Athena Grayson

Category: Life Act Two-sdays

January 14, 2016 / / Hacking the Narrative
February 2, 2015 / / Hacking the Narrative

I recently engaged in an exercise for a class that asked me about the “seasons” of my career. The exercise was a simple one, but I ended up writing pages and pages, and on those pages showed up what was nothing more or less than my Origin Story (all great superheroes have them. As do super villains and evil geniuses. Shut up. All I’m saying is that Wonder Woman and I have never been seen in the same room together. I said, shut up.). Like all good Origin Stories, it’s not a strictly-detailed account or an accurate timeline admissible as evidence in any courtroom in case a jury needed to know if a certain writer had an alibi during any time where narrative homicide may or may not have been committed…

December 30, 2014 / / Life Act Two-sdays
November 22, 2014 / / Life Act Two-sdays


This past weekend, I ran my first 5K race. For me, this is a big deal. It’s part of my “discover new things about myself and try new things that I haven’t ‘had the time’ for” quest. It also ticks a box on my “let’s not fall apart just because we’ve got a little mileage on the ol’ undercarriage” quest.

During my (admittedly sporadic) training for this race, I discovered a few things about my body. Mostly, that my knees and ankles are much less stable than I previously believed. But I also discovered that I can still open up and go full-tilt without exploding like a LEGO minifig into a million little parts that hurt your feet when you step on them in the middle of the night. In the course of pushing myself, and sometimes chickening out on pushing myself, I learned a few things:

October 7, 2014 / / Life Act Two-sdays
September 23, 2014 / / Life Act Two-sdays

One thing Act Two is good for, with those years of experience, is re-examining the whys of what I do. In Act Two, you’ve had the time to develop a lot of habits. Aside from the obvious bad habits, I’ve been looking at my good and neutral habits as well, and asking WHY I do what I do. Because even if it’s a good habit, I still need to know why.

One challenge I’ve taken on is to finally come to grips with my process as a writer. In the second act of life, it’s not uncommon to have gotten good at something–whether or not you monetize that thing as your job, career, or calling. There’s a good side to this, as you have finally “aged into” being respected for your knowledge and experience, instead of having to fight the “know-it-all brat” stereotype. The bad side of this, however, is that you can get stuck in your process–the best way is not always the most familiar way. I noticed this when helping my 4th grader with her math homework and seeing the blowback from certain snarky parts of the internets about how Common Core makes parents ragequit their kids’ homework.

April 22, 2014 / / Life Act Two-sdays
March 18, 2014 / / Life Act Two-sdays