It was one of those moments when my life changed.
We all have such moments, of course. We have them all the time, but usually we are unaware that they are occurring, that they are pivotal, until they are long gone. This time though, I knew as it was happening that my world would forever be changed.
But even I could never have imagined how great the changes would be. I knew that giving myself over to the stories burning within me would disrupt the even flow of my life, but not that it would lead to events that would shift its entire course.
I was settling down, trying to fall asleep, when I began to remember scraps of a recent, recurring dream. I saw fluttering images and heard a whisper in my ear.
“That was you…? We could have had years already…” his familiar voice said.
My eyes flew open!
I crept out of bed, leaving my sleeping husband. I HAD to write!
I wrote all through that night and most of the next day; most of the next several days and nights, actually. Three days later, after only about seven hours of sleep, I was swimming in the euphoria of putting words to paper. I had never felt so ALIVE! I had never really taken drugs, but couldn’t imagine any kind of high more intense than this one! Several times I literally found myself dancing along corridors and sidewalks! I rushed through everything else–cooking, schoolwork, caring for my family’s and my own needs–so I could get back to my notebook or computer, so I could live in THAT world.
The rest of my life seemed like a movie I was watching, while the story revealing itself to me word by word was my reality. I could hear the water rippling in the fountain and see how it caught the sunlight. I could feel the sunshine on my shoulders and the touch of his hand on my arm. I could look into his brown eyes and hear his voice. This was a path my life had not taken. Although I knew that road had disappeared forever, I hoped I could recapture some of the girl I had once been, the woman I might have become, if I had followed him into the story we never had.
I followed where he led this time, and it took me to places beyond my wildest expectations. It also took me to a whole new life. I look back on that time, over seven years ago now, and think of how I have changed since then. I’ve changed as a woman and as a writer. I am closer to being my whole, true, authentic self than I have ever been.
But, as with everything we do, there have been costs…