Personal Essays

Why I Write 

I have wanted to be a writer since at least elementary school.  English was always my favorite subject, be it writing stories, essays, or papers.  I just wanted to write.  Throughout high school writing was cathartic.  I was often depressed as a teenager and writing helped me, at the very least, express the emotions I didn’t know what else to do with.  I used writing in this way off and on during my one year of collage and the early part of my marriage.  I was much happier by then, and I didn’t write as often.  I wrote when I had too much time on my hands, but I would often put down my projects and not pick them back up for months, maybe even years.  Always the desire to write was there, but I let laziness overtake my desire to fulfill my dreams.  So many stories left unfinished, so many ideas written down and never fleshed out. 

Then in 2008 I had my epiphany.  My son, Devlin, was born in June and for several months he had been the center of my universe.  I was supremely happy and loved my family more than ever.  My child was the light of my life, despite the exhaustion and stress of being a first time mommy.  While looking into the eyes of my perfect little man, I realized that now more than ever I wanted to write.  It occurred to me that I was well on my way to falling headfirst into mommyhood, on the cusp of leaving the things that made me, me behind in the process.  I thought about a world in which I was simply labeled “Devlin’s Mom,” and I didn’t like what I saw. 

Some women wish for nothing more than to be someone’s mother, or a bunch of someone’s mother.  That is fantastic, if it is what makes you happy.  I don’t think that’s me though.  I have the one and only child I want, and eighteen years seems like a long time now, but really in the scheme of my entire life it’s not all that long.  What will I do when those eighteen years are up, my son goes on to college or whatever he decides to do?  I will sit at home, an empty nester, who no longer knows herself outside the role of mommy or her husband outside of daddy.  To me, that was a terrifying thought.  I want to be the best mother I can be, but I do not want to lose myself in the process.   

I realized that I wanted my son to be proud of me for more than just having been his mommy.  I wanted him to see his mom for the creative, driven person she truly is.  How can I teach him to shoot for the stars and never give up on his dreams, if I left my own dreams behind?  Every day is now a juggling act, trying to fit my craft into our day, but it’s worth it.  When I feel myself waver or getting lazy, I look at my son and remember why I write.