I wanted to be a traveller and a writer. I’m not sure exactly when I started wanting these things, but I know that the books I read triggered my urge to explore. I wanted my own adventures, my own experience of the wonders of the world. I wanted freedom and a wider life than the one I saw around me. I really wanted Middle Earth.
And I wanted to write about that wonder.
Looking back, I can see that I’ve been making my way towards those desires ever since – imperfectly, and often trepidatiously, but consistently.
I spent many years thinking that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life – but actually I have always known. What I didn’t know was how to give myself permission to want the things I wanted. Travelling and writing don’t fit comfortably into the middle-class life trajectory of the world around me – university, professional job, lots of money, house in the suburbs, etc, etc.
Oddly enough, now that I am a mother-of-one, with a commuting husband and a home in the suburbs, I feel for the first time that I have the permission and the space to write. Age maybe. Or the inevitable examination of just who you are that comes with motherhood. Or the temporary freedom from career expectations that being a stay-at-home mum brings. Or a slowly-increasing level of self-awareness. Whatever the reason – I welcome the change.