Friday, 22 April 2011

Four simple words that changed my life.

Yes.  You heard me right. 
Not three simple words: "I love you"
                                     "I am sorry"
                                     "I missed you"

Although, those were all milestones in my life.
No, these words popped out of my mouth while standing in line with some acquaintences.

"Do you work?"
"No, I homeschool my children."
"Oh, how nice!  I could never do that.  You are very brave."  The ladies seemed to swoon at my long list of unspoken accomplishments and the fathomless depths of my patience.  If they only knew that I had spent the better part of the morning trying to teach the two times tables again without kicking one of the dogs.  Or that every night I had vivid dreams about putting the children on the magical yellow bus that would whisk them away so that I could have a cup of tea in solitude.  It's no wonder that in that moment of weakness I spoke the words that would seal my fate.

"I am a writer."

It wasn't exactly a lie.  I had been writing since elementary school.  In university I had taken numourous writing and literature courses which had produced pieces drawing the attention of my profs.  I had always dreamed of being a writer admist my adoring fans.  I had completed an entire novel during Nanowrimo which now hid with the dust bunnies under my bed.  But I often missed days of writing.  And I had never sent out query letters or chapters to a publisher. 

The women could sense my hesitation.  One of them with bright red lipstick and penciled arched eyebrow formed the question that was on all of their minds:
"Oh, have you had anything published?"

I shook my head looking down at my shoes.

"Oh...well...good for you than."

When I got home that day I looked into my heart -- was I a writer?  Did I have the bravery to slog through the work that would bring me to the hallowed halls of authorship?  The words had seemed to slip out of my mouth so easily but on closer examination they felt false even as I whispered them for my own ears.  But something amazing happened over the next couple of weeks as I continued to repeat those four words -- I began to believe them.

Suddenly, it didn't seem so hard to sit down and write on the blank page.  Although none of the words came any easier, I had a purpose -- those words seemed to push me along.

So that today I can proudly say, "I am a writer."
...and only squirm a little bit.