i heart bob litzenberger

i always thought of bob as one of the smartest guys in the world. literally. which, he is. literally. but this past weekend i also found out he’s one of the wisest.

wisdom has always been on top of my list. right next to kindness and goodness.

we were having a conversation this past saturday night, this, that, the other thing… when the conversation turned to ‘confidence,’ and amy (yes, his gorgeous wife) said something to the effect how we all need someone to believe in us (which is oh so very true, so very true), but then bob said (and yes, i’m paraphrasing) sometimes it’s about proving what we’re made of, proving ourselves when no one believes in us.


in that moment he expressed exactly what i have often felt and believed.

many, many years ago – when i had both a waistline and long term memory – i went to a ‘spiritual advisor’ for some insight & guidance regarding my career path. We are talking years ago … before there was “call waiting.” She asked me what i wanted to do, you know, career path wise. i sat there and told her how i desperately, deeply, profoundly wanted to write. i wanted to be a writer. That was my dream. i was seeking encouragement. she asked me a ton of questions, mostly regarding my education and writing skills. after an hour or so, she looked me in the eye and said, “You know, you really should become a secretary. You’ll never make it as a writer.”


I thought I would die. oh my god, a secretary? really? me?

But then … literally … something inside of me reacted to her disapproval. Her discouragement. Her lack of faith in me. Her doubt IN ME.
I could feel it.
Something woke up. Shot up. Bubbled up.
I was going to prove her wrong.
I was.
I was gonna prove to her what I was made of.
In that moment I was going to become a GREAT writer.

nothing like someone telling you no. (right, hollye?)

and boy oh frickin’ boy nothing was going to stop me.

that was all i needed to hear: you are not good enough. you are not capable. you should be a secretary.

i now refer to it as:
the rebellion chip.

and my friend bob, who yes, is the smartest (okay, maybe not THE smartest, but he’s sure up there with other extraordinary, brilliant, amazing, fascinating men) guy in the world, has – get this – the same (okay, sorta the same, not exactly the same) chip.


so, whether someone believes in us & inspires us & lifts us & brings out the best in us – believing in us when no one else does – THE BIG YES YOU CAN, or someone discourages us, doubts our capabilities, has absolutely no faith in us – THE BIG NO YOU CAN’T… at the end of the day we get to choose what we believe in, chose our path, we get to rise to the occasion.
rise up, stand up. be huge.
we get to prove who we are. and no one, not one person, can stop us.

and … here’s to that woman who told me 150 years ago that i would never be a writer.
i am ever so grateful.

Category: Uncategorized 6 comments »

6 Responses to “i heart bob litzenberger”

  1. Madgew

    I am in the yes you can category. And you certainly have a beautiful waistline too. Love you Amy Ferris.

  2. Hollye Dexter

    Well, you’ll never be able to sell the shit out of an anthology. Not in this market.

  3. Niki jones

    Amy, love love this post…When someone says to me ” you can’t do that” I often think, oh yes I can. I’m a strong women, I can do anything I like if I put my mind to it…bravo to u and all the other like minded ladies out there.

  4. Denise Fey

    Amy, you are right again… All I need to hear is “You can’t do that” and it becomes my goal to prove them wrong.. ” You shouldn’t do that” get’s an even stronger response!! Our strength is believing in ourselves…

  5. kristine

    brilliant…love the rebellion chip…told I would never be a dancer, so I quite. Told I would never play the piano, so I quit. Told I would never stay married, just like my parents and my parents parents…about then I started to get pissed. I started to think this is my life and if I work at what I want and believe deeply that I CAN…I WILL. Yeah, us for finding the will to believe in ourselves.

  6. Amy Friedman

    As always, Amy, wise indeed.

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