About seven years ago I was 100% stuck. I was a first-time mom, newish-wife, working from home, trying to balance a household and didn’t know how I’d be able to make my dream of becoming a writer happen.
On a whim I decided to take a “follow your dreams” weekly evening course out of Brentwood, California by a woman I now consider a mentor, Chellie Campbell. At the end of the first session I went up to her, frustrated that all of the advice seemed geared for people without kids, people who had their days free, and actually slept at night.
I expressed my woes with her, expecting her to say something along the lines of, “Oh my! I didn’t realize you were a mother! Yes, that is a difficult situation!” and join me in wallowing.
Instead she asked me if I was familiar with Toni Morrison, the author of Beloved. Of course I was. She then a spoke a quote that rings in my ears any time I want to use motherhood as an excuse for anything.
When Toni Morrison was asked how she found the time to write as a single, poor mother, she responded that she writes, “in the edges of the day.”
In that moment, all of my excuses were exposed for that they were: lies. Comfortable lies. They were warm blankets against the cold truth that I was using my child to justify my unwillingness to fight for my dream.
The edges are there. Sometimes you have to wait for them, but stay alert. They often whistle softly in the distance like a freight train and require one to run alongside for awhile. I’ve written entire pieces in my head while vacuuming and outlines while rocking a baby to sleep.
So for all of you who dream big dreams while sitting on the floor with little drooling people, surrounded by toys, crumbs, mismatched socks, piles of laundry, and scattered ambition, take heart. And watch for the edges.