For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a writer, always. When I was in elementary and middle school I won several essay contest, I wrote my own plays, and I was even apart of my school paper for a while in college. Looking back at how much I loved reading and writing it seems like a no brainer that I got my degree in English and Language Arts Education. I have always kept a journal of some sort and I have always felt a cathartic release when I write down what I’m feeling.
When I started writing my first book, that hasn’t been published yet, I just sat down and thought I could write a pretty good love story with the main character being based on my good friend. What I created was so much more than a pretty good love story. Eventually all my friends and family who read it said I should publish it. I awakened a dream that had always been inside of me. I unknowingly fed the flames of the biggest life changing decision that I have ever made, which was to complete my book, pursue publishing it, and starting my very own blog! This has been a huge year for me and I would have never imagined myself in this position.
Now, of course I’m not a superstar or anything close to being well known, but I was always afraid of doing anything that would take me away from what I feel is my greatest calling and my purpose in life. I feel very strongly about being a good wife and mother, and to me that means being deeply committed to my family. For me, that looks like a stay-at-home mom with no life or interest outside of taking care of her husband and children. I thought that if I worked outside the home or gave my energy to something else that I would be neglecting my family responsibilities.
It took me about seven years to decide that I not only wanted to write a book using my real name, but that I wanted to publish it as well. It’s okay yo can laugh, I was truly scared! Honestly I was terrified that people would find out that I wrote a book! I automatically got concerned that I might be successful and have to travel, leaving my husband and children for weeks at a time. Which in my mind would mean that I was a bad wife and mother. I know these fears may seem irrational to some, but aren’t most fears irrational? Next, I began to fear that I would work hard on publishing my book, only to be a complete failure! I contemplated it in my mind over and over again and either way I was a loser. I decided that it was too great of a risk for me to take and that I better not try, that way I won’t be disappointed.
Truly, it all boils down to the fact that I was afraid to follow my dreams. I let irrational fear, after fear stop me from going after something that I have always been very passionate about. I don’t know what I was so afraid of, but I believe that apart of me is afraid that I might succeed. I think being afraid of failure is there too, but mainly I feel afraid that I will somehow be less of a Mother if I give part of my energy to something other than my family. Another aspect is I was far too concerned about what people may think of me. I remember telling my husband that I would wait until all of our children were adults before I pursued being a published author, just so that I was sure not to draw any criticism. However, I quickly realized that waiting to truly live my life until I was older didn’t make much sense at all.
I had to come to terms with what living my life actually meant for me. I had to accept that God made me with a purpose and gave me gifts to help me accomplish it, and it was more than just having babies. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I was supposed to have each and every one of my children. And yet, I have also accepted that I can be passionate about more than one thing in this life. I’m still nervous and I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I’m going for it any way. I woke up one morning and I just didn’t want to wait anymore. All my cares and concerns went out the window and I decided to embrace my gifts and everything that comes along with that. I hope I succeed, I hope that I do well, but I won’t let the fear of failure or success sideline me any longer.
What things have kept you from following your dreams? Have yo ever had to fight off your fears and do it any way? Let me know how yo ladies deal with your thoughts that hold you back. I still need tips on being brave enough to put myself out there. The hardest part for me is getting started and staying motivated that I can actually finish the task at hand. Let me hear from you in the comments!