When I was in high school, I loved to write poetry. In fact, I loved writing in many of its forms…and for a while hoped to make a career in some aspect of the writing field. However, that didn’t happen.
While my parents were supportive in many ways, my thinking about a career in writing didn’t get supported. It wasn’t a logical career choice–and they wanted me to make sure I had a career that I could count on.
So I went into education–English education. I taught for a few years and then left to rear a family and support my husband in his education career. I went back to school for an advanced degree in music–but that wasn’t really for a career choice either. Later (much later) I did some college teaching in music…fun, and something I might have pursued more significantly if I had started it earlier.
But there was always something missing.
Periodically I would write…some poetry…and more recently, this blog.
Blogging makes you kind of vulnerable. At least it can. You can decide how much of yourself you want to put out there, and while some of my posts have been pretty personal, I didn’t feel that vulnerable.
But poetry? That’s different.
I’m not sure why, but it feels like when I write poetry, I’m letting people pretty deeply inside. And that IS scary.
Part of the reason why I have let very few people read any of my poetry is because I was afraid of how they would react…and that reaction would touch the core of who I am. I didn’t want to hear “That’s nice”…which is what I had heard when I showed some of those early poems to my parents. I wanted to know that my poetry somehow touched something in someone else.
I finally showed some to my husband. His reaction was what I wanted and needed…but I still needed something else. I needed to know that someone who didn’t have a vested interest in a relationship with me could be touched.
So I finally got up nerve to ask a friend who had been an editor if she would look at my poems–and she said she would. She let me know that she had almost finished them–and wanted to meet for lunch. That was fine…but what was even more important was that she said she had been enjoying them…and there were some she wanted to read again!
We met today. She pulled out some of the poems that really spoke to her–and that she encouraged me to submit to some magazines. I don’t know that she really knows how much that validation meant to me. It was a “Yes, you can…” experience…a support I’ve been waiting years for.
It’s never too late…so watch out, world. Here I come!