By Susan Jacobs
“Writing is the only thing, that when I do it, I don’t feel like I should be doing something else.” – Gloria Steinem
I’ve always been drawn to and felt a kindred spirit with the underdog, those whose voice is not heard because it’s coming from the fringe of society.
Growing up in a white, liberal, middle-class creative, and entrepreneurial (before that was the ‘buzz’ occupation) household in New York City during the 60s and 70s, my sister and I were not taught to see race or cultural lines — we learned that people are people. My friends looked like a United Colors of Benetton ad – black, white, Asian, Arabic, Muslim, European, African, and then some.
At age 10, I got to experience crossing borders and international travel when we went on a family summer vacation to Europe for three months. We drove from France to Norway, zigzagging along the way, visiting museums, chateaus, sightseeing the standard haunts, and eating cheese, bread and fruit by the side of the road.
During our drives, we found our way through the slums and I remember begging my parents to let me out, crying that I didn’t want to go to museums, they could pick me up later, because I was drawn to the energy of the slums. I wanted to know more, get up close and personal, it seemed familiar, and where I belonged.
I wasn’t comfortable even at that young age around all things white. For whatever reason, I saw imbalance and injustice and wanted to do something, or at least just soak it in to try and understand our differences. This was probably the birth of my insatiable curiosity and, subconsciously, my ‘brand’ of giving voice to things that matter.
My sister and I attended the United Nations International School, for me, from fifth grade through high school. At that time, we were part of the small quota of Americans who were accepted. This exposed me even further to a global perspective, and a hunger to cross borders and experience different cultures.
Years later, life and professional circumstances took me to Ghana and Angola in Africa, and Haiti, pre-earthquake. These life-enriching and life-changing experiences continue to inform who I am today. It was impossible not to see race lines in those countries. It was the first time I ever experienced being the minority (aside from being a woman and a Jew). But I was welcomed, safe, and witnessed unspeakable poverty, yet a generosity of spirit and heart that I’ve never encountered anywhere else.
After sometimes not seeing another white person for weeks at a time during my travels, I returned to Brooklyn and attended a Bob Dylan (an all time favorite) concert in Prospect Park. It took me a while to identify my discomfort, but I finally did – the concert was filled with only white people, and I was extremely uncomfortable.
I write to share stories, experiences, and expand perspectives because we are all breath the same air. We all need to eat, drink, pee, shit, sleep, give and receive love, and feel a sense of purpose and belonging. We all have a story that’s worth hearing and from which we can learn and potential uplift another human being.
So today, perhaps become more curiosity and open your heart and mind to learning about someone you encounter that seems insignificant for whatever reason. The world is upside down so let’s up our human being game. As the old AT&T phone company ad used to say, “Reach out and touch someone.” It’s magical, amazing, and transformative when we make those human connections in unexpected ways. Don’t know about you but I welcome magical moments!
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I’m a world traveler, salsa dancing, yoga practicing, wanna-be Buddhist, and perpetual work-in-progress. I believe we are co-creators of our lives and that anything is possible when we get out of our own way. Giving voice to things that matter, spreading ideas, and expanding perspectives is the heart and soul of who I am and what I do.
Writing has been part of my DNA, career, and creative outlet for as long as I can remember. For-hire, I’m a copy and content writer and strategist working with coaches that are looking to make the world a better place through human evolution. As a coach, the strongest selling point and differentiator you have is your personal journey and transformation. As a professional wordsmith, I make sure that your essence is conveyed to speak directly to your idea client, that your content and marketing are in alignment with the high quality of the product of services you offer, and are consistent across the board – website, blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn, and PR and branding materials.
I specialize in cutting through the noise and clutter with authentic, engaging, easily accessible content. From a 25-year career in PR, marketing, and branding I’m able to work to look at all aspects of your business and brand and provide a ‘fresh’ perspective, as an outsider, who creates content that anyone can understand.
I’m a contributing author to the recently published book “Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now,” and my personal essays have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I’m working on her first memoir about my holistic healing journey through a hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease for The Round House Press. I’m also a guest blogger for Yogic Living and Identity Magazine. I live in Brooklyn and can be found at: