I recently spent time in a hospital with a family member undergoing bypass surgery. A young—family member who did very well by the way. While waiting in the surgical lounge, another family came in. Young man in his early twenties had fallen. It went from a fall to a ventilator in a matter of minutes. A parent and young wife left with the decision whether or not to continue the vent.
No matter how we try to hang onto our mortality, life happens. And we are the only ones who can decide what we want to have occur between point A and point B.
Are we gatherers or hunters? Do we punch a clock from 9-5, or do we want risky or artsy type careers?
While I found the young man’s story in the hospital to be very depressing, it was a reminder to me that I am doing what I love with my life. The first two-thirds were spent raising my family, what I had always wanted to do. Oh, yes, there were moments outside of the box for me, soccer for 25 years, karate for 30, and occasional women’s self-defense classes. I served in the Air Force when it wasn’t all that popular for a female, and I blazed a few ‘new for women’ moments while serving. But for the most part, I’d have called myself a pretty typical mom.
Enter stage right…the moment when I realized I just had to write to be fulfilled. When I knew I had to write as surely as I had to breathe. I might have stuffed those feelings down and prepared another supper. I could have laughed at it and done another load of wash, but instead, I ordered out and let the laundry pile grow. I KNEW that I knew at that moment that I had to write. It wasn’t always easy. There were still soccer games, still kids to raise, and still loads of wash that had to get done at some point, but it was the stolen moments, first with my note pad, then with my word processor, and finally with my computer, that helped me realize my dream.
Twenty…yes…twenty years later, the first novella was published.
Yes, twenty. Another five, twenty-five total, before I saw the family of the young man who might not live to see his twenty-fifth year.
Eye-opening for me. I had decided that, yes, I would try to make my dreams come true. I used every spare few minutes to become a storyteller. Instead of boating, taking art classes, or finding the new me at forty, I wrote. I wrote while waiting at the doctor’s office. I wrote while traveling in a car. I wrote while waiting for the teacher to call my name at parent/teacher conferences. I didn’t allow doubts and depressing thoughts to keep me from my appointed task. I knew I was going to move from writer to author.
Have you had an eye-opening moment that led you to your love of writing? Will it keep you there, or will you allow depression to creep in when you aren’t an overnight success?
If you have to write as surely as you have to breathe, you are already an author. One just waiting to be discovered.