I received a message the other day, but I didn’t hear it until now. I didn’t feel it.
It was a call from my mother’s cousin “Barb”, whom I’ve never met nor spoken with in my life. Barb was reaching out to me in hopes I might be able to get her in touch with my mother’s brother – her cousin. She got to me through my sister, whom she met at my mother’s funeral several years ago. (Why I wasn’t at my mother’s funeral is a story for another time.)
Sadly, I wasn’t able to connect her with her cousin – my uncle – because, as my mother explained to me when I was twelve, her family disowned her (and the rest of us) when she divorced my father. She went on to explain that her brothers were both very religious and so they didn’t believe in divorce. So…I was disowned by my mother’s family at the age of twelve because of a disagreement between my mother and her brothers. Sounds fair.
Barb and I talked for over an hour, and as it turns out we have a few things in common, i.e., her father discouraged/prevented her from communicating with her extended family; we both married quite young and subsequently divorced and then spent most of our adult lives single, feeling we were better off being fully responsible for our own destinies (or at least as much as one can be).
I believe things happen for a reason – and so, since Barb’s call last Sunday evening, I’ve been turning this over in my head trying to figure it out. Why me? Why now?
In the course of a morning meditation, it came to me:
For over ten years I’ve been sitting on a family-related project – my memoir. Over the years I’ve gone back and forth from feeling the story should be told to feeling I should keep it to myself. I thought I had put that argument to bed a few years ago, but now here it is again.
Since my early teens I’ve felt my purpose in this world was to write. So far I’ve not been successful at my attempts to erase the “you can’t earn a living as a writer” tape that has been running a continuous loop in my head since I first had the audacity to share my dream with my family some thirty years ago – trusting that they would be supportive.
But here’s the thing: I don’t just think I should be a writer. I know that I am a writer. And yet I find myself still working a corporate job (where, by the way, I write…business requirements).
The idea of going out on my own has been spinning in my brain for…ever. I have had two separate opportunities to transition into “self-supporting artist/writer” in the last ten years, but I’ve never felt really, truly ready, and so in both cases I spun my wheels in various other directions rather than focusing my energy on the thing I was put on earth to do.
So what’s holding me up from going out on my own? Whatever it is, I need to get over it. I feel that if I don’t take action now I never will. I turn 50 this year. It’s shit or get off the pot time, kids!
I’ve got a story to tell. I believe Barb’s call was yet another nudge from the Universe. It’s time for me to take that manuscript down off the shelf, dust it off and get back to work! My life story is one that should be told. If for no other reason, because I need to tell it!
(It should be noted that I actually wrote this piece on 6/29/11. I’m just now posting it on 5/12/12. ‘Nuf said.)