There are those who find it hard to exist without sharing the contents of their dinner plates with the rest of the world, then there are others who worry that a beautifully executed birthday cake photo shared on social media will somehow demean the starving populations of the world. I oscillate between the two but tend towards the latter, always fretting over how others will take good news in light of their own current situations and struggles, thus resorting to a severe downplaying of my own good fortune.
The pregnancy of my first child should have been a joyous occasion - it was a joyous pregnancy after all - but I was acutely conscious at the time of another family member's own dire repeated attempts to have children; so conscious in fact that it was some months before the big 'reveal'. And then we were careful to show nothing more than modest enthusiasm whenever around them. It should have been my time to shine, but I didn't want my happiness to further sully their dreams.
She eventually became a mother, just like I did. Looking back, this martyrism was a waste of time. I should have embraced my moment and rejoiced because while she might have felt the weight of her own situation more keenly with my news, she was actually rejoicing with me too.
We all have dreams. Some take longer to realise than others. It's okay being sympathetic to the feelings of others in the wake of your own good fortune, but this does not mean you should not enjoy that absolute miraculous feeling of joy, relief, happiness and fulfilment that the realisation of YOUR dream brings you. Live YOUR moment. Let yourself shine because not all stars gleam brightly forever. I never did fall pregnant again.
The world of (children's) book writing can be a bit like trying for a child too. There's often lots of research, planning, effort, repeated attempts to get it right, missed opportunities, mounting expectations (pardon the pun) and then...crushing disappointment. Only, sometimes, occasionally dreams are realised and something beautiful is born.
Although it's early days, I have a new arrival to announce. My first picture book is about to be published. One of my longest and most yearned after writing dreams is about to come true.
Am I happy? YOU BETCHA. And this time I don't care who knows it.
Oh...and now I can finally say...I'm going to be living the dream with illustrator Nicky Johnston. Happiness beyond description. It took me two days to stop weeping (with sheer joy) after viewing her initial samples for my story. I can't wait for her to breathe visual soul into my words with her beautiful illustrations. Follow Nicky's illustrative and narrative successes via her blog. Who knows, you may even get a little glimpse of our shared dream taking shape.
Here is Nicky's announcement for your reading pleasure in the meantime.