Friday, November 23, 2007
I recently received an invitation to join Linked In, an online networking group. I accepted on a whim and it's been great. I've reconnected with people I haven't talked to or emailed in years, including a former VP at an old job that I mistakenly thought had nothing in common with me. In reality, we are, and probably always were, very much alike. I thought Ann was hyper ambitious above and before anything in her personal life until she adopted a son and I learned that she survived her own bout with serious illness. I also found another former colleague/lead singer in a band who asked me to operate the curtain on my 34th birthday, the day after John and I eloped almost a decade ago. The day after our "wedding" at the Milton Town Hall, it was my birthday and I insisted we go out. We went to see Alex's band play and I danced with strangers and friends because John threw his back out the day before we got married.(Foreshadowing...?) Alex is now married, living in NYC, working for a Foundation that works to stop hunger in Africa and India, and he's still writing and recording music. I reconnected with another guy who was a fellow unpaid intern at WBUR who inspired me to work way harder than I would have otherwise because I liked competing with him. I remember Tim and I showing up at the same State House press conference. We stood with dueling mikes on either side of Joe Kennedy and a crowd of reporters. The minute the press conference was over, I ran to the T and rushed back to the radio station so I could edit the tape and write the story before him. I don't remember whether or not I beat Tim to the station, but I do know he made it to a paid gig at BUR WAY before me. Grrrr.
I've told all these people I have MS. In fact, I put my blog address on my Linked In listing. (Perhaps that's what prompted them to reach back. It doesn't really matter; I'm glad they did.) I am OUT with MS. The way I figure it, if people know I have MS they might be in a position to help me or I might be in a position to help them or someone they know. Besides, MS is absolutely, positively nothing to be ashamed of. I remember attending a gay rights rally when I worked at BU a gazillion years ago (I'm straight but not narrow) and everyone was chanting, "I'm here, I'm queer, get used ot it." I feel like I need a chant. How's this: "MS. I have it. I won't die, so don't cry." Now I just need a rally to try repeating it really loud in a group.
Posted by Julie M. Baker at 8:49 PM