I could easily write about the birth of my children. I am pretty sure I have done that. I am sure they have each heard the story about the endless hours, the contractions, the induced labor, the cursing I did.
Instead I will write about a different kind of birth.
There is a birth of who you are going to be in life, I believe.
It is a point in time when you see clearly who you are and were meant to be in this journey. And you start becoming that person.
I believe I have seen this person clearly several times. The first time when I was maybe 8 years old ad wrote stories all day.
I am going to be a writer. I thought as I penned out short kids stories and poems that were actually published by a newspaper I now despise. One of my teachers even showed the class and embarrassed me thoroughly.
I lost that will to write until high school when another teacher gave me and my cousin the freedom to write our own newspaper on exactly what we wanted. Coming off a state championship high, we did it on the state championship team twenty five years before. Including the memories of the men who played on the team and how it felt.
I am going to be a journalist, I thought.
My goal was to move to New York City, and freelance it while I penned out fiction for young adults.
Well sometimes those things don’t happen and rez relationships have a way of making you forget those dreams with all the drama in between. I put them on hold to have my babies and work numerous minimum wage jobs that gave me tons of life experience.
Years later, I was given a chance to write for a newspaper in a small town I called Po-Dunk in Nebraska. I was a single mother of four, well I still am. But I wrote for my welfare check, can you believe that? I earned that sucker. And when I think of it, it was hefty for freelance writing. 🙂
I then moved back to my rez and was paid per column and given a wonderful chance to get my voice out on there on any issue I wanted, whether it was about life, my children, wateca, or racism. I had a weekly column and loved it.
Then I hit upon hard times, won’t go into detail but if you read this blog, you pretty much know wtf I been through. And since I had nothing but time, I wrote. And I wrote. And I wrote.
I finished one fiction, started two more, and have about three or four on deck in my mind.
I write, over write, get in challenges, write freelance, some pay, some don’t, and am still shaping my book as it it is a piece of clay to be made into a sculpture. My first book is my baby. I write people’s stories because I listen to them. To be able to write you have to be able to listen, especially to yourself.
I saw who I was going to be when I was eight years old as clear as daylight. But I let those dream slide from me, I let them hide from me , and I let them dim.
But I promised myself they day I walked into freedom, I would not do that again. Writing is on the front seat. The first article published in The Guardian was so epic. I was a housekeeper and in between cleaning rooms and scrubbing toilets, I would sneak on my phone and read the comments people were leaving. Writers are always going to be writers, no matter what they do for a paycheck. They write all day in their head and write when they go home.
I will do what I have to, to survive, so that I can write because it is who I have always been.
It’s not about writing clinically, technically correct, or impressing people with what I know and big words. To me it is about finding the right words to get people to listen, to understand in something I care about. Or to make people laugh or feel. Just feel.
I will write even if no one reads it and I will always have one more story.
Ah, the sweet tormented love and life of a writer….