Paper Shredder v. Oprah

Paper Shredder v. Oprah

By Tiffany A. Potter

As I sat down to write this month’s column I had the rough draft sitting in front of me and it was good (I think), it was poignant (I think), it was current and topical; and then I had a thought…

As it often happens when I’m approaching a deadline I tend to get distracted. From as far back as college I was that student that not only worked best under pressure, for example waiting until the evening before my 45 page final writing project was due for my Government and the Environment class to begin it (ultimately receiving a 96 out of 100 and it being published in a San Diego magazine), but I would also become easily distracted. Dishes in the sink? I had to wash them before I could focus on the assignment. My clothes in a pile on my bed? I had to fold them and put them away before I could focus on the assignment.

The cycle was practically endless until my house was spotless, my belly was full, and my friends wouldn’t answer my phone calls to chat about their day (because they knew my pattern and would ignore me so that I would actually get my work done). It wasn’t a perfect system but it was my system, and it worked. My creative soul would come alive and there were times that I would read back what I wrote days later and not remember that I had actually had written pieces of it all. After years of this I have realized that this writing process, this flow of energy that lays dormant in me until I’m fully ready to release it is actually a sort of communion for me. There is sacredness in turning the key, unlocking the door, and welcoming what the writer in me has to put out in the world only when it is time.

This month was no different only this time I was distracted by thinking about something I had written years ago that made me chuckle. Let me explain.

By now you know that I moved back here to the Valley from San Diego (five and a half years ago to be exact). But what I haven’t told you, I don’t think, is that in doing so I moved back in with my mother. I was 34 years old, a new business owner (read: “unemployed” as far as the rest of the world was concerned) and a divorcee with a cat moving back in with mommy. Albeit temporarily, but moving back in with her nonetheless. I hadn’t lived with her since I moved out at 18 years old and had no idea how we wouldn’t kill each other; but I knew that I had to take drastic measures to change up the energy in my life because whatever I was doing in San Diego wasn’t working for me anymore. Back to Fresno I came (which, by the way, ultimately turned out much better than I could have ever imagined only I couldn’t have predicted that then).

In preparing for the move the one thing I continued to hear from my friends was a request to document this new adventure in the form of a blog so that they could follow along. Hesitant at first, I eventually agreed. And though I didn’t blog often or consistently, I received really good feedback from my posts. They were (mostly) lighthearted and intended to be funny and since so much of my life at that time was out of my control I figured the best way to deal with it was to laugh through it.

Fast forward five years, my mother and I didn’t kill each other and it is because of my past Editor reading that blog that I am now writing for you; and trying to write this month’s column… and being distracted. Lately I have been thinking about my old blog and though I didn’t have many entries I found myself revisiting what I had written in an effort to procrastinate. And then I had a thought…

Last month my column was quite somber and heavy and while there is nothing wrong with somber and heavy I thought I would lighten things up a little bit this month (and perhaps future months) by posting an old blog entry. It’s not going to change the world and it certainly won’t be something I’ll be remembered for, at least I don’t think, but just maybe you’ll laugh a little bit. And for some context of this entry you should know that Oprah Winfrey and I are best friends, she just doesn’t know it yet.

Wednesday September 22, 2010

Paper Shredder v. Oprah

Okay… here is what I know as an absolute…

I have ONE hour out of my day that is solely devoted to Oprah (it is after all her final season and I haven’t had the opportunity to watch her in a few years because I haven’t had cable), so can someone please explain to me why my mother insists on shredding all of her important documents during this one specific hour? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I coulda’ sworn that there is another 23 hours out of the day in which to choose from to complete such a chore. I honestly believe it’s because she wants to drive me crazy.

Mom: 2 Me: 0

Life lesson for today: the most inconvenient of all realities will, inevitably, happen when one is watching Oprah. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Tiffany is a disability consultant, entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and change agent. Find her at: www.TiffanysTake. com or on Instagram @Tiffanys_Take.


  • Community Alliance

    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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