Childhood: For one of my birthdays when I was young, I asked my mom for a briefcase. There was another time when I helped to deep-clean the house and with my earnings, I asked my mom if we could go to Office Max so I could buy myself another briefcase. (I needed somewhere to keep all of my important 8-year-old business-lady paperwork). I was always writing far more than what I needed to for school assignments. I wrote as small as I could to get as much on one page as humanly possible.
Fast forward: In the parking lot one evening with an ex-boyfriend when I was 18-years old, conflicted about who I wanted to be and what I wanted to be, there was one thing I was sure about, “I want to write a novel,” I said. But it was so far-fetched and seemed so impractical as a career path. How does a person bring home a paycheck writing? It didn’t seem like an attainable goal. Truthfully, I think this was after I had signed up for college at Winona State University to be a journalist, and at the last minute I decided not to go. I hate to admit that this boy had something to do with that… this boy who was molding me into what he wanted me to be including what I wore, where I shopped, how I acted, and what music I listened to.
I didn’t have anyone cheering me on to be a journalist and to write a novel. Instead, my family was encouraging me to get into the medical field and to be a nurse. So eventually that’s where life took me… to become a nurse. And I’m thankful for that, and I am thankful for where I am today. I love what I do, I love who I help, and I love where I work. But deep inside... my passion has always been to write. It was my passion all along, probably from the moment I first learned how to write.
Present day: How can I admit that the person that raped me, threatened my son’s life, and nearly killed me, is the reason that I’m finally writing? It was a measly four pounds of pressure (the trigger-pull of a 9 mm handgun) between life and death. A measly four pounds of pressure could have ended me for good. But he gets NO credit for why I am finally writing. Living to see the sunrise was Step 1. I managed to survive that night and keep my son alive in the process, and so I’m going to give myself the credit. I also need to thank my best friend for continually being my # 1 fan and pushing me to march on. And now, writing is therapy. It helps me process. It helps me reflect. It helps me remember. And it helps me inspire.
This is what I want to do and who I want to be; and it is how I want to advocate.
So my advice is: Do what you want to do! I will be your # 1 fan if that is what it will take. If you are truly passionate about something, you are more likely to change the world for the better doing that rather than doing what everyone else is telling you to do.
Seize the day, my friends; for you never know if you will make it to the next. You do you, Boo.
Inspired from the writing prompt, “As a kid, what job did you dream you would have as an adult? What job do you have now?”