This week I started my first freelance writing assignment since I was about 7 months pregnant. That makes it sound like I was a legit writer before I had the babe, but to be honest, I was just beginning to get my (very shaky) footing. Just getting comfortable in my writer’s skin, as it were. In many ways becoming a mother allowed me to excuse myself from that journey for a bit, take a time out. Please excuse me, I’m needed in the other reality of motherhood.
In some ways, it was huge a relief. Frankly, starting to fulfill a dream was pretty darn scary and part of me welcomed the excuse to exit before I very likely failed or, even scarier still, succeeded. It had taken me 28-odd years to figure-out-slash-admit-to-myself that I might sort of want to possibly consider being someone who sometimes writes and, you know, it’d be swell if I could perhaps occasionally get paid for it. And after coming to that noncommittal (terrifying!) conclusion, it took another year pursuing a not-so-flourishing “career” helping others get published to finally attempt a bit of my own writing. Long story short, I kind of sort of started to get a minor gig here and there. And then I had L and had the perfect exit strategy before I was forced to take any more risks. My baby needs me, don’t you see???
But, you know, a lot has happened in the past 10 months. Watching my babe blossom into this curious, fearless, hilarious little ball of magic and seeing her learn something new every single bloody day like it ain’t no thang, has taught me a lot about my own capacity to love, to do, to grow. And when I think about everything I want for her, it’s hard not to reflect on my own life and wonder what example I’m setting by letting fear navigate so many of my decisions.
So a few months back I started to experiment by saying yes to anything that made my stomach flip. And when I was offered this current assignment, I guess I’d managed to become strong enough to say yes before my fears barreled right over the opportunity. And I’m noticing that mentality is starting to trickle into other aspects of my life. The fact that I’m even writing this blog is evidence in and of itself. Even the way that I’ve been approaching my work this week has been refreshing. I planned ahead and didn’t procrastinate everything, I’m not questioning every other word I type, I’m trusting myself a little more.
Last month I finally figured out how to skip properly after finally committing to learning how and it was such a small accomplishment, but such an incredible rush and I realized that L was feeling that every day. So I’m ready to follow her example and take some risks. It’s about time, don’t you think?