We’ve all got history.
Some we honor with nostalgic fondness. Some we barely remember. Some we only fess up to after liberal helpings of liquid encouragement plunge us into bouts of facepalm retrospect, leaving us with that one gnawing question…
What the eff was I thinking?
And then, of course, some history…
We wish like hell we could forget.
But each experience teaches us something fundamentally important, no matter how far or well we’ve traveled within the circle of life.
Even as I nudge my way through the upper echelon of middle age, life continues to teach me, sometimes in jarring ways, that it is full of change. And, often…
Yet, I also take comfort in having learned long ago that some things are forever, like the certainty that I will always love my family, my children, and my soulmate.
And that I will always hold precious…
After all, passions provide purpose, and they are omnipresent…
In all of us.
Every January, we tend to embark on quests for self-betterment, reuniting our dreams with the due diligence that abandoned them sometime around mid-February the previous year.
We ache to be reborn. We pitch Stuart Smalley-esque affirmations to our expectant reflections. We make promises. And then, gradually…
We break them.
Because the vows we make to ourselves are the hardest to keep.
I can personally vouch for this.
Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time could probably guess that my dreams heavily revolve around writing, books, writing, romance, writing, and…
Did I mention writing?
So call me Captain Obvious, but I love to write! LOVE. IT. Always have, always will.
However, when I bid adieu to 2016 with champagne flute in-hand, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the writerly promises I’d made to myself that went unfulfilled—namely, the stories in my head that were supposed to end up in print, but didn’t.
Sure, I could blame everything from chronic PMS to those cat-versus-cucumber YouTube compilations that are oh-so-addictive, but the truth?
I allowed my aspirations to fall out of focus.
If you’re a word nerd like me, you know that life as a writer can be incredibly isolating. Keeping the dream alive requires persistence and sacrifice, which can pose a challenge for those of us who suffer the guilt of said sacrifice, conditioning us to then give precedence to everything else.
We assign our dreams “hobby” or “back burner” status, a confusing contradiction since we don’t actually think of them in these terms.
But sometimes, that’s all it takes to bring our active pursuits to a grinding halt. We may even try convincing ourselves that none of it really matters, especially when there are so many other things that require our time and attention.
But deep down, we know better.
My love affair with the written word began as an adolescent. I discovered the freedom and catharsis of gliding ink across paper, an exercise inspired by one of my idols at the time, author Judy Blume.
Back then, I was struggling to find myself and where I might fit in the world—a literal work in progress. But despite not yet knowing who or where I wanted to be, as long as I had words, I was moving.
And that was good enough for me.
Whenever I reminisce on that time, I not only fall in love with writing all over again, but I realize…
I am still a work in progress.
So this year, whether I finish writing one book, six, or even zilch, the part of me that thrives on stringing words and chasing stories will always be there, even when life throws curveballs that try to tell me otherwise.
I don’t know about you, but I feel a responsibility to keep those promises I left hanging in 2016.
So, with that, I raise my pen…
And feel a novel coming on. 😉
Copyright © S. A. Healey
Image source: pexels.com – Ed Gregory, photographer