Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of living in California. I’m not exactly sure why I fell in love with California, but I did. I just never knew how to get there. Not literally, of course. I knew how to buy a ticket and get on a plane! But how to live there on a permanent basis stumped me.
When I turned 30, I took stock of my life, as I imagine most people do when they reach a milestone birthday. Life was okay, but I wanted more than okay. My California dreams, long dormant, stirred back to life. I told myself I’d either buy a townhouse (it would make me feel grown-up) or move to California by my next birthday.
When I was just a few weeks shy of my 31st birthday, I got a call from a VP I supported. She had a position open and wanted me to apply. And move to California. Two months later, I bought a one-way ticket to LA for myself and Emeril. We even flew first class.
Was California everything the little girl in me dreamed it would be? Absolutely. And absolutely not. No place is perfect, but here is where I discovered it was possible to live my passion now, rather than some time in the distant future. You see, my boss did. I’d been around many people who liked their job, although they would be hard-pressed to call it their passion. She did.
I thought about what would truly make me happy; I had no idea. Sad, I know. I could’ve given you a laundry list of things that didn’t make me happy, however. Fortunately I found a book, The Passion Test by Janet Bray Atwood and Chris Atwood. The book helped me figure out that I wanted to write, so I took immediate action. I thought about it. A lot.
Eventually, I realized daydreaming wasn’t actually action. So I started taking some real action. I took classes. I wrote down story ideas. I had angst over writing more frivolously than critically. I started a blog. All good, good things, but they weren’t enough. Nope. The desire to do something bigger and greater and immensely more scary lingered.
In April, I took one of my story ideas and started to write. A month later I finished my first short story. I did it; I was officially a writer. After a few weeks, I started revising it. At first, I was too enamored with myself to do anything beyond spelling corrections, then I got tough and became insecure. I’d whine to Emeril that my story sucked. He ignored me.
In between the highs and lows, it began to take shape, evolving into something readable and my own. The difficult part about writing is that you’re never truly finished. You could polish a piece forever. But at some point, you need to let it go. I’m letting go.
It’s been almost five years, since I took that fateful call that brought me here, and I couldn’t think of a better time to let my passion live. Starting on July 19, I’ll begin releasing an excerpt of my short story every Tuesday and Thursday. I’m excited to share it with you and hope you’ll support me as I live my passion.