “I cry because I cry!” Well, I see that warped image because I see that warped image!

This week, I’ve held an editing wand in my hand though not one I could use on my image. You see, I’ve been editing my soon to be published book, Red Circle Days, and do you know what I’ve discovered? I have come to the realization that my reflection isn’t the only thing that can generate self-doubt. As I read through my writing once more, I begin to doubt the quality. I start to feel that no amount of editing will ever make it good enough in my eyes. I start to envision my book sitting on store shelves collecting dust after a handful of copies have been purchased by my mom, other family members, and good friends. So…I struggle to move forward in the editing process until it is complete, much like I struggle to turn away from the mirror and head out the door in search of something good. I know I will keep trekking along on my road to a fitter me, and I know I will keep trekking along on my road to publishing my first book. I will continue because I can’t give up on either journey. My son may cry because he cries, and I may see a warped image because I see a warped image. However, magic editing wand or not, I write because I write!

Do you have any aspects in your life, where you search for that magic editing wand?

19 thoughts on “The Search For Life’s Magic Editing Wand

  1. We’ve all battled self-doubt at some point in our lives. The reels of tape that play over and over in our head, “this isn’t good enough or you’re never going to make it.” At least, those are the destructive voices I have to silence.

    For me personally, so much of the battle is in my mind. I am inevitably my own worst enemy. But, like you, the insecurity is fleeting. Each day is filled with a new grace. As for you and your book, I have no doubt that it will soar off the shelves. Looking forward to its release! 🙂


    • You’re right on the money as usual. The battle is definitely in my mind, and sometimes it’s just easier to silence than others. My insecurity over the book is just a fear of the unknown. I experienced the same when I started this blog. Of course, everyone here has been so supportive and encouraging that you’ve all probably spoiled me! 😉


  2. Well the only reason I want “Life’s Magic Editing Wand” is to erase the ocean waters that separate us!! Then I could give you a tight hug full of Sunshine to congratulate you on your writings!!! Also I could join you for a run on one of those “stereogram days.” More than that I could stand and watch you take your spin in the mirror and tell you how great you look, if I don’t succeed in convincing you, I get to keep the outfit!!!!


    • Oh Sunshine, if that magic wand could just erase the ocean between us the rest would all fall into place! I would even give you my entire wardrobe, if it would guarantee us being closer! Big Hugs to you and the kids! Love you!


  3. I think instead of wishing for a magic editing wand you might wish for the ability to be happy with who you are and what you see. I suspect most of these “flaws” are only seen by you and are, quite frankly, manufactured.


    • You’re right, and most of the time I am happy with me. However, I have those all too human moments when I allow myself to focus on those “manufactured flaws” and forget what’s really important. Thank you!


  4. First–CONGRATS on your almost-published-book! That’s awesome. Second–you are certainly not alone in picking apart the image in your mirror. Each day I find another stray hair, wrinkle, or imperfection that I SWEAR I didn’t have the day before. I try to put things into perspective and tell myself I have beautiful, healthy kids, I am healthy, I have a loyal, kind man to call my husband, etc. All that is well and good, but my dad always told me that I can’t please others if I’m not pleased with myself. And that’s when I really start thinking: AM I pleased with myself? Some days, yes. Other days, not so much. And I think we’re allowed those “off” days because we’re women, we’re mothers, and we’re wearing about 90 other proverbial hats. Men don’t get it because society has different expectations of them; we women need to stick together and continue to cheer each other on rather than tear one another down. I believe I am officially off topic, but for what it’s worth, I think you’re a crazy good writer, a beautiful lady, and a kind soul. But then again, who asked me? 😉


    • You’re so funny! I never noticed you straying off topic, but then again I have no sense of direction. 😉 Your dad is a wise man, and I totally agree with him. Like you, I remind myself of the blessings in my life and usually snap right out of it. However, I’m also human and sometimes entertain the doubts. Hell, I invite them in for coffee and make them comfortable on the couch too! Not for long though…just on my “off” days…Monday-Friday…ha ha! Just kidding. Thanks for your support my friend! I appreciate you!


  5. Oh boy, I think everyone is like this to some degree….it’s just the obstacle of finding a healthy balance of knowing what you need to work on and what is truly perfect! I know your writing is not something you need to be fretting about….Congratulations on the book!


  6. Ah I am the same with my self image, writing and photography. I agree with the above poster it does allow us to look more carefully at what we are doing. I am referred to sometimes as a perfectionist even though my photographs and words are less than perfect I scrutinize myself to death. I think you are probably a perfectionist too. A similar thing happened to me as the above poster. I had a falling out with someone and they too wrote all over my blog, pulling my punctuation and writing style apart. I think they simply took great delight in doing so and at first it made me angry and then I read a few of my posts and thought actually yes, I need to change this. That person’s idea of ‘revenge’ actually helped me. So hurah! Your writing style is beautiful and whilst yes, be a perfectionist but also keep believing in yourself and the fact that you will be a huge sucess because you are good enough and because I say so! 🙂 x


    • I’m fairly certain I am a perfectionist too, although I hate to admit it. 😉 I like to believe that perfection is overrated, but am only human and get caught up in the self-doubt I allow in my life every now and then. Like I told Diane below, those folks that criticize your blog, your writing, etc. can be helpful only when they are offering something constructive that can help you on your journey. Otherwise, delete them! 🙂 I appreciate your words of encouragement my friend! Thank you.


  7. Ahhh, wouldnt it be nice? The magic wand… I mean, I would love one too!
    I can’t wait to read your book!
    I was kicked in the gut by someone else’s wand not too long ago. A will meaning blogger who came through my back door and started critiquing ALL of my posts from #1 to what is it now? 175? Anyhow, at first it took me back. I mean those beginning posts were more like my journal and at first I though… Who asked ya? lol. But since, I have grown to appreciate the “third eye” so to speak. Until I realized that he was coming up to the very rough draft and unedited chapters I had posted earlier. Well, he ripped me a new one there I must say. I think that he would love to take my story and re-write about 2/3 of it!
    And I get that my punctuation is horrible and my sentence structure needs a lot of work. But my story is my story and sorry if he doesn’t like it, I have a formula and he is just one person. But he has made me look more carefully so that is a good thing. The next chapters should be brilliant after all of the gut kicking I have gotten. But I am glad. Not just because he praises the good… which by the way puzzles me what people think is great and he has said just that… he can’t believe the sugar coated comments I receive for some of my crap. OUCH! But then turns around and LIKES something that I pumped out in two minutes. Some of my picture finding has taken more time than my writing!
    I guess my point is that it is all relative. We are all going to see the gray hair so to speak. And totally miss the lipstick on our teeth!
    Even in professioanlly published books with high profile authors there are still typeos! But I soooo GET your wanting that magic wand though when I read your posts and see your picture have no idea why you would need one! Soooo my dear if a magic wand ever falls in your hands… hand it over!!!!


    • Write on my friend! 😉 No matter what anyone says, and take criticism when it is constructive and can actually benefit you. Otherwise, let them write away, dissect, and analyze to their heart’s content. As long they don’t get rude or ugly about it. If they do, then delete, delete, delete!

      As for me, I’m not striving to be perfect in any aspect of my life. Perfection is boring in my book! There are just times when the little seed of doubt tries to firmly plant itself in my brain. Having said that, if I ever come across the magic wand I may just need to destroy. I’m sure no good could come of using it…for anyone! lol


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