A member of my family, who shall at this time will remain nameless, once told me that I probably wouldn’t make it as a writer because there were a lot of people out there who were more talented than me. So when I joined the military, I think that person let out a big sigh of relief that I would have an actual job. And looking back, I took that comment to heart. In my writing program at York University, I met lots of people who I felt were far more skilled at writing; subsequently, when I started working in the military, I didn’t write a thing for five years.
But recently, I’ve been approached by a couple of different people to write some articles and I’m actually getting paid for it. I’m writing an article for YorkU Magazine. I’ve been asked to contribute to an anthology about military life on the home front. And, of course, I get to be a part of Chatelaine! And it feels wonderful.
I will say that I get my artistic side from my Mom, Jane. Although Mom worked her whole life as a nurse and she truly loved what she did, her heart belonged to the creation of art. It didn’t matter if she was drawing it, painting it, sketching it or moulding it. My mom can take a photograph and make it into a drawing and you can hardly tell the difference between the two. She plays the accordion and the flute. She made all my paper bag puppets when I was a kid and she always came up with the greatest of games. My Mom’s love for art is inspirational.
The sad thing is, she never pursued her love of art and I’ve always considered it to be a bit of a shame. Although I realize it’s not possible for all of us to do what we love for a living (especially in art, since it can be hard to make money!). Ultimately, I think that it should always be a part of our lives. Yes, this is coming from the girl who didn’t write a thing for five years.
So while visiting my friend Joe, he said, “So Kelly, what have you written lately?” And when I realized the answer was ‘nothing’, I knew it was time to get back to my passion. For too long, I had allowed my day job in the military to make me feel as though I was too busy. That, and I had allowed people to tell me I wasn’t quite good enough. But then I realized the military had actually given me some pretty good blogging fodder and so now here I am.
So I guess the moral of the story is to never let your dreams be something that you only dream about. You have to believe that you can do it.