Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

By Robin Kaye

Have you ever stopped and wondered how the heck you got where you are? I had a moment today when I did exactly that. I had just gotten out of the shower after eating lunch--I know, I should have taken my shower at a respectable time, but I began work, as usual, after making my first pot of coffee at 6:30 this morning, wearing my pajamas and ended up working in them until it was almost time for me to leave.

Before my shower, I made lunch for myself and my home-schooled daughter, the 13-year-old ballerina, and left her with instructions to do the dishes. After getting myself back together, I investigated strange noises coming from the direction of the kitchen and found my 120 lb. yellow lab with his front paws on the kitchen counter slurping up the last of what was almost a quart of my homemade spaghetti sauce. Twinkle-Toes had neither done the dishes nor put away the leftovers. Sambuca, my dog, looked at me with a guilty sauce-laden face and I wondered how I got there.

I never planned to marry or have three kids. But then I never planned on falling in love with my very own Domestic God either. After we married, my husband and I moved to Idaho. I never planned to move back east. Yet, there I was, watching my dog slurp spaghetti sauce in my home in Maryland where we moved nine years ago. I never planned to home school my daughter so she could dance 30 hours a week. Yet here I was doing just that.

It’s funny where life leads us. I can’t say I regret doing any of the above. I love my life, although I would rather still be leading it in Idaho. Yet, if I had stayed in Idaho, I probably would never have begun writing toward publication, so although I miss my home, I can’t say I really regret the move.

Like most writers, writing is something I’ve done since before I can remember. Unlike most writers, writing was never something I wished to do for a living--probably because it never occurred to me that anyone would ever be interested in reading my work. If I had stayed in Idaho, I wouldn’t have been bored spitless enough to ever think of sharing my scribblings. But if you take a woman from all her friends and family, there’s no telling what she’ll do to keep herself occupied. I wrote. And for that, I’m most thankful.

Sharing my writing has changed my life so drastically; there are no words to express it. I went from being a stay-at-home mom with three little kids, to a being novelist. It came at a time when I was at a crossroads in my life. My youngest daughter was just gaining her independence, and I turned around one day and wondered who I was. I was Mom and Stephen’s wife, but if I took my family out of the equation, I felt like a big nobody. I no longer knew who Robin was. It left me reeling. It took a while, but writing helped give me back my identity. I’m a writer and I love it. I adore getting paid to daydream. It makes something I’ve done all my life and something I always got in trouble for, highly respectable. Who knew?

Writing has also given me so many wonderful friendships. It’s opened up a whole world full of real and imaginary characters to me. When people ask me what I would be doing if I weren’t an author, I have to say that I have no idea. A writer is who I am. It’s a part of my DNA, not something I could change or would ever want to. Being an author has changed my life in so many ways, in ways I never could have imagined just a few short years ago. Just like I could never have imagined all the places I would go.

So what about you? Has your life taken you where you imagined it would?

16 comments:

  1. I always loved to write, but I never imagined I'd be an author. I wonder what my fellow Army officers would think of me, writing werewolf romances. Probably shake their heads!! Although I was included in an interview for MOAA (Military Officers).I did see that an AF Base picked up my books, too, so that was pretty neat! :)

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  2. Great post, Robin. I know what you mean about "how did this happen to me?" I feel that way often now that my oldest child is in high school. The time has gone by in a blink of an eye!

    I have also experienced this phenomena in my day job. When Dan was stationed in MD in the Navy, I worked for a lovely nonprofit in Alexandria, VA, doing a job I truly loved as the communications director. I didn't love my commute, but the job was fantastic. I was truly bummed to know I'd have to give it up when he was transferred in three years. Well, three years later, I was about to have my son and then move to FL, when my boss at the time asked me to stay on as a telecommuter. What the heck was that, I wondered? Now here I am eleven years later working from home, about to celebrate my 14th anniversary with a company I was only supposed to be with for three years. What was it John Lennon said? Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

    The good news? I still love the job. The bad news? I have to jam my writing pursuits into a very small window of time late in the day when I am super tired. But it's okay! I can't imagine giving up the fabo day job until the youngest kid is done with college. Since he's in 5th grade, I have miles to go before I sleep (and write full time).

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  3. I'm still lost. Remind me again who I am? :)

    Congrats on finding your way, Robin!

    (OT: I love the word verification game. Mine today is "DRACU". Like there should be anything but "-LA" after it in a month like October?) ;)

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  4. I enjoyed reading your post today, Robin. Me--I was a writer long before I knew I was a writer and long before I became a published author.
    I like what John Lennon said and someone said, Life is a journey not a destination. Wow! What a journey!
    Amelia

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  5. I always wanted to do this, but the one time I mentioned it, I was I should get a real job. No, Hubs didn't say it. He's been my biggest supporter. But I, silly me, listened to "they" and went about my life.

    I feel now, as if I've come home.

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  6. Nope. I became a nurse to pay for my horse breeding plans. I did that, and it didn't turn out quite the way I thought it would. Now I'm writing about sexy aliens. Who knew?

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  7. Hi everyone~

    Sorry I'm late getting back to you, I had an exercise ball emergency, the ball I use for a desk chair had a slow leak. My knees were around my neck and sinking fast so I had to go buy and blow up a new one. The trick is getting the pin all the way in.

    Thanks for stopping by Terry. I'm sure your Army officers would be shocked but happy for you.

    Marie~
    Tell me about it. My son is 16 and almost 6' tall. I remember when I could hold him in the crook of my arm.

    Carla~ LOL I still get confused. Who knows where I'll end up next.

    Ameilia~ Life is surely a trip, isn't it?

    Judi~ I guess some of us get lucky and get what we want, others, like me get a surprise. Life is like one big surprise party.

    Cheryl~

    I guess that's as good as way an any. I'm just glad you made it here.

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  8. GREAT post, Robin!

    I'd have never guessed all the fun I'd have and the wonderful people I'd meet (like the CasaBabes!) when I set out to write for publication.

    I had a moment somewhat like yours this week when I turned in the final revised manuscript for my third Casablanca book. What a difference two years makes! Truth really is stranger than fiction.

    AC

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  9. Well, I've always loved reading and knew that I'd be involved with books somehow... But never in a million years did I think I'd be doing PR (always thought I'd be an editor, but I hated editorial--not enough patience) for ROMANCE novels (those books Mama J reads?)! But I love it and wouldn't change it for the world.

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  10. Darlin', I left a comment at the other blog, but I think cyber-space ate it. Perhaps it is just as well...

    Life has thrown me more fast-breaking curves than a MLB pitcher's arm could take. Curve balls have always been a sucker pitch for me. But, so far, I've gotten a full count, but not out yet.

    I recognize that crossroads, and I, for one, am so glad you chose the path you did---and not just because your books make me laugh.

    Counting the days, doll. {{{Hugs}}}

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  11. Cindy~ Congrats on finishing another book! Way to go! And yes, part of the perks of this job is definitely the Casa Babes and our friendship. It's been a wild ride!

    Danielle~ I for one am thankful you ended up where you are! And thank Mama J for us too. She's a great asset to the Casa Babes!

    Gwynlyn~

    Thanks for visiting RomConinc.com and checking out my blog there. (under Contemporary blogs for those of you looking for a laugh.) Your comment came through loud and clear. I even answered it. I can't wait until we see each other, I hope Laurie can come.
    Hugs...Robin :)

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  12. Robin, I checked out both of your posts today. Was afraid to leave a comment on the other one.

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  13. Walt~ You were afraid? Why? Are you the anti-domestic god? Come on, Walt, spill. We won't tell anyone.

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  14. I always wanted to write, and I guess losing my job gave me time to pursue it. But I'm still pursuing... Meanwhile we somehow ended up in the States with American kids. Life certainly didn't go where we expected, but I'm still to work out where I am.

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  15. Sheila~

    I'm so glad the road led you here. Keep working on the writing. But then I don't need to tell you that. Most writers don't have much of a choice about it.

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  16. I can't begin to answer your questions, Robin, or this will turn into a ten page blog of my own! In fact, I HAVE blogged on the weird twists of fate in my life! LOL! I love looking back on those turns in awe. I also try to figure out some sign at the time that warned me of what was to come so I can perhaps recognize the signs of future changes. But it doesn't work that way.

    Great post! So serious! I thought it was New Year's that made us introspective? :)

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