I grew up in small town America– you know the type: sheltered, not diverse, quaint, and political– a place where most everyone was related in some way and knew who you were (and your business).
A place where teachers encouraged your talents. And a place where the phrase “you can be or do anything you want” was generally true because we were bred for attending college and establishing ourselves as teachers, doctors, law enforcement, nurses, and the like.
But we were expected to make good, practical decisions about our career paths.
No more dreaming about using our vocal talents in Nashville or our drawing abilities to bring the world its next masterpiece. Or for me, no more dreaming about being a writer. It simply wasn’t practical. It wasn’t that anyone told me I wasn’t talented. I had won some awards and had a poem published as well, but the notion was well understood. I needed to choose a profession that would be good for me and my family with benefits and a retirement plan.
As I got older, my writing took form as scripting unique aspects of my testimony and then sharing it with churches, youth groups, and summer camps. I was passionate, inspirational, and dynamic.
But I was told I could never make a living as a writer.
(This was of course at the start of the world wide web, where blogs and ebooks were to be a think of the future and where the expanse of knowledge and resources in a wealth of articles and websites was untapped and yet to come.)
But I wouldn’t be defeated (at least not entirely). I decided to become an English teacher. (I know, I know… now you’re going to judge me on all my grammar and spelling. But I have a wide creative license!) So I set off to change the world, at least my little part of it, and I taught for 4 years.
I felt fulfilled in my choice as a teacher, but I always felt the tug of my true passion. I seemed to tuck it deeper away as my time was consumed with teaching, coaching, being a wife, serving in the church, and later becoming a mother.
And it was when I became a mother that I felt most lost and insecure in who I really was and what God had truly called me to do. I struggled for a long three years before I took any definitive action. My husband had continued to encourage me to write, and I had flirted with the idea of starting a blog.
Because I love to be in control and research a topic to exhaustion, I stalled in my pursuit. I struggled with the overwhelming amount of knowledge and time it takes to start a blog (to do it right, that is).
All this whirled around in my head as only shadows of ideas that wouldn’t take form… until I got my clipboard.
I had expressed my writing plans to a close friend from high school. She was instantly receptive to my silly notion and gave me the kindest most sincere words of encouragement to pursue this dream. Weeks later I received my clipboard, and my dream became a goal as I solidified my intentions.
There are stories inside of me and words that have longed to reach the page that now spill from my pen.
Here is my journey. Here is my dream coming true.
Won’t you join me on this great adventure?