Apologizing

When I graduated high school I had no patience for anything. Although I’d been accepted into college, (with a cute little scholarship, I might add) and worked four jobs to save up the money to attend, I was burning with the desire to break out of my small-town life. I wanted to see the world. Before I left for Australia at nineteen years old, I had never seen the ocean. I lived a secluded life in a secluded town and attended church eleventeen times a week.

I didn’t have ants in my pants. My pants were on fire.

When my dad dropped me off at the airport, he gave me a quick hug and a peck on the cheek. In a couple hours I was on my way to live in a car, fall “in love” with several dashing young backpackers (and one true-blue Aussie) lose my passport(s), various wallets, my previously paralyzing inability to socialize with new people, and my general sobriety.

  moooo

Sufficed to say, when I surfaced from my travelling fog almost two years later, I was flat broke. On my way back to Manitoba, (Canada) I landed in Vancouver. I was supposed to buy a bus ticket home but . . . yeah. I didn’t have a dollar to my name. I did, however, have some loose change I picked up in a few different countries, none of which was Canadian.

After tracking down an old friend and sleeping on his couch, he graciously donated some cash to get me out of his house to get me as far as Calgary to meet my sister. I ended up staying. I met the jam to my jelly and produced three gorgeous blonde-haired hellions before moving to the east coast so my hubbie could run a bar, nine years later.

moo2

Which brings me to now.

My youngest little guy will be attending school this September.

That thought is scary.

Since I had my first son, I have defined myself as a mother. A stay-at-home mother, for the most part. My husband is a worker. A hard worker, and smart as hell. His brainpower is one of the qualities that first attracted me to him eleven (twelve?) years ago. Because he worked so hard, I took over a large portion of the household stuff and raised the kids. Sometimes *gasp* I took other little hellions into our house while their parents developed their careers. Sometimes I took waitressing and bartending shifts just to get out and talk to grownups. But, my first priority has always been my children.

And, with the beginning of the school year in a few short weeks, a large portion of that responsibility will be gone when my youngest son walks into school.

Enter early mid-life crises.

Although I put full time hours into this book thing between hours of editing, building my author platform, and critiquing the work of the other authors in my writer’s group, currently, I don’t make any money. As a mom with a dream, I don’t watch television. I don’t exercise the way I used to, and I don’t really socialize. Today, a woke up at 5, wrote till 10, submitted an article to “A Bar Above” (more on that next week), wrote 2 rather long-winded critiques on my friend’s current work-in-progress, interacted with 400 of my newest followers on Twitter, posted to my new “Author Page” on Facebook, and edited this blog post. Now, I have to take my kids to the pool, feed them lunch, do two loads of laundry and put in about an hour of housework before running to work at 5.

moo3

And, after day-dreaming all year a publisher would walk up and hand me a million dollar advance for Old Souls, I’ve realized the time has come to pull my head out of those particular clouds and get a day job. But . . . what kind of job can I get?

After ruling as Queen of My House for ten years, I am faced with entering the dreaded OFFICE WORLD on the lowest rung of the totem pole.

Tension is building.

I found that I’ve been very hard on myself over the past few months. How did I end up at thirty-three years old without furthering my education? A friend of mine visited from Calgary this week, and before I realized what I was saying, the words tumbled out of my mouth that I had made bad life choices.

Bad life choices.

But, were they that bad?

No.

I might not make much money now, but I will. I have three beautiful hellions, a supportive husband, and I have almost completed my first (kick-@$$) book. I’ve travelled the world. I’ve lived all over Canada. I sacrificed an extra income to raise my children. Every day, I wake up early to do what I love.

I’m finished apologizing to myself about my “bad life choices.” I’m finished thinking I might not have what it takes.

Because I do. My book is going to kill it.

19 thoughts on “Apologizing

  1. Many people wait and wait and wait to enjoy their lives. The retire and then travel – if they can afford it, are healthy enough, or still have the desire. (What they require at age 50 or 60 or 70 and what they required as teenagers is quite different.)

    You took the (adventurous) road less traveled – and that has made all the difference.

    You can start taking classes on line to get the formal education you put on hold, while benefiting from the education IN LIFE EXPERIENCE that you got by seeing the world. It will be something you teach the hellions, consciously or not. It will live and breathe in you and influence your outlook on things in ways you never imagined. And by the time you turn 40 you’ll have the degree you want – or not.

    Nothing’s stopping you. Seems like nothing ever has.

    As for the office world, I had the benefit of the support and loyalty of many “low rung” employees. I made sure they knew THEY were a big part of why our business was successful. I have no doubt you’ll be integral to any organization you join.

    And in between, you’ll keep being you!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks, Dan!

    Admittedly, I’ve done things a little backward, but I feel like I should be embracing everything I’ve accomplished to this point instead of being so hard on myself.

    It’s also kind of nice to know that after you accomplished so much in the business world, you started out as a new author, just like me. Your writing success since then gives beginners like me hope 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You can’t do everything, Jenny–not even if you don’t sleep. You have a beautiful family and are pursuing your dream. How many people are that lucky? Every choice involves sacrificing other options. And sometimes those options actually turn into reality later on. So please don’t beat up on yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Paula!
      You’re right. I am very lucky. Everyone always thinks the grass is greener… and I’m no exception.
      It’s time to think about the positives, get the book back in gear, and move on to the “grown-up” stage of my life!
      Thank you for the encouraging words.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, the path our sacrifices lead us on….and then, we discover we wouldn’t change a thing. Since we’re writers, surely we can edit our stories to seem like strategic planning? That wouldn’t work for me, of course. Anybody who knows me knows I work on the rambling path factor.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You know there’s someone right now who’s gotten their university education, got the job, worked their way up the “ladder” and has stopped to think “I’m 33, I don’t have a partner or kids yet and what happened to that dream of…..”. I think we all have goals we thought would have been reached by a certain time or age that are still more than possible. It doesn’t sound like you’ve missed anything that’s really important, just something you thought should be important. Keep up the amazing work on your dream and I can’t wait to read your book! You are an inspiration! (PS because of reading your writing blog, I stopped and rewrote this comment 3 times 😛 )

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is really kind of you to say, Shannon!
      And, I know you’re right. I think everyone goes through these periods of adjustment, no matter what they’ve accomplished. I’m about to go through a big transition, and it’s scary. As women, there’s so much pressure to be good earners/housekeepers/cooks/moms, but at the end of the day, we are who we are. We each have our own rows to hoe, and our own paths.
      I love that you re-wrote that comment 3 times.
      I do that too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Never apologize for doing what you love 😉 Everyone’s “path” in life is different. …Great article. You are amazing. Can’t wait to read your book.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think you need life experience to temper and inform your craft. You have some very diverse memories to draw on. Your choices have served you well!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are so young yet, life is out there for you. While reading your post I smiled thinking how successful you are. You´ve chosen the best for you and your family. That´s the best reward, and it´s never late to do and love what your heart is yelling 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You have done quite well for yourself–great husband and wonderful kids. Your post is great and can’t wait to read the book. There are seasons for everything. I know you will follow through on all your dreams. At least I can say I knew her when!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Of course there’s no need to apologize. This is life! And you know what? Most mothers don’t begin pursuing a writing career until after their kids are older or even out of the house completely. I sure couldn’t have attempted it at your age. And you know something else? All that traveling and those adventures will serve you in your writing. Good luck with it all!

    Like

  11. Enjoyed that very much Jenny. It seems quite a coincidence me writing this now when on Monday morning I drove my wife Liz and our 5-year-old daughter to Heathrow Airport in London so that they could go and catch up with old post-natal class friends – in Toronto!

    Liked by 1 person

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