Friday, June 29, 2018

Chasing A Dream

Since I was a little girl I've told stories. Before I could read, I would look at the pictures in a book and make up my own story. Throughout elementary, I wrote story after story. I entered a story contest or two and when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was most often "an author." I continued to give that answer through middle school and I'm not quite sure when my answer changed. I know my writing became less creative and more educational and informative - the very writing I loathed. At some point I probably blamed writing in school for sucking away my creativity like a vacuum. The truth was: I just quit writing for pleasure. 

I took a Creative Writing class in college that I loved and wrote a few other things but writing just wasn't the same for me. I also didn't read much. As a younger child, my nose was always in a book. I can guarantee you that there is a direct correlation between how much someone reads and their ability to write creatively. When I'm reading more, it charges my creative battery and I am able to write. 

For years, certain people have told me the same thing over and over again: WRITE THE BOOK. What book you ask? It doesn't matter. They've just wanted me to pursue this dream that has been buried inside me for most of my life. I've started many books; but somewhere along the way, I lose momentum. I'm no longer invested in the characters or the story line and so, many of my books sit unfinished. 

Except now...

I finished reading a fiction book by one of my favorite authors a few weeks ago and it was like a spark ignited inside me. The idea for a story was born inside. I started by writing down a few notes - the backstory of my main characters and their names. And then I just started writing. And I kept writing. And I kept writing. And now, only about three weeks in, I am halfway to a novel. HALFWAY, I said. You guys, this is insane! I have never been this far into writing a book before. And my head is still so full of ideas. I was worried I wouldn't have enough ideas to get the length I needed but I think now, I'm going to go well over. In order to have a manuscript that can be considered novel length by publishers, you have to have at least 50,000 words which is roughly 200 pages. I am on page 100, friends. PAGE. ONE. HUNDRED. And...OVER 30,000 WORDS!!

I can't even believe I've gotten this far. The feeling I get when I proclaim I will finish this time is unlike anything I've felt before. Excitement mixed with a little bit of fear. But I'm 30 years old (almost 31...shhhh), and it's about dang time I chase this dream I've had for so long. It's scary y'all. I won't lie. I know when I finish this thing and I'm ready to attempt the publishing, I  will be terrified to send it off. And I also know that it will likely take upwards of a thousand rejections before I get that one YES! 

My overall goal is to have the first draft completed before the end of my summer. Then I will spend the next several months carefully revising and editing each individual chapter by hand. I would love to have a finished manuscript by December. I'm praying I can stay the course and chase this dream until it becomes a reality. I don't want to give up this time. I want to show my kids that fulfilling their dreams is possible. But those dreams won't come without hard work and dedication. And they might make you downright uncomfortable at times.

What makes you come alive? What do you have buried deep in your heart that you've shared with others or maybe kept a secret? What's your passion? What have you been afraid to pursue because of possible failure or just simply fear? Find that dream. Then chase it down like a dog chasing bacon with legs. 

In the middle of Chapter 13...

Sunday, June 17, 2018

But I'm Not...

It's been over two months now. I can say that the raw pain has dissipated. I no longer feel as if my heart has been ripped from my chest. I no longer desire to scream into a pillow each night. I no longer wake up hoping it was all a dream just to see the evidence that it wasn't. I've accepted that this is our reality. I don't like it. I wish for a different reality, but I accept it. I also know that I needed this season in my life. I wish it had a different outcome. But I know for my growth, for my refinement, for my faith...I had to go through this season.

Most of the time I'm okay. 

But I have more time to think and stew when I'm not working and if I don't keep myself busy, I will be stuck inside my own head and I promise you that there are times that is the last place I want to be. 

A couple weeks ago I sat in what would have been her room. I held the first outfit I bought her, the "Little Sister" jammies, and I sat on the floor and cried. 

A week or so ago, I sat at the kitchen table after eating my breakfast scrolling through Facebook when I came across a video a friend had posted of her daughter twirling around in a new dress. I lost it. It's things like that that toss me on my emotional roller coaster. I won't get to see Zivah twirl in a new dress. I won't get to see her wear pearls for the first time or try on high heels that are too big for her. I won't get to watch her step on her daddy's feet while he dances with her around the living room. These are the things I miss - the things I will never get to do. 

As I'm writing this, we're in Hartselle, Alabama visiting my mom and my grandparents in a place I love. However it is not lost on me that I should be six months pregnant right now and whining about carrying a child in this heat. But I'm not. I should be making summer memories with my only child for the last time because it would be his last summer as such. But I'm not. Memories are being made but not with the same intentions. I should be getting her nursery together, spending time on the little details. But I'm not. I should be organizing all the clothes I received into her closet by size. But I'm not. I  should be scheduling maternity pictures and planning for maternity leave. But I'm not.

Today, while mom and I were at Wal-Mart, I was walking through the baby section. Several baby girl outfits were on clearance and I stopped to look for my dear friend who is having a baby girl in August. I picked up an adorable outfit and brought mom through later to look. The emotion hit again and I broke down right there in the baby section of Wal-Mart. I'm supposed to be shopping for my little girl too. But I'm not. My mom held me and then guided me out. It still hurts. Not the same raw hurt it was in the beginning but more of a dull ache that flares up every now and then. You always feel it. Sometimes you just feel it stronger than others. 

I could stay angry at the outcome. But I'm not. I could wallow in my grief until it overwhelms every fiber of my being. But I'm not. I could be bitter toward those who get to have their healthy babies. But I'm not. I could shut out the people that mean anything to me because of pain. But I'm not. I could play the victim of grief instead of claiming victory in Jesus. But I'm not. 

I know Jesus has me. He has us. What I will do is live this life to the fullest. I will make my sweet Zivah proud of her mommy. Today, I will celebrate her daddy because he is the best one I know and has been my rock. Today and each day after that, I will choose joy. That, I will do...

Scripture I colored and something I remind myself of constantly. 

Sweet pillow a friend gifted me on Mother's Day.

P.S. Always feel free to share. Pregnancy loss is not something people talk about much. But I want to talk about it. If sharing might help someone else in their loss, please do so with my full permission, friends. 

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