What do you want to be when you grow up? We have all probably been asked that question at least once in our lives. Our answers varied as we got older, I believe at one point I wanted to be an actress (my kindergarten teachers told my parents I would make a wonderful soap opera star. I had a flare for the dramatic apparently). Photojournalist, interior designer, editor, at one point or another these all seemed like an excellent choice. Eventually the only thing I really wanted to be was a wife and a mom…and a writer.
The dream to become a writer probably began in my childhood when I read Little Women. I related so much to Jo March. She didn’t always feel comfortable in her own skin, she frequently said the wrong thing at the wrong time, and she was impulsive and not always the best at controlling her emotions. That basically sums up my junior high and high school years! But one of the things I admired about her the most were her passion and her willingness to voice her thoughts and opinions. She knew who she was and wasn’t willing to compromise that for anyone. For the majority of my life, my personality could be bought for the price of acceptance. I would be whoever you wanted me to be so long as you would claim to be my friend. What I didn’t know how to be, was myself. Not easily anyways. Somewhere along the line, the fear of rejection kept me from allowing people too far in, and it took me a great many years to understand the reason my attempts at friendships kept failing. I was desperate. I was too desperate. I was almost frantic in my efforts to get people to like me. People can sense when you aren’t being authentic, and I was a walking red flag.
To say my junior high and high school years were painful to me would be an understatement. To be fair, on the flip side, looking back, I wasn’t exactly the nicest person either. At some point, the pain of being rejected caused me to become somewhat jaded and bitter. However, I learned a fantastic self-defense mechanism: humor. Making people laugh meant I had some control. If I could get them to laugh with me, they wouldn’t have time to see the person I was hiding, and therefore couldn’t laugh at me. Or that was what I hoped anyways. Fast forward about a decade, and I’m married with a son, and God is taking me through an intensive crash course on finding security in Him. Well hello there me. Becoming a mother was the push I needed to truly deal with a lot of my struggles, and fears. Do I want to be an example to my son of what fear looks like? Or do I want to be an example of someone who believes God created me with a purpose and plan? Bingo bango. It took a couple years but God finally pulled me through a lot of emotional baggage, and delivered me on the other side, free and ready to travel again.
Then came that dream again. The dream to do something with these ideas and passions I had buried in my heart. But what? One of my favorite quotes from Jo March is “I want to do something splendid…I don’t know what but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday!” My sole drive in writing used to be to achieve something; fame, glory, wealth. The usual. Over time though it has bent and grown, and it’s no longer even about me quite frankly. It has been a long heart journey on my part to change how I view both myself and this gift I feel like God has blessed me with. Sometimes writing seems so self-centered, like, “here other humans, read what I think because I’m super awesome.” Yet, I have been encouraged and uplifted many times by reading and connecting with what others have written, and if I can do that for someone else, then I’m all in.
Everyone has their own unique “thing” that has been ingrained in us, and it’s an awesome moment when we can fully step into what God has for us, and merge our passion with our purpose. My journey has been to finally come to a place of knowing who I am, accepting who I am, and accepting that God has His best for me. From here, the possibilities are endless. So, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing while I stay on the watch for what God has for me, but I’m excited about the future, and I do hope it’s something splendid.