“I was wrong.”
Words we don’t often hear. Words that are difficult to say. Words that seem to imply there’s something wrong with us.
That isn’t the case.
Seeing the wrong is a learning experience.
Many times in my life I’ve been wrong and on several occasions there were profound consequences.
When I was a child I was often told I had a vivid imagination. I was the one who stared out the window, my thoughts running free outside the classroom. In high school a teacher told me I had potential as a writer and moved me to Honors English the following year.
I wrote, but I didn’t believe.
Over the years family and friends told me I should write, for they could see the desire within that I took for granted.
I wrote, but still I didn’t believe.
Too often I’d declare that my writing was adequate, but there were many who could do as well or better. Why pursue the dream when I was nothing special?
It wasn’t until I returned to school in the 90s to earn my college degree that I realized writing wasn’t about who could or who couldn’t, but who should. The flame within that burned eternally, and that I couldn’t snuff out despite my best efforts, was reason enough to write.
For years I ignored those who were right.
I was wrong. Now, with all the energy I can summon I’m going to work hard to prove myself wrong each day.
Nearly five years ago I developed breathing difficulties. For several months I told myself it was a cold, the flu, or that I was working too many hours and was exhausted. Eventually the problem became so acute that I went to my physician who misdiagnosed me. Incorrect treatment in hand, I continued to worsen.
Sure, I was vocal in my belief that I was worsening, but for nine months I allowed myself to meekly abide advice that clearly wasn’t working. Too, when I should have sought a second opinion I didn’t.
Not when I collapsed in the parking lot.
Not when I became bedridden.
I didn’t believe when my heart told me I was making a mistake and that mistake nearly cost me my life.
Though I little remember those days leading to my waking in the ICU, I know that people who cared about me thought I’d die.
When I needed to stand up for myself I didn’t believe in myself enough to make a stand.
I was wrong. I also learned a lot about being my own person, believing in myself, and trusting my heart. This blog exists because I learned, because I vowed to recover and lead the life I desired.
Now I face being wrong again.
And that’s okay.
Those of you who’ve read my recent posts know that I’ve talked about relocating and devoting myself more to my writing. Last May I drove down to Colorado looking for that one special location that would ignite a spark within, a spark that would tell me that was where I needed to go. My initial thought was Denver was the place, but it turns out that I remain a small-city girl. On my return trip, though, I fell in love with Boulder and so that seemed to be my path.
I was wrong.
Not long after my visit Boulder was ravaged by terrible floods that didn’t help the already sparse housing situation there. Too, further investigation revealed that beautiful Boulder was also far too expensive for this writer’s budget. I tried to convince myself otherwise, but clearer thinking finally prevailed.
I then turned my attention to other cities in that area, but always my heart was in the background whispering that my basic plan was sound, but my execution was faltering.
Chance stepped in then and I was reminded of a city to the north, a city in Montana that touched my heart when I was visiting the west on a vacation while still in my teens.
It’s the write size, fits my budget, possesses a writing community, and is nestled beautifully in my beloved mountains.
Maybe that’s where my heart wanted to go all along? Hard to say.
What I can say is that my plan remains. My last day at my job is a month away. In early January I’ll drive to Missoula and see what happens. If the spark happens then that’s where this writer is heading. I’ll make the official move in February.
I was wrong, but in being wrong and learning I’ve come so far. For that I’m thankful.