A summer day over four years ago now, I was camping with my family.
I was going to school at Owens and still living at home.
Home was Northwest Ohio, a place where my family no longer lives.
At the time, I wasn't even engaged to Nathan and both of my Grandmothers were still alive.
While sitting around the campfire, after eating steak, I had a three-ring binder up to my nose, scribbling away. My parents had friends of theirs visit us at the campsite.
They asked me, "Why is that every time I see you, you're always working on that novel of yours?"
Those words have never left me, That novel of yours.
I felt that it was being equated to the aspirations of any other idealistic, young spirit who hadn't had their dreams snuffed out by their own lack of ability or ambition.
Six years in the making, that novel of mine...
I couldn't tell you how often I've re-written it. I have stacks and stacks of hand-written, half-typed, half-written, scribbles, drawings... and many more that are completely unaccounted for. Lost to either the garbage, or something we can't even explain (that happens with me and paper).
It's been frustrating as hell. You wonder if people will ever believe you, if they'll even care by the time you're done. Naturally, I've changed immensely since I've started this journey as a 17 year old, still in high school, toting around that binder with me no matter where I went. I've never stopped carrying that binder.
I'm almost done. I can't believe it myself. Honestly, I don't think other people really believe me when I say it either. But, here we are...
I recall telling quite a few people actually that when "that moment" finally comes, I'll have to throw myself into exile or something. Well, "that moment" is here.
I'm terrified actually. I'm so concerned that a large number of people that I feel really rely on me in some way will need me... which is exactly why I need to commit to it, and why I need the support and dedication from everyone else in my life as well too. I need to know that it's going to be okay, without me. I need to know that it's okay that I can take this next month and dedicate it entirely to my dream, the one I've been dedicated to for the past 6 years of my young, adult life. Please tell me that I don't have to worry. Everyone will be okay.