My family on my mom’s side is really big. My grandparents had twelve kids, twenty-eight grandkids, and two great-grandkids (and counting!).
Pretty much all my cousins on my mom’s side are frickin’ straight-A perfect people. On top of that, I have a bunch of cousins with black belts in tae kwon do, gym regulars, track-team stars, hockey players (we’re also Canadian, eh?), gymnasts, dancers…you get the idea. Plus there are the talented violinists, pianists, drummers, guitar-players, flutists, and so on and so forth. My cousins go to university and take business or nursing or something else just as practical. I’m really proud to come from such an overachieving family.
Sometimes I don’t really think I fit in with all that. While everyone was performing at piano recitals, I was composing my own songs. My cousins do sports while I do drama. My cousins do math problems. I write novels.
I’ve long accepted that I’m the odd one out. I didn’t expect any of them to understand why I went into Creative Writing. To them, university is supposed to help you get a job and make money. Creative Writing doesn’t really do that.
Which is fine with me. I like where I am and what I’m doing. I’m used to the jokes and teasing and misunderstanding. It’s all worth it to me.
I always assumed they were ashamed of me, the black sheep of the family. My mom included. At least until yesterday when she told me otherwise. I’ve never needed anyone’s support to do what I do. I started writing on my own and didn’t tell anyone for weeks. My parents actively tried to deter me when I said I was going to university in England. I’m about to finish Book 3 and none of my family really know it. Fine with me. But it was good to hear my mom tell me that even though she doesn’t totally understand what it’s like to write, she’s a-okay if that’s what I want to do.
I hope she doesn’t change her mind over the next five years.