Self Defined

I am many things to many people. On the top layer I am wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend. I have been worker, commuter, traveler, producer, sales person, account manager, colleague. In the minutia I am dishwasher, laundress, chauffeur, dresser, diaper changer, schedule wrangler, maid, chef, errand runner, UNO dealer, night-night kisser.

The word that defines me the most, the me me, the inside dreamer soul me is the word I am most unlikely to utter. The word that has whispered to me in the dark since I was seven years old. The word that has most inspired, scared, thrilled me. It is the word I have been holding onto since I stopped working. The word that lingers, tempts and pulls me forward through the day-to-day drudgery that often makes up the stay at home mom life.
I worry that I sometimes put too much pressure on the word. That I’ve put all my faith in my future accomplishments on it. That somehow I use it to give my ego a crutch at this time in my life when I don’t have the external, third party career successes to provide that self-esteem boost.
And then, I fell into a conversation with a stranger at the nail salon as we both waited for our pedicures to dry, our feet propped under the fan bar. She, too, has two boys, now 33 and 36. She asked if I worked. We joked about boys and their energy and the life of a stay at home mom. She admitted how going back part time when her youngest started kindergarten was a life saver for her. And then, I took a deep, conscious breath and said it. Out loud. I tried it on and owned it. For 10 minutes. To a stranger. And the result was a fascinating conversation that buoyed me for the rest of the day.
I am a writer.
It is the truth. It is a dream. It is me.

3 thoughts on “Self Defined

  1. I asked Sarah Dessen this question while I was working on my first draft of my now never ending novel. She said when she was published for the first time is when she was a writer. I was still teaching at the time so I thought that's what I would think too. But, later that summer I put a period on the last line of that first draft and that was when I called myself an writer for the first time. I sometimes don't feel like I DESERVE that title. Especially when I go days without writing, but I think somewhere within me I'm always a writer.

  2. Sometimes, I think one of the best, not fully disclosed, “perks” of being a stay at home mom is that we can take on a new career without the stigma of, “I can't believe you quit your job to be a …”

    I believe through just watching our children experience our world for the first time is truly inspirational. Much good novel material is found in watching our children and the parents that surround them.

    Good luck on becoming a “published” writer. I have a stay at home mom friend here in Cary who always aspired to be a writer but took another professional route that paid the bills. She just had her 3rd book published. She told me that once she said out loud to others that she was a writer, it was empowering. Success was soon to follow.

    Michele D

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