Doing This with Sarah Joy Shockey

“Anything can end at any time but we don’t know when or why. So, isn’t it better to do something now while you can instead of waiting til you can’t?”

Winter in Illinois exhausts me. Not immediately and not all at once but nearly completely. Its cadence is familiar and come late December I’m spent. Weeks of subzero temperatures and tense holiday gatherings leave me with just enough energy to sit alone in my apartment and introspect past the point of any possible benefit. It’s then I look to the internet for substantive content to calm my nerves and ease me into a new year. Too often my social media feeds mirror the NYE parties I can’t physically bring myself to join – loud and sloppy.

Endless self-help quick tips, regurgitated resolutions, shortsighted predictions and pointless year-end lists flutter down my news feed. I don’t click one. I scan (chat) room, see nobody I’m interested in engaging with and make up my mind – It’s time to ditch this (virtual) ‘NYE party’.

Medium was just what I needed.

“Every day, thousands of people turn to Medium to publish their ideas and perspectives. Leaders. Artists. Thinkers. And ordinary citizens who have a story to tell. Posts range from scrutinies of world affairs to deeply personal essays. Medium sifts the best of these for you and delivers them directly onto your home page.”

I went through a quick profile setup selecting topics that interested me – Tech, Humor, This Happened to Me and others – then began searching for articles to read. I found Medium’s dashboard (for lack of better term) immediately helpful. Topics lined the top of the page. Once all articles in one category were scrolled through the next category would appear at the bottom of the page. I didn’t navigate long before Sarah’s latest post, Uncle Bob, drew me in with her flashcard-like drawing.


The title didn’t give a strong indication what the story would be about. An estimated 6 minute read with pictures was a commitment level I could handle. To my surprise, Sarah’s entire story was told through minimalist pictures. Approximately 80. I won’t go into detail as to what Uncle Bob is about because I think Sarah’s self-exploratory narrative and approachable imagery makes this story a particularly enjoyable ‘read’. Because of it’s brevity any synopsis would only detract from the experience.

I will say Uncle Bob is exactly what I was hoping to find going into the new year; a diamond among stones. Sarah has dozens of articles on Medium and I’ve only stuck my nose in the rabbit-hole. Her posts aren’t all told through captioned, postcard-sized drawings, but “Doing This” is another in that format and the one that motivated me to write this when I did. It’s personal and emotional. For me, sympathy came and went quickly then I was ultimately left with an overwhelming optimism and motivation. The exact emotions I wanted going into the new year.Thank you, Sarah.

Read “Doing This”, “Uncle Bob” and more of Sarah’s stories on Medium.


Sarah Joy Shockey on Medium

Sarah Joy Shockey on Twitter

Me on Twitter

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