I am more than a blogger. I am a writer who blogs. A writing blogger. A blogging writer. Sometimes I don’t believe I am a writer at all, but then something happens that makes me say “you be illin'”.
When I was a little girl I wanted to be a lawyer. The devastatingly gruesome murder of a family member made me narrow the field of law I’d pursue to family law. I would advocate for abused men, women, and children. I would fight for their rights; I would demand justice. I am a Libra; it is in my nature to require balance, offer optimism, find equality (no matter what the media says. Also, I still consider Pluto a planet. It deserves better representation). By the time I was 21, I still had the desire to go to law school, just not as strongly. By then of course I’d graduated from pilfering Private Stock from my great-grandfather’s basement refrigerator to straight up tequila/vodka/vodka/tequila/sometimes whiskey/I will drink Mad Dog 20/20, ripple, or scotch if that’s all you have, damn, get some class and real martini glasses. This of course lessened my desire to study seriously for the LSAT or, at times, remove myself from the sofa.
Still, I obtained a Bachelor’s degree that I did virtually nothing to earn. I showed up when there was an actual class held on campus, but the majority of the classes were online. I was not challenged. I was very much eh, whatevs about it. Once I graduated, the law school desires returned. Keep going, the voices said. You can do it, the voices said. You’ve always wanted it; don’t let yourself down, the voices said. Shut up and have some cake, a voice who identified herself as that of reason. She is such a sneaky little liar. Yet, I listened to her (for a short while, at least).
I did eventually buckle down and study for the LSAT. I was working in a law firm at the time and though I knew I didn’t want to be in a large firm, the hours those attorneys put in, especially as new graduates, scared me. I got midway through the exam and stopped reading. I gave up. It felt good, liberating, because I didn’t want to be chained to a desk. It felt awful, wasteful. I’d spent money of study aids, guides, and tutors. I’d spent time and energy studying hard. And then I walked away from it. Still, my score was decent enough in conjunction with my grades and a personal statement that I’d had peer reviewed that I could still get into a less competitive school. Yeah, right. I didn’t. That was more money wasted. I knew I wouldn’t get in; I was simply going through the motions to be able to say, “Well, at least I tried.” I didn’t try. I didn’t want to try. I would have liked someone to hand it to me; I’d have accepted it. But it wasn’t something I was willing to work to get. I’d been writing all along. Somewhere alone the line I won an award for a short fiction story I wrote. I couldn’t deny it anymore: I wanted to be, needed to be, was going to be a writer. And then I listened to that one voice that said Shut up and have some cake and be more practical in your major. I went back to school and got a Master’s but I was still fighting my true desire to write. I can’t really say why, something to do with my mother commenting how I’d never make a living. Since then I’ve wavered repeatedly, but I always come back to writing.
Earlier this year I submitted a number of posts to BlogHer for their 2012 Voices of the Year. I immediately forgot about it, automatically assuming that nothing I’d written was worthy of winning. BlogHer received 1700 entries. One day in May I received an email that explained one of the posts chosen, in the category of op-ed, is mine. Say word. I’ve always known what type of writer I am: opinion and fiction.
Oh, how I tried to look that gift horse in the mouth and wonder if they’d made a mistake. I wished they’d chosen another post, one I thought was written better. The post that I will read (read! In front of all the peoples! THAT is an entirely additional aspect to being selected that I am not quite ready or prepared for) took less than 30 minutes to write. If I’d worked on it longer, it could have been better, even though I was passionate about what I wrote when I wrote it. I said this aloud to which my husband said, “If you were chosen for something that you didn’t invest much time in, imagine what they’d think if you really wrote like you know you can.” Husbands are assholes who try to force logic on minds that want to say Why me, I’m not worthy.
I am worthy. I am a writer who is being recognized for her writing. This is what I want. Rather than fight to show others why I don’t deserve the honor, I am smiling and accepting the honor. I can hold on to this, let it soothe me as I return to the novel that wants completion.
Sometimes the win just has to be taken as a win, a reason to keep getting up, no matter how it came to be.