I was just starting out after graduate school. I got a great job, bought my first house and set out on my own in a new city. I should have been ecstatic, but I could not shake the feeling of sadness that would not go away. Why is it when we settle into the joy of success that it is so easy to see what is still wrong with our life?
This is because I wasn't happy or successful. Not by a long shot. I had yet to deal with an unhappy childhood and unresolved crippling insecurities. So what did I do? I sat down to write a book. I don't know why, it just called to me. I was watching a documentary on lighthouses in Maine, and I felt the images were mirroring my internal unrest. What if I write a story where the girl moves to a place that matches her own internal unrest perfectly?
So I wrote. Every spare minute I had, I wrote. Emotions started getting real and I panicked. I had not dealt with my real emotions, so how could I write fictional ones? So I tucked the story away, feeling foolish for even trying or thinking I was capable of being a writer.
Fast forward 15 years. I had 2 tiny kids, and had been emotionally spent with my job, so when we moved to Montana for my husband's job, I decided to stay home with them. Maybe it was moving away from my hometown, maybe it was ridding toxic people from my life. All I know is that I had an emotional awakening. I opened my mind up to what I was really feeling, and this story that magically still sat on my hard drive from almost 2 decades earlier came back to life.
I told no one- including my husband- still believing that I was stupid for thinking I could be a writer. But the story took shape and the deeper I dove, the more fulfilled I felt. I admitted to my husband and myself that I believed I had something to say, and that I needed to try to get it published. This book healed me in so many ways. The most important thing I learned is how persistence can open up your world to something amazing.