People’s Choice.

“For better or for worse. You have to choose what your life is going to look like.”
~Sadie Everett, via Laura Dave in London is the Best City in America

Have you ever had a line just jump out at you as you’re reading? Not catch your eye. Not stand apart from the other words. I’m talking about a sentence – a message – that just leaps off the page and resonates so clearly, so strongly, with you. It’s not necessarily that you take notice of it. It’s that it grabs a hold of you and your thoughts.

I finished Laura Dave’s book yesterday, and without giving away the plot or storylines, I’ll just say this: that quote up there at the beginning of this post? It was an epiphany for main character Emmy, and a reminder for me of all that I believe in, all that I strive for, all the ways in which I try to live my life. I’m a dreamer, but I’m a doer, too. I wish big wishes, set lofty goals, envision hopes that soar somewhere up there in the clouds. But those hopes, they’re not just carried on the wings of fluttering butterflies to that place where magic seems real and anything feels possible. They’re anchored in the choices I’ve made, the ones I make, the ones I’ll continue to make. And yes, sometimes they seem far away. Sometimes they seem so far away that I just want to throw my hands up, stomp my feet, and wonder why I couldn’t fall in love with a career that’s easier to break into. Then … then I read. Then I write. And then I know, all over again, why not. Because those careers don’t call out to me. They don’t grab something deep inside my soul like reading and writing do. They don’t fill me up, every last bit of me, with uninhibited joy. They don’t leave a handprint on my heart. Writing does. Books do. My characters do. Telling their stories does.

When I first made the choice to pursue this dream of becoming a published author, I was nervous. I was intimidated. I was overwhelmed. But one thing I wasn’t? Unsure. Even from the beginning, when I didn’t really know much about this industry, about this process, I still knew that I had to try. It’s a choice I didn’t make lightly, and one I don’t regret. I can’t regret it, not for anything. I don’t know where the future will lead or what path this journey will take me down, but I am certain, completely certain, that it’s the road I’m supposed to be on. It has been a crazy emotional rollercoaster – and I can only imagine that will continue – but at its very essence, it’s the ride of a lifetime. I’ve learned so much already, and not just about publishing. I’ve learned just as much about myself. I could have chosen to shy away from the uncertainty, from the chance of failure, from the very long and sometimes challenging road that lay ahead. But why let life pass me by? Why let it happen to me instead of taking the reins and choosing what it’s going to look like? For better or for worse – but, I’ve already found, mostly for the better – this is my choice. This is my decision. This is my goal. And you know what? I’m not stopping until it becomes my reality.

What about you? What pictures do you choose to paint for your life?

(And, I promise – one of these days, I’m actually going to do a post that doesn’t mention writing. That was the initial plan today, but then … well … umm …). So on that note, who’s excited for American Idol tonight?! :-)


12 thoughts on “People’s Choice.

    • Isn’t it great? It popped out at me immediately as I was reading. There’s just something so special about having that moment where you can feel the words/experience resonate like that :-)

  1. I don’t think i’ve ever told you this, but I’m applying certain writer’s line to Orchid’s story…
    “Did you ever have one of those moments that slices everything in two? Pre and post. Before and after. Then and now. It’s a line drawn in the sand, a turning point that takes everything you thought you knew and flips it upside down.”

    I’m doing an exercise, splitting Orchid’s life into before/after her dad’s death and listing all the important people in her life on each side, how she treats them, how she feels about them…it’s so helpful!

    • I am honored! It’s always a special thing for me when I relate to an author’s words so fully, and it makes me so happy that a line from ROM is able to connect with Orchid’s story. Seriously … it makes me smile. Thank you for letting me know!

      AND – I LOVE the exercise you’re doing. That’s obviously such a huge turning point in her life and something that alters all she’s ever known. Visualizing and working out how exactly that changes her and her relationships is SUCH a great idea. Have I mentioned yet how much I love your story? :-)

    • First of all – thanks for stopping by! I so appreciate it and am headed over to your blog as soon as I’m finished with this comment :-)

      Second – I definitely know what you mean about those stages of transition. They can be rough, really rough, but in the end, I guess we just have to believe in ourselves and in the fact that everything happens for a reason. Hang in there and keep smiling!

  2. You are absolutely inspiring. Your passion. Wow. I have been unable to bring myself to create or write or have fun with telling a tale at all.
    I plan to start a blog to at least do some kind of writing. The title of the blog has me stumped. I would kind of like to inject my like of writing and reading into it..but not sure how, and maybe its not even necessary (?). I’m also going through major health stuff, so its tempting to have a more introspective blog title to relate to that.
    Right now, I’m thinking of something simple and quirky , like “Stir Your Tea”…or maybe “stories over tea”…or “Spill Ink, Stir Tea”…not sure…any thoughts? I know, I’m so silly :)
    I admire your passion and I totally admire how you just “do” things….you don’t talk about it, but do it..jeesh, I gotta get on that !

    • I’ve honestly come to believe that it’s that combination of dreaming and doing that helps wishes turn into goals and then goals into reality. Dreaming is wonderful and so important, but acting on those dreams is what takes them to the next level. My mentor in journalism said something to me – gosh, it must have been eight years ago by now – that really stuck: “dream big, but work hard.” That’s the motto I live my life by ever since :-)

      Your blog titles sound great, and so does the concept! Just having that creative outlet again could be what you need to spark your love for writing back into high gear!

    • Thank you so much, Laura! Your kind words are deeply appreciated and mean more than I can say, especially coming from such a talented author.

      And, as a side note, I have to say that I really enjoy- and truly connect with – your writing style. I bought London is the Best City in America on the recommendation of Allison Winn Scotch, and as soon as I was finished, had to order The Divorce Party, too. It’s next up on my “to read” list!

      Thanks again!!

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