I watched my husband, Sage, quit smoking, a lot, in our last fifteen years of marriage. After his eighth or maybe eleventh try, he got it and has been smoke free for seven years. His laborious process of quitting has inspired me because I am trying to quit something too. I am trying to break this cycle of doubt and insecurity about myself as a non-wage-earning writer.
Let me back up and say that my mother is a top-notch feminist. She became a nurse because it was one of her three choices and then she spun that degree into a top-level hospital executive job. She raised me to be independent and especially values financial independence. “Make sure,” she said, “that you can always take care of yourself.” She and Dad still have separate bank accounts.
Then there is me, the stay at home Mother (of one child) who is writing a book, tending to all things house and kid, and making pecan pies. It’s a fabulous life, but it’s never enough. I waffle between feeling like a failure and feeling like an ungrateful princess. Until now.
Sage asked yesterday about the impetus of the change. I guess it’s palpable. I am not entirely sure. I spent two weeks very down and read about other writer’s experiences over and over. Then something just clicked. I am and will always be a writer. I can be that and take care of myself if I need to, but until I have to go earn a living wage, I will simply be grateful.
Yes, I want people to read my work. Yes, I will still cry when I experience rejection. Yes, I want the validation of a book contract. But the process truly is enough, and I grant myself the love, the patience, the freedom to enjoy that process.