That one little word….

I’ve had a lot of “No”s in my life. Not necessarily other people telling me “No”, but me saying it to myself and to God. A few examples, you ask? Here’s but a small sampling of the many:

No, I’ll never live in a huge city. It’s too chaotic.

After college, my husband and I moved to Houston, a city with a metro population of 6.18 million (I LOVED it there). I now live in a Chinese city of approximately 14 million residents.

No, I’ll never live outside of Texas; I just love it too much to leave.

(Did I mention I currently live in China?)

No, I’ll never have an artistic job. They’re too impractical.

Currently, I work at an administrative job and most days I really like it. But full disclosure? It’s a day job, something for right now… while I work on making it as a novelist.

If I’m honest with you, most of the “No” barriers that my life has gone crashing through have seemed like “the end of life as I know it” (to quote P.S. I Love You).  (The exception to this was the city-living bit; that one I got over pretty quickly!)

When I boarded that first flight for China, it felt like I was leaving my heart behind me on the tarmac. How could I leave my family, friends, state and country? And who in their right mind, after growing up by the beach, would willingly give that up?

Deciding to pursue a writing career was a leap of faith I’m still waiting to see pay off. It’s a nearly-daily battle to protect my writing time, retain conviction in my talent, overcome the silence with which my manuscript submissions are met. Some days I can’t help wishing I’d followed my first dream of being a doctor.

But if I’m honest with myself, those moments where I let go of my “No,” squeezed my eyes shut and said “Yes,” were also the moments my best adventures began.

Adventures I can’t resist sharing.

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