From Left to Write: Sing, Baby, Sing

Like probably every human on Earth, I have a heart full of dreams: Goals I want to accomplish for myself; hopes for Joshua and any future siblings; wishes for the world as a whole; and so on and so forth. I’ve always given a lot of thought to what drives people to bring their aspirations to fruition, and one thing always seems to scream at me.

People who want something — really want something — don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of catching that something.

That was almost always a problem for me, because there was always someone or something holding me back from doing whatever it was I wanted to do. I loved to dance growing up and wanted to study it in college, but people thought it was an impractical major that I’d be unable to do anything with. (I got the same response when I decided to major in English, but I went ahead and did it anyway…though not without tacking on a double-major in teaching, which I personally was unsure about, thanks to an outside push.) I want to sit down and start writing the book that’s been simmering in my head for years, but finding time to write when you’re the primary caregiver of two boys and rarely get time to yourself makes sitting down in peace very difficult to do.

I want to do this, but…

I want to go there, but…

I want to be this, but…

But, but, but. There’s always a but.

My biggest issue is that I’m a worrier — will I be successful if I attempt to accomplish something? How will it affect my relationships? What will it cost me? What will I get out of it? How much time and money will I lose if I fail? I’m such a worst-case scenario person; it’s easily one of my least favorite things about myself. I’ve never been a “like it or not, here I come!” kind of person. I’m a bit obsessed with earning the approval of those who matter to me, and I usually avoid doing things I think I’ll enjoy or will make me happy if I get even the slightest feeling that doing so will be met with disapproval.

As time has marched on and I’ve gotten older, some of my childhood dreams have shifted and others have faded away completely, and simultaneously I’ve created some new ones to suit where I am now and what I want Joshua to become. I’d still like to carve out time to write, though that will depend on help from The Hubby; I’ve been thinking about taking a Zumba class and maybe obtaining certification to teach, thereby earning a paycheck for myself while continuing to dance, which I love. I’m planning to start a “preschool homeschool” with Joshua and Landon, my nephew, after Labor Day (when all the big kids go back to school!), both because they’re at the age where they should start really learning things and because we can’t afford day care. How I figure, I’m state-certified for preschool to grade 3…I might as well use the degree to my advantage and set the boys on the right path while they’re still under my care full-time. The whole homeschooling thing ties to my blog, because I think it’s time to split the focus between my book reviews, which are my “me” thing and help to preserve my sanity, and homeschooling the boys. It’s a more feasible way to divide my writing, since some of the features I’d attempted over the last month proved to be too much work or just inappropriate for me.

This is me taking the leap of faith I’ve been afraid to take for all these years. This is me pulling a Madeleine, who, in 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas, jumped on stage in the jazz club and started to sing, not caring one bit what trouble it could get her into or what people thought of her. She just wanted to sing, and sing she did.

This is me singing — take it or leave it, but I hope you’ll stick around and listen!


This post was inspired by 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino, a novel about hope, love, and music in the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia. Join From Left to Write on August 28 as we discuss 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

You can find Marie-Helene Bertino on Twitter and Facebook — be sure to stop by and say hi, and tell her I sent you!

  • Ooh. Your post really resonated with me. This is me.
    But. But. But.

    Best of luck to you as you pursue your new dreams!

  • readathomemama

    Thanks, Jenn! “But, but, but” has kind of become the story of my life. I hope I can make these changes permanent — I know I’ll be so much happier for it, and my happiness will spread into my family (or so I hope. Ha!).

  • thienkimlam

    Yes, yes! Do it! Take one step at a time, so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

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  • Go for it! I love that you strive for more for your son and nephew. Good luck!