I made it to California. And, much to my mother’s dismay, I haven’t spotted any elusive Kardashians who are native to these here parts.
But I have taken the opportunity to try my hand at being my own personal tour guide, which has been hilariously fun and – before you ask – yes, I’m totally going to tip myself!
It helps that way back when, when I was just a wee little thing, I came to California to visit a friend and celebrate our combined birthdays at Disneyland. Walking around brought me back to that magical night six years ago when I held nothing but wild dreams and unabashed hope in my heart as I rode coasters and watched fireworks explode around me.
Even then, I knew there was a book in me just waiting to get out. And now, years later, here I am accepting a national award for my writing efforts. It’s all so overwhelming and amazing and humbling.
As the lyrics say, I must have been California dreaming because as all of these emotions swirled recklessly inside of me, I did what I haven’t done in a long while, I started writing fiction. I sat in my hotel room when I could have been exploring the hot, touristy-rich areas of California that make it such a gold mine for natives and non-natives, alike.
Instead, there I sat, plotting out the soon-to-be miserable lives of characters that I’d been playing around with for a while. It was glorious and uncharacteristic of me. It took me shorter than I thought to get adjusted to their voices but, once I did, they took off. To the point of me almost not even wanting to stop.
In that moment, I was reminded of the gift that I’ve ignored in my larger pursuit of being an adult. I’d given up my gift of creating stories for myself, to write stories for others via magazines, article, and other nonfiction content. I may not have given it up entirely, but I gave up exploring the true beauty of the entire gift in order to cater to the real world and its wants and desires from me.
But for a minute, it didn’t matter that the world wasn’t asking this story out of me. It didn’t matter that I had other deadlines. Other responsibilities. Other things to do. For that moment, it was just me and my gift. The full gift – not the cut up and perfected version that society wants me to use.
It was me and my writing.
And I have to ask myself, shouldn’t pursuing God’s full gift be an adult responsibility, too?
I think it should.
So, if my gift is good enough to edit down and make it fit within a certain niche of the publishing world, just imagine how powerful and intense it could be if I shared it in its true entirety without rules and regulations dictating how I present it to the world?
I think I’m ready to find out.
Feel free to join me if you are, too.