TODAY’S FORECAST: Content
I first started writing prose and poetry when I was eight. I remember I got my first writing journal that Christmas. It had a dark green jacket with a creme-colored front that had a pencil-sketched frog on it. Funny thing is, I still have that journal. In fact, in starting to attack the boxes that remained to be unpacked on the unfinished side of our basement (you know, the ones that I have been closing the door on and walking away from since we moved in last June), Bob and I came across that journal just this past weekend. One of my eight year-old poems read:
I had a horse
Who took a course
In playing tennis
His name was Dennis.
Ha! That was the first of many poems and stories that filled that journal. Over the years I’ve had many such journals. Some are half-filled, some are filled from beginning to end. In my high-school years I wasn’t shy about sharing my poems. They went to my close friends, the boys I had crushes on, my church youth groups, etc. It was then that I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Throughout high school, family, friends and teachers all encouraged me to write. I seemed to have a knack for it; it came so easily. When I graduated high school I looked for a college that would support me in pursuing my dream. As luck would have it, Bowling Green State University (in Ohio) was one of three universities in the US at the time that offered Creative Writing as a major. I got accepted, won a local scholarship, lined up a great summer job and enlisted the financial help of my parents. I thought I was on my way. Then something changed.
Reality bit me, I guess. Suddenly, I had doubts that I was going to write a best seller novel before I turned 20. All of the sudden, for no particular reason, I was considering a “fallback.” My fallback was teaching. No offense to all you teachers out there who I so greatly respect, I took my career change as seriously as any 19-year old could. I put my all into it. I got straight A’s in all my education courses. My concentration was in English. I felt like I had found my niche. As a student teacher I did great, connecting with the kids. My creativity came in handy in the classroom, especially with junior high and high school students who needed to learn that English was just not all subjects and predicates.
I graduated from BGSU in four and a half years, ready to take the teaching world by storm. I would write occasionally, but mostly in the way of lesson plans or applications. I subbed in a local school system. Initially, I was put in the most dismal situations. I seemed to get assigned to all of the most difficult scenarios where all they needed was a warm body to prove they had a teacher there. I was well-liked as a sub for my organization and passion for the “difficult” kids, but I came home crying every day. I was offered a long-term sub contract by the district with a promise of full-time employment the following Spring if all went well. I didn’t even share that with my parents at the time. I hated every minute of teaching. What I had thought was a passion, quickly became a source of misery. I decided that it would not be fair to the kids I was teaching to continue that journey; I knew it wouldn’t be fair to me. I quickly found work in the business world and as I had in my short-lived teaching career, I excelled there as well. As an instructional designer and training manager I combined my writing skills with my education degree for a career that spanned close to two decades. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
During that time, I wrote on occasion, but a husband, kids, a career and my health care would limit my writing time significantly. I still kept writing journals and at different points, inspiration would kick in and I’d still write what I considered to be “decent stuff.” Old friends from my high school days told me they were still waiting to see that best seller novel. They were dead serious. Some of them still are. So a couple of years ago I wrote a novel about my journey with CF, but it was a complete flop! I could call it a work in progress, but who are we kidding?
When I had to quit working due to my declining health, writing became therapy. It still is today. A few months back, I started this blog. I had been considering the blog for a while. The day I decided to go live, everything fell into place so easily; the title, the format, the first posts. I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I now know I am. I may not be a best seller novelist (yet! :-)), but God has allowed me a place to share my thoughts through writing. It’s more fulfilling than I’ve ever dreamed. Thank you God, for molding me into a place that I can share my greatest passions, a love of writing and my love for You!