When I was pregnant, I felt like I was in limbo. I gave up my job in Belfast to move home, be closer to family. I applied for jobs back home, but once the bump began to show, there was no point. No one was going to hire a pregnant woman. Of course, they'd never tell you that was the reason, but what employer would take on someone who was only going to leave in a few months anyway.
So, I spent my time reading and listening to music and feeling trapped. Some songs I listened to on a loop. One of these was Colin Hay's Waiting for my real life to begin. Have a listen... don't worry, I'll wait for you.
When I listen to this song now, I find it hard to imagine how sad I was back then, but I was terribly sad. I'd listen and just cry. Up to that point in my life, I'd never been unemployed. In fact, most of the time I had two jobs, or a college course and a job. It was very hard to be idle. It was unbelievably difficult to imagine how my life was going to change when the baby was born. But, for those months, I was just waiting.
After Beth was born, it still felt like that for a long time. I was waiting for my real life to begin, waiting for something, anything to happen. Then, it hit me. Nothing was going to change unless I did it myself. No one was going to hand me my dreams on a silver platter, some Tuesday afternoon in October. It's about three years now since I quit my day job and dove head first into writing for a living. I don't regret that decision for one minute.
The last three years were not easy. Rejection and doubt come hand in hand with being a writer. I couldn't imagine being anything else though.
I wish I could reassure that pregnant girl, sitting on the floor crying, that everything would be fine. That all she has to do is get up and start doing things for herself. No one else is going to make you happy or fulfill your dreams. That's your job and it's never too late or too early to start living the life you always wanted.