In 2000, I stared at what appeared to be two lines on a pregnancy test. Certainly, that couldn’t be two lines. There’s no fucking way that’s a line. There’s just no way.

Turns out that against all odds, I was, indeed carrying a second line.

With that second line, my life changed.

When that second line emerged from my girl bits as a boy child, life as I knew it was over. I was a mother.

Since I could walk, I’d dreamed of becoming a doctor. I’d been aiming for that in my overachieving scholastic career as long as I could recall. And now, a second line changed it all.

Certainly I could’ve pushed through, become a single mother in medical school – assuming, of course, that I’d even make it INTO medical school in the first place – and seen my kid about a weekend a month. I know what it takes to become – and be – a doctor. I also knew that motherhood had to come first.

I ditched the whole thing. Everything I’d worked for, everything I’d ever thought I’d do, that second line changed it all.

Enrolled in nursing school, we all know I was miserable. It’s like going out for a really delicious steak dinner and getting a plate of chicken. Both good in their own right, but you wanted that steak, motherfucker. You can’t substitute chicken for steak and pretend it’s the same thing.

For years after I had Ben, I searched for that one thing. That one elusive thing that would give me a sense of worth, a sense of value, a sense of pride. For years, I wanted something to validate my life.

When I started Mushroom Printing on a whim back in 2003, I discovered a tiny hint of that. I’d never call myself a writer, and certainly the things I wrote there were about as safe as things COULD be, but I began to see the world through a different lens. Stories were everywhere, just waiting to be told. All I had to do was tell them.

I simply had to use my words.

And when I started Mommy Wants Vodka, I did. It was like Mushroom Printing Light. Here is where I learned to open a blank box, see that blinking cursor for a fraction of a second before I let it all out. And I have. Words poured out of me – feelings I didn’t know I had simply materialized on the page without a second thought.

I’d found it. My calling. That elusive thing I’d spent so many years chasing had finally materialized in front of me, justlikethat.

I’d never known something so easy before. Everything else I’d ever tried to work for was that: work. But my words, they were simply there.

I sit here, seven (eight?) years later, and I wonder what I am to do with these words. Certainly, I’ve managed to found both Band Back Together (which is waiting on the non-profit paperwork!) and Mushroom Printing (in a group blog format). I’ve managed to write five to six days a week for Mommy Wants Vodka. I’ve picked up freelancing gigs here and there. I’ve toyed with the idear of writing a book.

And I wonder what else I can do. The only way I know to go is to 11, so I know I must do more. Harder. Faster. Better.

The answer is now elusive.

What more am I to do with my words?

Pranksters, what am I to do?

18 thoughts on “Use Your Words

  1. It’s simple.

    You need to take over the world.

    Keep talking, keep writing, keep sharing. Like any good Aunt, you have to nurture…feed…help raise your younglings. 😉

  2. It seems clear that THIS is what you are meant to do. You are reaching people who may have stayed hidden. You are comforting those who might’ve cried alone. Keep on keeping on! Hone your graffiti skills and get your word out literally on the streets!

  3. 1. read “the alchemist”
    2. go to med school.

    seriously. I made that decision a year ago. It’s what I want. I’m doing it. Yes, it’s almost impossible, but, damn, are all the little steps to get me there just about the sweetest thing ever. I’m blogging about it, but I’m not going to use my little comment as an opportunity to advertise for myself. I’m simply here to tell you that your dreams deserve chasing… and you deserve to chase them.

    1. Also- read brida. 😉 I agree with med school btw, you obviously really regret not finishing it- imade the really tough decision to go back to uni after kids and mid the early stages of divorce this year, and imso glad- it’s tough, but I’ll be me at the end

  4. Keep writing! I think writing is cathartic for you, I know it is for me. And I know that for people who are struggling, your writings are good for them (us) too. You’ve given yourself a voice, and so many others with “The Band”. Who knows how many lives you may have saved by creating it? Probably more than any of us all will know – period. And a book would be a great idea, seeing as you already have a core group of readers.

  5. Of course, you need to write a book. You already know that. We need you to write that book, too. Just don’t forget us in the meantime.

  6. That being said, if any of your friends or you have ever written screenplays for those motherhood movies that did suck, I didn’t mean them….their movie was great. Ahem.

  7. I sent you the link- freelance some more! Do what you love and everything will fall into place.
    But then, the feeling of regret sometimes takes over. I regret a lot. Not finishing college is a regret that I will eventually fix. So what if you are a 70 year old med student. . . We’ll do it together! Dr. Aunt Becky and Dr. Cindy- We’ll make it happen! Geriatrics practicing geriatric medicine. the blind leading the blind. . .

  8. I don’t know about med. school…..but i do know you need to write your book!! YOU know you have a book in you…..just itchin to get out. (**winks** i’ll send you bacon…)

  9. 1. Write a letter to yourself when you were a 16 year old kid. Tell her what is ahead and give her some advice. Then read it a couple of times and see what you discover.
    2. Pretend you are writing a “movie of the week” about your life….then send the result to hollywood and see what happens!

  10. Without a doubt you should write a book. You really are an inspiration; not only do you help people realize they’re not alone, but you make them laugh too! We’ve all been told it’s never too late to live out your dreams, and even though we hear it so often it’s still so hard to believe. Find some comfort in knowing it’s the truth – realize your dreams, set a goal, and go forth from there.
    I totally agree with a few other commenters who suggested reding some of Paulo Coelho’s books – I suggest reading them all. He has the ability to make you see more in yourself than you ever knew existed.

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