I’m tired of failing.
For most of my adult life, I’ve been chasing a dream.
I’m a writer.
I didn’t start out as a writer. As a child, I was a prolific reader, getting my first library card on my sixth birthday. I never looked back. I devoured books like most children eat candy.
As an adult, and full-time caregiver for a disabled son, I used writing to keep me…I was going to say anchored, grounded, but the true word is: sane. I wrote to keep from curling up in a corner and spending the rest of my life soundlessly screaming.
About fifteen years ago, I decided to go after a true career path. I wanted to be a published author.
Being a full-time caregiver doesn’t leave a person with very much free time. I’m on call 24/7. I chose to take care of my son. That decision has never altered. But anything I do for me is done in the cracks of time.
When my husband was diagnosed with cancer, my security got yanked out from under me. I faced the possibility of being a single parent. One who didn’t have the freedom, or the education, to enter the work force. I needed skills I could use from home.
For me, that meant art and writing. I’d been a writer my entire adult life. I decided to get very good at it. Competitively good. Then I made a mistake. I decided I wanted others to realize I was good at it. I wanted validation.
I sold enough to realize I could do it. But my dreams became too big. I kept reaching, and reaching, and failing. Over and over, I missed my goals. The splats when I land are beginning to hurt. I’m having trouble trying again.The well of depression gets deeper with each fall. I’m beginning to realize why so many writers are described as tortured souls.
I attended the Pikes Peak Writers Conference last week. One of the friendliest, most helpful conferences a person can attend. And I came home profoundly depressed. I feel like my window of opportunity has closed. The stars are going dark.
I think about how enjoyable my life will be if I just stop trying. No unattainable goals to reach for. No more splatting when I fail.
I’m not quitting. Nobody ever accused me of being smart. I am changing my goals. No more stars. I’m taking people out of the equation and turning my back on needing validation from others.
In its place, I’m going to listen to the words. I have so much in me I want to say. Nobody said I needed an audience.
I’m going to cast my bread upon the water…skip my stones across the top of the pond. I have no control over what feeds from the bread. I can’t control where my ripples spread.
I don’t need the stars. I only need the words.