Connections

“Invisible threads are the strongest ties.”–Friedrich Nietzsche

After years of working, dreaming, planning, and hoping, I’ve finally reached the crossroads of my life. Almost twenty-five years ago I walked into the Tampa Police Academy, young and idealistic—and I’ll admit, a little scared. I’d already been through a stint in the military, so I figured I had the mettle to do it, but I only had a vague, entertainment industry colored idea of the career I was about to embark upon. Of course, the reality of a law enforcement officer is far removed from the Hollywood depictions. The highs are higher, the lows are lower, and most days aren’t any of that.

What I think about now as I look back over the past couple of decades is the people. I remember the victim on my very first call for service. I realized quickly that the path to my personal job satisfaction would be in the fields of law enforcement that afford the most intense connection with victims. I was drawn to investigative areas that most cops shy away from. My career path veered into Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, and Sex Crimes investigations. I got through the heartbreaking violence by focusing on those (mostly) women and children. Bringing closure and a sense of justice to them has been job satisfaction of the highest order. Then there were other days of more classic cops & robbers kind of stuff. Shots fired, hair-raising pursuits, and so much that fits into the “you can’t make this shit up” category. Kind of like what they used to say about the Peace Corps: The toughest job you’ll ever love. Yeah, I agree. Its been a great ride. D3-10

Now, as I contemplate the next chapter of my life, I think about the people I’ve met: Citizens on the street, criminals, friends, and colleagues. Some have enriched my life in truly profound ways, while others have frustrated, confounded and just plain scared the shit out of me. All of them have touched and changed me in their own ways. The anxious police recruit survived a full and meaningful career, and now I wonder what to do with myself. The question goes hand in hand with adjusting to the fact that I’m no longer in any uniform, with the natural disconnect of self. If I’m not that public servant, who am I? Being a writer helps because my experiences lend themselves to the stories and characters in my head. What I love most about writing is the community I’ve discovered, filled with wonderful, creative souls on a journey similar to mine. For years, my writing has coexisted and sometimes butted up against the cop side of me. Deadlines and crazy schedules chafed and struggled to merge in my daily life. Suddenly, that problem no longer exists, and I admit the prospect unnerves me as much as excites me. After my final shift I pondered my new future, I reminded myself that the most important thing to me has always been that connection to people. The central core of story is touching the emotions of our readers and making real connection. That’s what I love.

I smiled. I’m a storyteller. Maybe the future isn’t as foreign as I thought.

Thanks for reading. ~LM

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35 thoughts on “Connections

  1. Congratulations on your successful career in law enforcement….and now let your journey continue. Wherever this path takes you, writing will always be a part of it. Thanks for sharing your stories with us.

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  2. Welcome to the second, and I think most fruitful, half of your life. I’m so excited for you! You have the heart and inner as well as outer connections to soar as high as you wish. Very best, dear friend.

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  3. Having retired after 30 years in a teaching career, I can tell you that with your talent and enthusiasm, you are going to LOVE your next life-phase. I am busier and more fulfilled now than ever, doing the things that I love and never had the time for. Good luck, and enjoy the ride. I look forward to more books!

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    1. Except that my retirement was from a community college library, I second all of your comments, kejaeck! I look at my life now and do not know how I had time to work!

      And, also, expecting a greater production of good reading, Lynette! But, no pressure, right?

      Congratulations … and thanks for a career that is the ultimate in public service. The ‘rest of us’ remain terribly innocent of the reality of the streets while you and your fellow officers deal with it daily. Thank you.

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    2. kejaeck and Lynn: Thanks for the encouragement. Our plan is to pursue all the activities we’ve put off during our busy careers. I’m sure we’ll be busier than ever! Life is good. 🙂

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  4. Hi, Donna. Not sure if PS is in the cards this year. We’ll be in a period of transition with a move this fall, so that will have to be the focus. Thanks for stopping by to say hello!

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  5. Congratulations on a career well done. I thank you for all the people you’ve helped, for the bad people put away where they can no longer take advantage of the innocent and mostly……for putting on that uniform every shift and doing your best to protect the citizenry.

    Now it is time to focus on the future with Sandy. It will take a period of adjustment but you’ll find out that retirement is full of choices and you’ll be as busy as you choose. I wish you both the best in your next adventure.

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  6. Thank you for all your service. And now enjoy that big block of time for yourself. You have earned it. And if you want to share that lifetime of living via your storytelling, I look forward to your sharing.

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  7. M.E., I’m certain my experiences will find there way into future works, although what form will be interesting to see. As a mutual fan, I look forward to yours and many of my fellow authors’ stories, now that I’ll have more time to read! Be well.

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  8. Wonderful blog post. Thank you so much for your service! I’m thankful you survived it all — and that you can continue connecting through writing. I’ve been a writer for decades, but if I could have had two careers, law enforcement may have been my other choice. I love that you are getting to experience both. Very best wishes!

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  9. Lynette, thank you for you selfless service. I enjoyed your blog. Good luck with your next stage in life, as long as you keep writing we will all be happy.

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  10. Congratulations. First priority, enjoy this next phase of your life with Sandy. I do hope you still find time to tell your stories as I’ve truly enjoyed your novels.

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  11. Congratulations on a successful career. I’m looking forward to reading what you write with your new found time. Connections. I see life as a beautiful spider web. It’s wonderful when we become aware of the ways we are all connected. Touching another life, letting their world touch ours, makes for a full and enriching life.

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    1. Spider web is a beautiful analogy, CK. Not only are they interwoven, they are beautiful and strong beyond measure. May all of our bonds resemble spider webs. Thanks for saying hello.

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  12. Thank you for your many years of service! Letting go of that will take time. After 35 years as an “R.N.” It took a while to rediscover who I was without that title. Yes, writing saved the day. Rest and regroup, you’ve earned it. Hugs!

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