Six months ago I woke before the light after a restless night burdened with a sense of my silence.
I filled my time with distracting feeds of the morning's news until it was a reasonable hour to call my best friend.
I needed someone to hear me say, 'I'm going to be a writer'.
I knew it was the day. The day when I could not pretend any longer, I wasn't meant to be living this way.
My work at the time was facilitating leadership development for others to be bold and go out into the world as change makers. To understand themselves and others in the endeavours whatever they may be.
Much of my time involved supporting other people to leap at their dreams, as fearlessly as they dare. It was a pleasure of course. Really, they moved and inspired me far more than I would suggest I did.
The participants in our leadership programs moved and inspired me to the point I was ready to take my own action.
I told my dear friend I was not able to take it one more day and asked if she thought that was totally mad. To leave a delightfully rewarded and lucrative role in what seemed like a moment of blind faith that had come to me somewhere around 3am. As I expected and perhaps relied upon, she undoubtedly heard the enthusiasm in my voice.
She lovingly encouraged me to go forth.
First thing in the office I requested my manager make some time that day to catchup up. Curious at my hardly contained excitement she happily obliged, not keeping me waiting long at all. I don't recall many other times when I held my nerve so well in an uncomfortable conversation focussed on myself with an authority figure I cared about.
Again, I was expecting her support. Despite the personal disappointment she expressed, she was generous in her encouragement to follow this passion.
Even in my spontaneous madness it felt like I was still pretending as I share my conviction to write. I had told myself for so long that it was self-indulgent but acted out this scene anyway.
A board member of the organisation emailed to wish me well with my pursuits and commented that she looked forward to readings my great tomes. At that point my convictions and minor frauds weren't holding up so well.
I lied when asked what I planned to write about. I couldn't tell them I planned to write about little old me. They knew me. Surely, they wouldn't buy it. Is it possible to tell your new story to your old friends?
Surely, I wouldn't have enough interesting stories to fill a book and entertain the masses.
In her Creative Live masterclass, Writing you Story Joyce Maynard says "You deserve the right to name what has happened to you and share it. Even it's only with yourself".
I had seven weeks left to work from that point in line with our scheduled events. I didn't write a constructive word in that time. Me declaration had been enough. I had am unexpected surgery and trip out of the state, time simply vanished.
I filled six months with training, weeks at the beach and general procrastination. Part way into that time I joined a woman group and we discussed all kinds of our ways of being. One morning over my usual long black and maybe some cake I began to relay a little tale. Thinking it was a rather dull story about a slightly odd compulsion I had developed over the years I expected it me quickly acknowledged by these practiced listeners and passed over.
I didn't know these gals all that well and so when they began eagerly questioning me, I began to light up. Without ever having mentioned my intentions to write to them they protested that I kept quiet on the subject. They insisted if I wrote a story divulging more they would love to read it. They even brainstormed potential names.
I stared at my watch until the discussion time finished, and I drove straight home with my chest inflated.
Bursting to start I sat down at my dining table with pen and paper ready to go.
I wrote twenty pages before I stopped for a cuppa. It was a delightful experience. It was honest and freeing. I hadn't noticed my right index finger swollen and blue with bruising. Who doesn't love those moments when time evaporates, and you lose all connection to your reality and your bodily presence? Until it protests at the lack of hydration.
That was a month ago and since then I have written pages and pages of content in notebooks and on my laptop. I have filled dozens of index cards with experiences and plot twists. I've been eager to note down everything that pops into my view from memories long since filed away in my inner archives. It's like I will forget these parts of my life again if I let them slip by without writing them down.
I signed up for a painting class one morning a week. A commitment I made when I was deep in my work avoidance phase that previous month. Last week the teacher asked what I did. It took me a moment to run through all the options in my head. A leadership mentor, a CEO, an accountant, a photographer or a stay at home mum. In the next moment I told myself silently, 'Stop. You can do this'.
'I'm a writer' I replied to the whole class.
And so, I am. A writer. A writer who is writing her memoir.
( >'.'< )