1. I love to write, especially fiction, and have completed three different manuscripts, but I’ve queried less than five agents. Period. I feel like I’m great at the writing and creating part but not so much about the follow through. Part of that probably stems from low self-esteem and fear of rejection. At the ripe old age of 41 years of age, I think I’m finally ready to face those fears and start submitting.
2. My two front teeth are crooked, and I’m horribly self-conscious about it. There
are times I look at photographs of myself and cringe. My teeth seemed straighter when I was a teenager and I think they have shifted as I’ve gotten older. Braces were simply not in my family’s budget when I was growing up and I didn’t dare ask for them. I’ve considered doing Invisalign but for now we are focusing on putting both our kids through braces. I don’t want them to ever be afraid to smile because of their teeth.
3. I suffer from depression and anxiety. It’s something I’ve had to manage my whole life, and there have definitely been ups and downs. I’ve tried it all, hospitalization when I was in college, therapy, anti-depressants, etc. There’s no magic cure. It just is. I have a wonderful husband and kids who lift me up and show me an amount of unconditional love I could have never imagined, and they are what keeps me going most days. The past year has been a little hard, as I’ve become more anxious than I’ve ever been before and I have one to two nights of insomnia each month related to it. But I get up every morning, go to work, exercise regularly, and practice self-care whenever I can. I do think finding a good therapist is on my horizon because I need something to help curb the anxiety. I refuse to let it rule my life.
4. I love to sing, but I can’t read music. This is pretty much pure laziness on my part. When I was in my high school chorus, I had an instructor who told me I wouldn’t be able to continue singing beyond my sophomore year unless I took sight reading lessons from her over the summer. Because my parents worked and could not drive me to the lessons, I gave up chorus. I still continued to sing on the side, and sing pretty well by ear. I even sing in my church choir now but sometimes get embarrassed because I can’t read music. My 15-year-old daughter, who is a talented musician, said she’ll teach me how to read music this summer if I want her to.
5. I haven’t traveled extensively, and I don’t even have a passport. Growing up, my family focused mostly on traveling to visit family back and forth between North Carolina and Texas, and that was about it. Then, when I went to college, I didn’t have a lot of extra money to travel during the holiday breaks. I went to Mexico on my honeymoon but that is about the extent of my international travel. I’ve only been to a handful of places on my United States bucket list—those include one trip to California and one trip to New York City. Now I find myself the mom of a tween and a teen and I can’t figure out how to make life slow down so we can travel more. We usually do an annual beach vacation somewhere on the East Coast, but I have major wanderlust and hope to do more in the future.
Whew! I thought when I started writing this post I would have a hard time, but it’s amazing how quickly my five things came tumbling out. This is me, pretty much in a nutshell. To some people I may look like I have it all together on the outside, but I’m like everyone else, taking it one day at a time, and using writing as a creative outlet the best way I know how.
What is one thing you’re afraid to share with people? I’d love for you to share your stories in the comments below, anonymous or not.
Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who also blogs at FinishedPages.com. Her short story, “The Name You’re Not Supposed to Call Women,” received an honorable mention in the 2018 Women’s National Book Association Writing Contest, Young Adult Category.