Author's Note: When I met Katie earlier this year...it was all because of the hair! She was sporting an awesome style and I just had to compliment her. This is a new side of me that I have nourished over the years...the side of going outside my comfort zone. I liked Katie instantly. She was welcoming and honest. Then, she asked me to guest blog. Wow! I was excited...until I started reading some of the bios from the other people she had on her blog. I started to feel intimidated, even scared that I could not complete with the high power positions these people held. Their experiences made mine seem dull in comparison. I pushed this aside...knowing I needed to focus on what was important.
So, I then sat back and read their words. I fell in love with the passion, dedication and purpose all these people had in what they wrote. It made me realize that this is what we all had in common. Our passion to write and our dedication to put our thoughts and words out there.
I am honored to be part of this group and want to thank Katie for welcoming me with open arms!
Unlocking My Dreams in BFE
I was removed from the glow of city lights to the area where my husband grew up. I had visions of basking in the small town feel and raising my kids in a peaceful setting. The move went smoothly. The kids were placed in new schools and we lived happily ever after......in my head.
In reality, I panicked. The moving truck was unloaded and long gone. There was no escape and I felt trapped. I was now a resident of BFE.
I had left a home in the suburbs. A comforting, familiar place where grocery stores and schools were only 5 minutes away. I now resided in a land, where there are no street lights, sidewalks, or fire hydrants. A place where cattle graze, llamas spit on kids waiting for the bus, and annoying roosters roam the streets.
Living Life...just not MY life.
Over the years, my writing was shoved into a drawer. Forgotten. Words that expressed my fears, hopes, and struggles were buried. I accepted comments like,
"You cannot make a living on dreams."
"It is too hard to be a successful writer."
"Writing is a hobby.”
I took the road that was expected, not the one I dreamed of. I took the easy road. I conformed to another’s normal. Bills needed to be paid, children were born, and life swept me away. I started working an eight to five job and was afraid to look back.
My smile and personality won over my employers. I worked hard and was awarded with promotions and raises. Even with the accolades, my career in administration never fulfilled me. I was happy with the success for a while, but I always wanted more.
I tried to blame my issues on our move. BFE was an easy target. City girls moves to the country – A real life Green Acres story. As time has passed though, I recognized that the issues were present way before we unloaded the first piece of furniture from the moving truck.
And those issues were me. That was hard to swallow.
Around the age of 35, I felt as if I were unraveling at the seams. I lived in BFE, which I silently referred to as my personal purgatory. Drove 90 miles a day to a job that stressed me out and I would snap at my family out of frustration.
Most days I would retreat to my closet and cry. I would plead to my shoes, my jackets, my purses…I prayed for a sign…I needed a solution on how to fix me. I even contemplated on installing a wine fridge next to my coats. Then, there would be no reason to leave. I could hide.
It was at this point, my husband voiced his concerns and wanted me to leave my hiding place. I was scaring him. To be honest, I was scaring myself.
Stepping back...realizing priorities.
I was tired of living everyone else’s normal. The time had come to find MY normal.
I now acknowledge that BFE has its good points. There are benefits to the tranquility that arrives at nightfall. Our children are in better schools and they are happy. I have found peace there.
Last year, I decided to leave my job, dust off my writing, and find my happily ever after. Writing was the door I had been seeking during those dark battles in purgatory. I have unlocked a door and rediscovered my passion, dedication and purpose in this life.
My words, my stories, and my dreams are finally free and I am willing to let them take the lead.
Are you willing to let your dreams lead you?
Jennifer's blog and writing can be found @ Pen, Paper & Parenthood. You can follow her on twitter @jenpreiss