Work without inspiration was like sex without love. Once I got a taste of the real thing, I could hardly tolerate the monotonous bump and grind.
I remember the waiting.
Waiting for the meetings to be over. Waiting for 5 o’clock. Counting down to Friday. Waiting for payday. Dragging my way through quarter-end rush. Spending the year-end bonus in my mind before I received it. Waiting for my 2% raise. Estimating how much would make its way into my pockets after taxes. Money, the only reward.
January. Waiting for my W-2. Waiting for the meetings to be over. Waiting for 5 o’clock. Counting down to Friday. Years went by this way. Surviving instead of living. Settling instead of choosing.
I was missing my life. Saving it for later. That elusive day in the future when I would earn the right to catch my breath and stop the song and dance. When I looked at my kids, I didn’t see them. I saw feed, bathe, hug, kiss, put to bed. I saw homework and story time blocking my recharge, my writing and my solitude.
I remember the guilt.
Too tired to listen to their minutia. Too drained to allow them to be children. I expected them to act like adults. Be quiet. Hurry up. Annoyance and promises. Mommy will read you a story tomorrow.
I strung together the moments of clarity. This is life. This is love. These are your blessings and you are missing them.
I argued with my inner critic and my dreamer. One said, There’s no other way! The other said, Yes, there is!
I remember waiting for permission.
Someone rescue me, discover me, take a chance on me. Pay me to write, for God’s sake. Validate me. Just keep writing, said the dreamer. Do it for the love, the money will come. Pitch. Network. Write. Repeat. Something had to give.
I waited for a sign. I neglected my day to day. Work without inspiration was like sex without love. Once I got a taste of the real thing, I could hardly tolerate the monotonous bump and grind. I wrote to fuel my fire. Aroused, I craved more. I couldn’t wait.
I remember the knowing.
I knew when it was time to leap. Waiting for the last day, the last hours, the last minutes. Counting down to freedom. Waiting for the first day of my creative life. Taking my kids to school. Structuring my days around their pursuits. Witnessing them, reading to them, pouring courage into them.
I started living my way. Writing books. Sowing seeds. Giving thanks for my blessings before I received them. Estimating how many people I could reach and how much soul I could share. Learning how to create my own opportunities. Purpose, my favorite reward.
January again. Constructing the present. Dreaming the future. Inspired work and meaningful moments. Hugs and kisses and story time. I pray that years will go by this way. Always creating and becoming.