What Did You Love as a Kid?
I loved horses and animals of every kind. I was a strange child, and animals don’t judge. I had friends but I think as most of them can attest, I was different. I had a lot of thoughts, a lot of ideas, and was older than my years. At my wedding, the parents of a close friend reminded me of an incident that took place when I was probably 7 or 8 years old. We were driving on the highway, the mother in the front, me and my friend in the back. There was heavy traffic. I said, cryptically, “I feel like I’m going to die today.”
When she told me the story she was laughing, but I don’t think she found it so funny at the time.
So, there I was as a little kid with a bunch of animals. And my writing. I loved to write. Reading and writing were something that once I started, I couldn’t stop. I wrote my first novel around age 8 and was absolutely devastated when it was lost on my prehistoric computer. I think it was loosely based on The Secret Garden, so it was probably partially plagiarized anyways. We are all better off.
But the writing stuck with me. I would be driving in my car and a thought, a feeling, would come over me, and I would reach for a pen and a scrap of paper in the center console and quickly scratch it down. I would find them later and wonder what “Desperate searching, a feeling that overcomes you and won’t leave until you’re finished” meant. I never considered a career in writing; it was just something I did.
When I was in college, I had a difficult time with my science and math classes. I have an issue with numbers, mainly that I *hate* them. I think I have a genuine disability when it comes to anything numerical. Luckily, I married a super numbers nerd and that helps a lot. So, when it came to choosing classes for school, I chose what I was good at- reading and writing. I also took a lot of social work classes, as well as some in philosophy and film. It was a liberal arts education. And I’m grateful for it. When I had to choose a major, it was clear it would be writing. I wrote my final paper about my journey to Judaism as I was deep into my conversion at that point. I still remember my secular Jewish film professor, after reading my work, wishing me a proud “Mazal tov.”
After I got married and moved to Israel, I thought I would be married and have babies. Little did I know how lonely that prospect can be. Combined with difficult pregnancies, I was not happy for the first few years of my marriage. My husband worked and tried to cheer me up. All I wanted was something meaningful to do outside of laundry and making dinner. When I was offered a job as a proofreader at a local publishing company, I readily took the job. I can read faster than anyone I know and can catch grammar mistakes in almost every book I read. I also started a blog called Midwest Mama in Israel which funnily enough, people liked.
But things happen when you are doing what you’re meant to be doing. Things get in your way. Life gets in your way. Ideas of what you “should” be doing get in your way. Eventually I stopped writing, and even stopped working in publishing. It would be years before I found writing again.
The reason why I started this blog was because my dad told me to. Whenever I would come to him with new ideas of what I could be doing with my life, he would always say, “Just write your **** blog!” Excuse the wording, just trying to get it historically accurate.
Sometimes we are so wrapped up in what we think we should be doing that we stop doing what we are naturally good at or like. It seems almost too easy. And if its easy, it might not be meaningful enough. Life’s got to be hard, right?
Life’s hard enough. Let us do more of what we love.