It’s been an emotional and powerful kind of day.
We rolled in from a trip to Lubbock in the wee hours of the morning so I could attend a writing seminar. The speaker, Timothy Lewis, was incredible and insightful. I’ve spent way more money on talks that weren’t even half as informative; the Panhandle Professional Writer’s group really knocked it out of the park. It was interesting to hear the success story of someone who has walked a similar path. He was a music education major who gave it up when he realized that he didn’t want to teach kids, so he became a writer. A writer of love stories. Sound familiar?
About halfway through, I got a call from my sister, Heather, about my peepaw’s passing. I was tempted to leave and…do what, think about my family back home? Contemplate making the calls I was scared to make? My girls have never met him so I knew they didn’t need me. And I made it through the phone call with my sister without bawling. I was tempted to leave despite all of that, yes, but I didn’t.
I got the opportunity to meet new people, which I seldom do. I crawled out of my protective shell to make new professional connections, which I never do. More importantly, I sucked it up and participated in a group critique-and read from my own book, breathlessly and flush faced-which I’ve never done before. I heard stories that blew my mind (and melted my heart) and received valuable feedback on my own work. I had to stay because life is too short. I couldn’t leave because you never know when you might lose the chance to fulfill your goals. And, perhaps, I had to stay because nothing really reminds you of life’s finality quite like the loss of a loved one. I’ve spent a lot of time dreaming big. Time isn’t going to stand still while I slowly try to figure things out on my own.
I was going to devote today’s blog post to my latest rejection but I’ll save that for another day. Today’s post is dedicated to my peepaw, Bobby Sheppard, whose successes have always inspired me.