I am a writer and creator, manager, foodie, and philosopher who yearns for knowledge and varying view points. I ride the fence on most things ranging from politics to dinner. I love various perspectives on just about everything, but there are a few exceptions where I clearly know where I stand, and on those issues my feet are firmly planted. I write about many of those things here. But I want to know your experiences and your opinions, too. This is why I also consider myself an internet junkie (social media, blogs, news). I’m constantly seeking, learning, considering.
I have two boys, both with special needs. (Don’t all kids have special needs?) I live an exhausting but fulfilling life as their mother and the wife of the most amazing man on earth. I also work full-time as a manager and marketing/design henchman for a reputable independent real estate firm. I enjoy cooking for friends and baking decadent cakes. (Sorry, but I have no interest in boring cakes.) And although I dabble in photography and drawing, my real passion is music. I experience uncontrollable intense emotional connections when I hear great music. Just the right chord gives me goosebumps and might move me to tears with no explanation. It’s a little odd, I admit, but it’s part of who I am; therefore, nelbell.com serves as a platform for me to share my “you’ve gotta hear this” moments. And in February 2016, I picked up the piano again after 25 years! I’m pleased to say it’s going much better this time around!
I am a Midwestern middle-class white woman with an incredibly open mind, and I realize I am privileged. My parents had me when they were very young but have been together ever since. They raised two children and built a successful business. In fact, you could say my life used to be relatively boring. I was raised in a loving home where nothing life-altering ever happened – until my high school years, that is, when we lost four young women (all students). Two were murdered [in separate incidents]; two were killed in [separate] car accidents. Having grown up Catholic, I was already a somewhat philosophical person, but these four years were the beginning of a change in me. My peers and I all matured in a lot of ways in response to these tragedies. I, personally, became incredibly contemplative, inspecting the intricate dynamics of relationships, faith & religion, the environment… everything. And I developed a deeply-rooted, compulsive need to tell people what they mean to me. This new way of thinking became a new way of living.
I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in 2000 and married my best friend in 2001, the year of 9/11. Once again, rattled to my core and suffering from mild PTSD half-way across the country, my practical solution to overcoming tragedy was to continue spreading optimism. I started blogging. A consistent theme quickly emerged, even in the most ridiculous stories: There is good in even the worst of adversity if you’re willing to look for it.
My life is no longer boring. I have struggles, which you will read about here. I have pain. But I also have joy, and some of the most intense joy has been born out of pain.
I’ve been riding a creative wave since the fall of 2015 which has led to tremendous growth and self-awareness as well as the instinctive need to publish nearly every thought in my head on nelbell.com like an open diary. I pretty much sum it up here. This creative wave has also given me new-found energy to pursue my lifelong desire of becoming a published author. My mind is like a spigot with a broken valve. The ideas will not stop coming while the bucket I’m using to gather them is full and overflowing, simply incapable of catching them all. Some slip away; many of them are written down in a journal, waiting to be addressed as I am able to make time for them. The ideas are all noisy and vying for attention, but much like many things in life, the loudest ones get addressed first. I’m very excited about my current project, the one that speaks to me with such clarity and overwhelming persuasion, the story that absolutely needs to be told. I hope to share it with you someday.