Back in middle school (a long time ago) I took an aptitude test, and wouldn’t you know the results placed me solidly in English and writing. In addition, year after year I was told by my English teachers and creative writing teachers that writing was something I should pursue.
But we never had much money growing up and my main priority was supporting myself.
So, of course, I wouldn’t hear of it. At the time, I didn’t see a writing career as something I could support myself doing though I read romance novels voraciously. Writing couldn’t provide the success I was searching for.
I was determined to create a successful career in medicine or law.
English? Writing? No way.
So I received my Bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and worked within this field for over five years. I loved the people I had the opportunity to meet, their stories and their hearts. But the day to day, not to mention the atmosphere of our countries ‘health care’, left me dissatisfied and ethically morose.
I drove a lot as an OT and had plenty of time to think, daydream, and plan. I would create story after story to entertain myself from start to finish. I’d even begin and stop one day, only to pick up the story in my mind the next, and keep it going. This was a perfect match to my love of reading.
When I realized what I’d been doing, I made myself look deep.
I wasn’t happy.
So I asked myself. If I could do something that I really enjoyed, that didn’t feel like work to me, but rather I looked forward to and actually would make the time to do–and get paid for it–what would it be?
Wouldn’t you know it? I wanted to write.
I told my husband what I had discovered.
You know what he said? “If anyone can do it babe, you can.” He’s incredible.
So I started a novel. We moved and I worked another five years as pharmaceutical representative. I was good at it, but again, not a good fit for me or my way of looking at things.
I wrote during this time on and off. I had two babies. I was close to finishing my first novel, finally, but was too exhausted by the time the house was quiet at night to write, most days.
But I was learning a lot through my local writing chapter, and my dreams were huge.
One evening, I was sharing the tale of my day in the world of sales with my husband.
I was miserable.
He gave me an amazing gift.
He said, “Babe, you’ve been wanting to stay home with the kids for the past two years and you want to write. Why don’t you quit your job and do what will make you happy?”
But not bring in an income? A least not yet. 😉
I fought this. Thinking that I had to have a career that was so transparently successful no one would doubt who I was-a strong, smart, successful, woman with ambition, who loved her children and her husband.
Well guess what?
That’s exactly who I am. With or without a paycheck.
I am a writer and a mother and a wife and so much more. And I’m determined to be the best I can be at all of these things.
This is my calling and I finally found the strength to put my preconceived notions aside and listen.
I’ve never looked back and I’ve never been happier.
Finally, I’m where I need to be.
I looked within and embraced my true self.
It’s a lovely life.
I wish this for you.
So, keep an open mind, put what you think you know aside, and find the strength to really see who and what you are. Embrace what you find, and you’ll realize your dreams.
Oh, and one more thing. Thank you to my amazing, insightful, husband who saw me better than I saw myself.
Hugs, loves, and peanut butter!