I suppose we all have to start somewhere. But I feel like I've been at the beginning of this career forever. In reality, it has been a decade. I started, I stopped and I started again, but I don't know that I ever really stopped. I've always played with words. I've always been a writer.
I have these milestones I'm facing. I'm approaching twenty-five years as a teacher; my children are growing up and in a year my youngest will be off to college. My thirtieth high school reunion is this summer and I feel like I need to fulfill some destiny. I pulled out old yearbooks and found poems I'd written in junior high. People saw me as the class "poet laureate" in 1977. Girls wept at my sentimentality and I garnered a lot of attention. All throughout junior high and high school I never felt important, but my writing, and the way people responded to it, made me feel special.
I floated through school. I participated in activities and I had friends, but I wasn't the girl everyone was going to remember. I pretty much flew below the radar until college. It was then that I bloomed. I was a journalist--I wrote for local papers, interviewed famous athletes and had a press pass at the Coliseum. When I became a teacher, I felt like I had come home and I've done good work in the classroom. However, my claim to fame as a fifteen-year-old was that I was a poet, a storyteller, a writer, and that's something that has never left me.
I need to find that girl again. I rewrote a book I finished five years ago and I'm now submitting it to agents. I've had one request for a few chapters, a few rejections and some submissions are floating around out there in various inboxes. I need to be fearless; I need to be the person that took a chance, bared her soul and let the whole ninth grade see her heart. I don't think anyone who read my poems back then knew how scared I was to have them published in the yearbook, or how happy I felt when everyone loved what I wrote.
I want that again...I want the fear and the happiness. I want to be what I've always dreamed of being and I have no reason to wait any longer.