I'm going to be 40. Not like tomorrow or anything, next year in fact. But it occurs to me that I am currently on the front porch of 40 soon to walk through that door and I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
When I was a kid I had all sorts of dream. I wanted to be a ballerina (too short and not enough talent), a fashion designer or buyer (textiles class? Really? I need to know about ALL of the different fabrics?), a hairdresser to the stars (because of course regular people wouldn't pay enough for me to do their hair. Keep in mind at the time I wanted to do this a hair cut cost $5.00), a jewelry designer with catalogs and people having home parties to sell it (turns out when money gets involved, making jewelry is a whole lot less fun. Also have you seen how many people are making jewelry these days? My mother-in-law even makes it).
I started a blog before I even really understood what a blog was. A neighbor suggested it so I made one. Then I sort of took off on it. Writing about whatever was on my mind or whatever story sounded like fun to tell. People started reading it, if you are reading this then you are one of them. Then people started making comments about maybe I should write a book. My family bought be publishing books for Christmas one year. I think I'm better with short stories I've said as much.
You see this is where the problem comes in. It's the Attaboys as Dave Ramsey calls them. My husband and I are doing the Dave Ramsey total money makeover. The attaboys have a place there because you can see where you are going. You can see where you are and how you are going to get to where you want to be. You pay something off you get an attaboy and you feel good about yourself and you want more of those attaboys. It works here.
You would think the attaboys would carry over into other aspects of life. Even as children we want to feel as though we are doing a good job. We bring home a good grade to please our parents. I fully get that. It just sort of backfires on me when it comes to things like writing or even making jewelry. Because I WANT the attaboys. I get to where I need them. I must be doing something wrong because I wrote something and nobody gave me my attaboy. Why? Then I just shut down. Thinking maybe I'm not supposed to be writing because I'm getting too focused on what other people think, instead of the actual writing.
Then I realize writing isn't the problem. I am. I lost focus. I forgot to do it because I love it. I looked for my attaboys instead of the joy of the process. I didn't start writing so I could write a book and become a New York times best seller. It may also just be one of many dreams I have had. Would that be cool? Absolutely! But it's as likely to happen as me winning the lottery I don't play. I write because I can't imagine not writing. Because it makes sense. Pressure and politics and worrying about publishing etc. it's just not me. I would need someone to walk me through all of that. Until then I'm just going to write because I love it. But if I ever win the lottery? I'll let you know.