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?