Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I joined this challenge on the spur of the moment; I’d been looking for a reason to blog more, and this seemed like an interesting task. The problem is that most of the prompts assume that I haven’t already overcome many of the obstacles and achieved many of my goals in life. The obstacles that remain have much more to do with the world’s reaction to me than with my reaction to the world.
I am happy to say that I have been obeying my heart since late 2003, when my maternal grandfather committed suicide. I was very close to my grandpa; in fact, I’d been living with him for more than a year when he decided to take his own life. A medical condition was slowly robbing him of his independence. He was unwilling to sacrifice his self-reliance in order to live a longer life. You can read my essay about his death here.
After that, I knew the most important lesson I needed to learn was to follow my heart, no matter what anyone else said. I met my husband in the Spring of 2004 and knew within a matter of weeks that he was the one for me. Despite the warnings of some close to me, I chose to pursue our relationship. It was the right decision – these last seven years have been the happiest of my life.
In the early ‘90s, I abandoned college one semester short of a B.A. in English. It was self-sabotage – I see that clearly now. In 2006, I returned to college and finished that semester with straight As; I gained the confidence I needed to stop editing the words of others and start writing original works.
In 2009, I could literally feel a book trying to burst out of me. Thanks to my wonderful husband, I was able to sit down and write that book – and the next one, and the next one, etc. I was obeying my heart – and he was trusting my instincts.
Writing isn’t my job; it’s my vocation. I was born to write and nothing in this world makes me happier than writing. It’s an addiction – seeing characters come to life, plotting stories that tug heartstrings and alter mindsets.
I think my grandfather would be proud of me. He always saw more promise in me than I saw in myself. I like to think he’s been around, nudging me toward my future a little at a time – putting a little of Emerson into my heart long before I recognized it.