My mom was of the belief that you didn't play until the house was spotless. What this translated to for her, in a house with three kids, was that she never pursued her hobbies. I watched oil paints and canvases languish in a closet for years. The entire time I was growing up, she got them out twice that I can recall, and then you know what happened… The house got messy. Supper had to be cooked and her palette got put away.
A very wise man said, “Dreams deferred make the heart sick.” My mom died of massive heart failure five years ago. That was a lesson learned. We have to pursue our dreams, whether it is writing, painting, singing or…pole-dancing, bungee jumping or sky-diving.
I hate high school reunions. Every time one rolls around, my husband promises me I’ll have a great time. It’s the same every time, including the most recent 25th reunion. The same preppy, social butterflies were flitting around being socially acceptable. The rednecks still hung together on the periphery enjoying their beer and conversation. The geeks had their table, from which they watched all the others having fun while plotting the demise of the cheerleaders and jocks for still teasing them twenty five years later. The same wench flirted with my husband that flirts with him at every reunion. The drinkers were all boogeying on the dance floor to “Play That Funky Music, White Boy” and “Get Down Tonight." (Can we pause for just a moment to admire KC and the Sunshine band in their threads!)
My husband and I graduated the same year, though we didn’t know each other back then. This makes high school reunions slightly easier because my husband was one of those guys who fit in no matter what group he was with. For some reason we always seem to hover in no man’s land with the other grown-ups who have embraced age and mild infirmity and moved on. The movie “Gross Pointe Blank” came to both our minds and we laughed over our favorite classic line, when Joan Cusack the administrative assistant tries to convince her employer, John Cusack, to attend his reunion. (I’m paraphrasing here) “I went to my high school reunion. It was as though everyone had swelled.” I looked around the gathering and grinned. And then took a good, hard look at myself.
I was one of the shy kids who was never comfortable in any social group. How I looked, acted, dressed, and who I hung out with was a constant source of worry to me in my middle and high school years. Ultimately, their opinion of me was more important than my own. Or at least that’s the ugly realization I came to that night. The resulting resolution changed my life. That winter I started writing.
That evening, with that life-altering realization behind me, me and my handsome redneck husband joined all the other rednecks on the edge of the room, had a beer and the time of our lives. Have you ever deferred becoming the person you were meant to be because of somebody else's opinion? What brought you to that realization?
Heather Rainier writes erotic romance Siren Publishing. Summer's Indiscretion, the eighth book in the Divine Creek Ranch Collection will be released on September 30th. Visit her website and interact with her on Facebook and Twitter.