Despite being happily married, I haven’t broken my habit of reading the wedding announcements in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times.
But now, instead of just being interested in how the happy loving couples met, I’m curious about their education and the jobs that they have.
Like the couple who met their senior year at Stanford’s business school. She works for an energy management software company. Her new husband is an investment analyst. Nice work.
Or the pair of attorneys who met while they were in law school. Both graduated with honors. And now they’re practicing law with different firms in San Francisco and they’re going to live happily ever after.
And the doctors. There are so many of them in these pages. They’re set. They’re doctors. One’s a gynecologist while the other is a neurosurgeon. I can just see them in their beautiful loft apartment in the West Village. They used to work at St. Vincent’s but it’s been shut down so now they have to commute to the Upper East Side. But they do it together.
In approximately 300 words or less, their lives all seem so uncluttered and simple. Their marriages. Their financial statuses. And especially, their career choices.
Sometimes I think, oh, if I had just decided to become a social worker. Gotten a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology. Or become an attorney. Or even a doctor. I don’t faint at the sight of blood.
Those career choices are so black and white. I would never have had to worry about what I would do for a living. My own choices wouldn’t have been so ambiguous.
A degree in economics and history? A spot in the executive training program at Bloomingdales, with subsequent promotions to the buying office.
An MBA in management? A series of temp jobs followed by a permanent position at Crain’s New York as the Research Editor. (I loved that job but it ended when we made the move down to Florida.)
After I got divorced, the voice inside my head, the one that had been telling me that I wanted to be a writer for over 10 years, got louder. Sure, I had been writing in little dribs and drabs, hiding my work away. Not telling anybody.
It took a few more years before I actually succumbed to the voice and started this blog as a way to start writing in a more structured way.
Now, I’m pushing 47. And finally, I’m getting closer to what it is I’m meant to do.
But is it ever too late?
People ask me what I do. For a living. Other than my domestic responsibilities: raising a couple of kids, keeping the household running smoothly, being a trophy wife.
I tell them that I’m a bookkeeper. That’s how I earn a small living. Working part-time. I enjoy it.
And depending on who’s asking, I’ll also tell them that I’m a writer. But sometimes I feel so wishy washy saying that. Because I don’t earn any money from it. Which makes it seem like more of a vanity project. (I did get paid to write about love and sex for a web site for about a year. But, after a while, the subject matter got a little too confining.)
Writing without publication makes me feel like a phoney.
But writing is what I was meant to do.
I wake up thinking about what to write. I live my life picking out pieces of my day and imagining them on the page.
Stories are always coursing through my brain.
I can’t stop it.
So I’ll keep practicing my craft. I will write every day.
I’ll try not to get frustrated that my blog’s page views don’t break a certain level.
I’ll try not to be bummed out that I didn’t hear back from that publication that I submitted a few posts too.
And I’ll try not to compare myself to other writers. (Sometimes, I don’t read the book review section of the Times because it depresses me. Pathetic, right?)
I have to believe in myself.
That’s the hardest thing.
That’s what writers do.
And I am a writer.