Despite the fact that much of my time is spent on writing that I am currently not getting paid for, my girlfriend not only supports me, she cheers me on. She does this all on a promise is that one day, maybe, I might see some monetary earnings from these words. I am so grateful to her for that.
Not everyone can be so lucky. Not every one has someone who encourages their crazy dreams, especially ones that may never amount to anything. My girlfriend understands I need time, that I may need to work less, and I may need to write for free so I can learn and practice this craft.
I love that she understands, but my feelings are more complex than I had thought they would be when I began this.
Imagine you are in the deep end of the pool, and your significant other is sitting in the life guard’s chair. You don’t know how to swim, but you think you can learn how. Their instinct might be to save you but you insist they let you try. They love you so they listen. They love you so they cheer for you, “You can do it! You can do it!”. Their words are the only thing keeping you afloat.
Sometimes you make progress, and you are grateful to them for letting you learn. Other times you wish they would stop listening to you, jump in, and save you from yourself.
You love sharing your life and thoughts with the world, and the world seems to like what you have to say. Your work though, is heavily influenced by you personal experiences…with your significant other.
They stand back to let you share the dirty details of you life with strangers. They agree to have both the good and the bad broadcast simply because they had the misfortune to be in love with you. They act as if they cannot see that in every essay and every piece of fiction the influence came from them and their involvement with you.
You wonder, and worry, if they hate it. You hope instead they secretly love you more for immortalizing your love.
A post has gotten a bit of attention. You are thrilled and nervous all at once. You want to share it with your person but they are busy. They haven’t read your blog in months. You text them every time you get a new like, a new comment, a new follower. They send back happy, celebratory emojis and tell you you are on your way! This is nice but it isn’t enough. You wish they took more of an interest. You wish they read your work without you having to ask them to read your work.
You decide to send the post you’re so proud of to them. Immediately after hitting send you feel butterflies in your belly and you regret inviting them to see what you’ve been up to. You want them to see it, but you don’t want them to see it. In that moment you are sure that all the people who said they liked your post were lying. Your significant other will tell you the hard truth, and the truth is, you are a fraud. The truth is, this piece just plain sucks and nothing can be done to fix it, or you.
They reply back after an agonizing wait, they love it, and they think you are amazing.
I never thought about how it might be having someone so close to me read my work. I never thought about the fact that while I write with her always in mind, having her see me this way would be almost more than I could handle. Why is it easier to share with strangers than it is to share with her? I haven’t found an answer, I only know that it is. It really, truly is.
Or it is until she tells me that she is proud of me. Hearing that from her means more than any increase in any stats I’ve seen to date. I want to believe her but I worry she says this because she loves me, or because she is a poor fool. Either way, I’ve realized I am desperate for her approval and in need of the motivation it brings.
I’ve realized I am a very lucky girl indeed.