I have no idea what the point of this post is, but I'm sure by the time I'm done with my rambling, it'll become clear, so here we go.
It's no surprise that I started my life far sooner than any parent would like for their child to enter adulthood. I was seventeen years old when I had my first child. I was terrified. Absolutely petrified. Not just of breaking him ... or forgetting to buckle his car seat ... or even that I wouldn't wake up when he cried. I was constantly freaking out about how I was going to feed this little person who I was responsible for. I mean, come on, I couldn't even do my own laundry or cook a meal. I was a child with a child.
At the time, no matter how much I loved that little angel I called my son, I honestly felt like my life was over. There was no handbook on how to be a teen mom and still succeed and the show wasn't invented yet (however, if it was, I would really like to have been like Maci. That woman has her stuff together). Every aspiration I had for myself went out the window when that pregnancy test turned positive and every dream washed away when I gave birth. But I was, in a weird way, okay with it. I had bigger dreams. Ones that revolved around my little boy and making sure he would have every opportunity to cash in on his own. That's what mattered. He's all that mattered.
So, I did what any rational teenage mom would do. I begged my mom for help. Well, I didn't beg. She offered. I remember very clearly what she had told me when I had my son. She said, "This is not the life I dreamed for you. This isn't what I wanted for you. But we're here now and we're going to make the best of it. How could I ever be angry with you? You just gave me the best gift any daughter could give her mom. A grandson of my very own." I remember crying and hugging her. That's what unconditional love looks like.
After a few months, I got a job. I started working part time and for a lousy pay, because who wants to pay a girl who just turned eighteen, has a child and doesn't even have a high school diploma to stand on, any kind of decent wage. But I busted my ass. I worked harder than I ever thought I could possibly work. I had a mouth to feed. I accepted any amount of help my mom would give me, but even then I knew that that baby was my responsibility. Yes, I was with his father, who later became my husband and the father of my other two children, but I'm an independent person. An A Type personality. The baby was mine.
So, for more than a decade, I worked a job that I wasn't happy at. I wasn't challenged. I wasn't pushed to go further than what was expected of me. I was content with the raises I had been given and made a decent life for my family, but I wasn't happy. Let me rephrase that. I was content financially, but in my heart I was miserable. There was so much more I wanted from life and being a real estate assistant wasn't cutting it. I had to make a change.
Job after job, I traveled. My resume littered with different employers, but the same type of job. I was looking for something and was coming up empty handed. Two summers ago, I decided to try to channel some of my depression into writing. Something to help me get through the monotony that was my professional life and to help my husband grieve the loss of his friend. It was for me and I had no plans on taking it any further than that. Until, a group of girls I had met in the book world asked to read it. Then they told me they loved it. It inspired me more than I'll ever be able to express. They pushed me. They made me want to go past any and all expectations that I had for this silly little project. They made me happy. Books and the book world made me happy.
I kept writing. And before I knew it, I had a finished book. I decided to throw it out into the book world. It was hell getting there and it was hell even after I had published it, but that moment ... the moment I created my Amazon account and hit publish on my first every manuscript, something lit inside of me. A fire that had long been extinguished, or so I had thought anyway. I wanted more. It was a high like none other and I craved it. I needed it to get by.
I wrote a follow up book ... then another ... and another ... and another ... and another ... until I finished an entire series. I was beside myself. My dreams were relevant again. They were okay and I didn't feel guilty shooting for the stars. It has been the single greatest revelation of my entire life. Knowing that I could do what made me happy. Just for me. The books are mine. They are a part of my soul. A part of me that nobody can take away from me. Not for my husband, or my kids, or even my mom. They're all mine and I love it.
Looking back tonight, I realized that in less than two years, I have 14 published works. FOURTEEN!! I quit my boring job and dove head first into this fantastic, yet terrifying world. I'm supporting my family and having the time of my life. I'm sure it won't last forever, but as long as I can ride this amazing high, I'm going to stay on.
I guess, reading back through this long, probably pretty boring post, is to tell YOU .. .whoever YOU are, YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN HAVE DREAMS!!! Set goals, smash them and then set new ones.
And finally to each and every reader of books everywhere .. .THANK YOU for pushing me ... driving me ... fueling my fire ... demanding more from me ... giving it to me straight ... You might not know it, but every time you download one of my stories that I poured my all into, you're acting like my own personal cheerleader, encouraging me to keep going and not stop fighting. The book world can get crazy at times, but you're the ones that keep me on the right path. So, thank you, because without you, none of this, including this rambling post, would even matter.
Have a good night and happy hump day!!!