House building and developing has been a big part of my life since I met Stressed Husband a million years ago. Well, he’s a builder, so that figures. But before, it used to be him shooting off to oversee his various projects around London and the Home Counties and me doing my thing at home with the kids. Actually, I did do a quick stint as a secretary in his office years back, but try as I might, I just couldn’t hide my lack of interest in bricks and diggers and AWOL plumbers………………oops, sorry, just nodded off…Thankfully, Stressed Husband saved me by telling me I was no use to him in the office and sacking me! Phew. Thanks!
So, since SH decided to bring the building home and buy a house for us to live in that needed
knocking down and starting again complete refurbishment – we’ve been living bricks, dust and scaffolding 24/7 as I mentioned here in my previous post. It’s been a bumpy journey so far but after a particularly stressful day where I couldn’t laugh anymore at SH’s joke about the bits of dust and plaster I kept finding in our bed, sofa, dinner as being good roughage and perfect exfoliation for the skin (!) I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew that building wasn’t for me. It was for SH and, as his wife, I supported him as he was doing it for us – to make a beautiful home that would hopefully, after all of this hard work, be worth a lot more than we bought it for and an investment for the future. I didn’t want to make developing a joint career as we’d envisaged – Mr and Mrs Builder. Don’t get me wrong though – I’m all for the soft furnishings – give me a cushion, some fairy lights and let me loose in Zara Home and I’m happy!
After having a big heart to heart with Stressed Husband about where I fit in among the madness of this house developing lark we’ve got ourselves into, he asked me two simple questions: “What do you love to do?” and “What makes you happy?” I was going to be childish and reply: Lying on the beach, sipping champagne – and even though that is very true, it was serious time and so I had to be grown up. There was only one word that came to me, from deep down and couldn’t be thwarted: Writing. It’s what I love. It’s what I want to do and it’s what makes me happy. You can see below how excited I was when SH finally caved in a bought me my beloved MacBook for my birthday – and champagne! Oh, double bliss!
I’ve realised that for all the years I’ve tampered with jobs and careers and wondered ‘what would it be like if I trained as a beauty therapist, a fitness instructor, a nutritionist…the list is loooooong. It was all masking what it is I want to do, what I can do and what I need to carry on doing…writing!
So, what’s stopping me? I suppose I haven’t really ever stopped since getting giddy and breathless seeing my first ever byline on the beauty page in Cosmo as a 21 year old. I still get that excitement and pride when I see my name on a feature. But, now, I think somewhere among the rubble of my life (literally) I started to doubt myself…there are lots of youngsters coming up who are willing to write for peanuts – or even nothing – and that’s great if they’re learning and reaping the rewards of their work for their portfolios and CVs, but I can’t do that. I don’t want to do that! I’m tired of being sent emails by companies saying how much they love my writing and asking me to work for them…“for now, it would be unpaid, but I’m sure it won’t be long before the success of the magazine means we can offer you a paid position” WTF? No. I’m a 47 year old writer who has written for some of the major players in women’s magazines, I have three kids, a SH and dog to feed and clothe (I don’t dress the dog…well, only when we’re larking around) but you know, why should I? I’ve also got a house that needs building and costs a fortune – so bog off.
So, lovely readers, this blog post has been a bit cathartic for me and it’s allowed me to get out there what’s been whizzing around my head – and my gut – and it’s something I need to hold on to and to stop giving up on. I guess I’ve been a bit worried to state it for fear of letting myself and others down incase I never get another commission again (fingers crossed that’s not going to happen), but I know now that I want to carry on writing.
I am a writer.