For some reason, I found myself on the New England Literature Program website today, a camp where University of Michigan students can pay eye-watering amounts of money to earn academic credit while studying New England writers in their native habitat and climb a few mountains into the bargain. It sounds like heaven to a writing buff like me, actually. Poetry, rain, typewriters, mountains, literature, and quiet. mmmm My English professor (ironically the one who told me NOT to write fiction, which is what I’m doing now) strongly recommended that I attend NELP after my freshman year as an English major at the University of Michigan. He was disappointed when I told him I couldn’t because I was getting married.
And yet, this feels like a regret. Not a big one. Not as big as blowing my chance to work for Automobile Magazine early in my career, which then took several detours before heading back to automotive media in a less glamorous way; and not as big as letting bullying stop me from writing fiction between the ages of twelve and twenty-five. Those are big and bigger regrets.
I’m in a phase of moving on, moving forward, stepping off a new cliff. I’m nearly done writing my first novel, an accomplishment in itself and a huge step for someone once publicly ridiculed for months on end for writing that she wished people could love her the way she was. Yes, that really happened. People suck sometimes–a lot of the time, if I’m honest. And that’s the cliff in front of me. Risking relationship again, when every time I open up the emotional barbs come and take a chunk of flesh out of me.
Do you have regrets? Are you standing at the edge of a new cliff? Tell me about the path that led you to where you are, and where you think you’re headed next. I’ll believe with you for the next step forward. Believe with me, too. We can overcome regrets. After all, I wouldn’t trade where I am today for anything. I hope you feel the same.