Exactly a year ago, life pulled the carpet out from underneath me quite spectacularly. I woke up in my own bed next to my husband, just like every other day, but went to sleep in a narrow hospital bed alone. This happened. Things didn’t quite turn out as I had carefully planned and certain boxes were left unticked. But the ‘detour’ was probably the best thing that could have happened under the circumstances and the outcome was delightful. If anything, the experience was a catalyst for my writing and connecting with new readers.
A year later and my plans have been thwarted again! This time, I applied to do a virtual part-time Masters in Creative Writing in South Africa. I thought it would be an excellent way to kickstart that novel I have always wanted to write.
I. didn’t. get. in.
I found out last week while standing in a queue to pay for parking at a shopping mall. People must have thought my tears were due to the extortionate prices that the mall charges for parking. I was gutted and quite humiliated. I thought my work would be good enough. I was so certain that it was a done deal!
Ugh, that horrible raw disappointment and regret of having told so many people I was applying. Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut? Then all of this shame could have been minimised! My husband, being the brilliant man that he is, didn’t try to fix the problem but watched me eat cupcakes for breakfast
and lunch and pudding without judgement and let me explain in detail, over and over again, how stupid I felt and how I would never write anything that anyone would ever want to read because I obviously wasn’t good enough. On the second day he gave me a pep talk and some sensible advice.
The reality is, right now, this obviously isn’t the path for me, but that’s all it is. And yes, my portfolio wasn’t good enough to get me into the course. I compiled it the night before the application deadline – until three in the morning – after an hour interruption by the teething monster. What did I expect? This is my life right now – I’m a self-employed mother and I’m juggling a lot of balls. Part of me feels relieved that it worked out this way. I mostly feel inspired to pour myself back into the business in earnest after a year’s maternity leave.
I’ve had a serving of humble pie with two scoops of perspective.
Let’s see where this detour will take me, shall we?