"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.”- Erma Bombeck
When I was a little girl I remember my mother making a point to watch any time Erma Bombeck was interviewed on television. She owned one of her books, which is really saying something because Mom was strictly a library kind of a girl. All I knew about Mrs. Bombeck was that she made my mother laugh and that was enough for me. Now that I am a wife and a mother myself I realize the really great thing about her writings were they let you know that you were not alone. From time to time, mostly when I am irrationally emotional over everything from a dirty sock in the floor to retro coffee commercials, I find myself deeply sadden that dear Erma is no longer with us. Can you imagine how fabulous her blog would have been?
Tonight I made the mistake of letting my husband fall asleep before me. While he was snoring rather loudly I was trying to remember a few easy remedies from an Erma book I read. I think they involved a brick and/or pillow suffocation. I began an internet search for, “Erma Bombeck sayings”, but instead of snoring jokes I found some of the most stirring quotes about following your dreams that I have ever read. To be completely honest, they made me cry. People usually talk about following your dreams as some sort of happy rainbow filled magic walk, but she talked about the fear, the exposure, and the risk. I felt called out and understood all at the same time. She pegged every bit of why I have never stretched myself for a dream and have always settled for what I knew to be in reach. She recognized how completely and utterly terrifying it is to step out on a limb and yet she was out there on the very end doing it anyway. That is some serious courage, my friend.
After all these years and all the times I have been asked what I want to be when I grow up, I finally have an answer. I want to be a real writer. (You can not even begin to imagine how hard that was for me to type. There were tears and shaky hands involved.) I’ve been playing at it for years and it may take years more to get it right, but at least it is out there in the open being grasped for with both hands.
Our generation has too many “real housewives” and not enough real housewives. We need someone who confesses to feeding their kids Pop-tarts to make us feel better about letting ours have Lucky Charms. Someone to let us know that we are not the only one who has wondered why our mini van smells only to discover a melted carton of ice cream that slide up under the third row sometime last week. These things keep us sane, and with the good Lord's help I want to be that woman. (May God help us all!)
And for those wondering about my oft mentioned tear jerking coffee commercial, here is my Achilles heel.