This year, my husband kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas. I told him I didn’t want anything. It’s been a roller coaster year for me and I just couldn’t think of some present-like thing he could buy for me. Most of what I want are things that will (or might) come later: I want a quiet place to write. I want two cats (I just recently got past wanting the other one back. It took a while but I got there.). I want a writing career (that was also something I just admitted to myself this year). But those are not things that come in a nice pretty box. So I told him I didn’t want a present. And I honestly meant it.
He didn’t listen.
He walked into our apartment one day with two Amazon boxes. One contained a gorgeous fountain pen. (I always said if I ever had a novel published, I wanted a nice pen for book signings. I cannot express how much I would love to do book signings. Apparently my husband remembered that and believes that’s an actual possibility for me one day.)
Encased in a beautiful box covered in fabric that is nicer than most of my clothes, this pen made a statement. But it wasn’t the statement you would expect from a nice pen. It didn’t say “I’m powerful” like most fancy pens say. Nope, this one seemed to be saying “You’re a writer.” This gift was more than just an expensive pen, it was like a hug/nudge from my husband that said “Be a writer.” (I struggle with that sometimes — letting myself be a writer. It feels so indulgent to write when there’s laundry to do and school loans to pay off.)
In addition to the pen, I got a delightful glass jar of ink, which is just perfect for my vintage-loving, writer-nerd soul, and a lime green journal that is specially designed to handle ink from fountain pens. And it’s just begging for some thoughts.
Every time I look at this pen and hold its smoothness in my hand, I start to think, Maybe, just maybe, I could do this thing. Maybe I could be a real writer.
A few weeks ago, I finished grad school. I sent in my last research paper and earned my masters degree in Organizational Management. It’s exciting. And daunting. It’s like a giant sign hanging over my head with neon lights, flashing WHAT NOW?
What now, indeed. I’m still working on that. Sure I have a tentative plan. I always do. I’m not the kind of person who sits around and waits to see what will happen. But I also like to adapt as life unfolds. So my plans for the future are still developing.
One thing I know for certain, though. I will be attempting a new novel over the next couple months. A little over a month ago, a new idea began haunting me. It’s not something I ever thought I would write. It’s a story that chose me, and I’m honored. It’ll be a new challenge for me. I’m certain my beautiful pen can handle it. And I’m beginning to believe maybe I can too.