For as long as I can remember, I have always dreamed of becoming a writer of many things. I didn’t care what I had to write as long as I was free to write on whatever topic I chose. But just because it was my dream and my passion did not mean that the journey getting there would be a smooth one. I had it all mapped out. I was going to write my book, it was going to top the charts and I would be in New York City dining outside at some fancy restaurant with a sun hat and huge designer shades, people watching, coming up with my next big idea. Unfortunately by the time I had started college right after high school, life had different plans for me.
If I wasn’t switching majors in college, I was switching boyfriends. It wasn’t until my 24th birthday, that I “buckle down” with school and actually graduate this time. By now, I was back in school majoring in Creative Writing. I was happy.
I was even in somewhat of a better relationship that eventually led to an engagement. That was until the day after we took our engagement photos, he hit me with “You need to find somebody that’s more your speed”, as in find somebody else. The comment led to a bad argument, which he tried apologizing for with the excuse “I was tripping that day”. But I never got over it. I learned the hard way to “believe a man the first time he shows you who he truly is” and I didn’t plan to let that slide. I started reevaluating the entire union. The good times, the bad times where he frequently yelled “I don’t want or need you”, “I came in this world by myself, so I’m going to die by myself” while I begged to keep the relationship together. My mother always told me that “when you get tired of going through the same mess, you will change it. But only you know when you’re tired. Not me, not your daddy. Not your friends. You. Your tiredness will force you to change your predicament. But you will continue recycling the same situations until you learn the lesson.”
Throughout everything that I was going through, I made sure to continue writing and stay in school no matter what. Our relationship came to an end months after the engagement. I realized that things unfixed before marriage will carry over into marriage. I only planned on getting married one time. Period. My parents had been married for over 25 years and I longed for the exact same thing. Besides, I couldn’t marry a man that was still legally married to someone else. Yes, I said it. My ex fiancé was still married. He was supposed to be “getting a divorce” that never seemed to happen even after spending two years together.
In my heart, I knew that God would NEVER send me another woman’s husband, divorce pending or not. A couple of days after that argument, I ended the engagement altogether. The aftermath of leaving it behind inspired me to finally write a book. I used my writing to heal myself from what had occurred which led me to completing it fully. Things began looking up for me once I let go of that bad relationship and focusing more on becoming an author. I even reconnected with an old friend from years prior that I am currently in a relationship with. And guess what? He’s NOT married to anyone. Yet, wink wink.
2016 was the year of change. After jumping in and out of college from major to major, failed relationships and personal disappointments, I finally finished my first book, Affiliated, on December 30, 2016, I was in a happy, stress free relationship with the same man that I reconnected with, I completed another year of college with a B+ average, all while maintaining a full time job. I even met some great people that have helped me tremendously along the way.
A few things that I carried over into 2017 were:
NEVER settling for less - I refused to settle for anything less than what I deserved and you don’t have to either. That goes for careers and interpersonal relationships. Never feel like what you truly crave is not attainable, because it is!
If need be, REVAMP Your Image – I wanted to be taken more seriously so I cleaned up my Facebook page, created a brand new Instagram and even made a Twitter. I deleted a lot of negativity that I would see on FB and I only followed and accepted people who inspired me, who were on the same journey I was on, who were positive and who were also aspiring to be something. I wanted to represent the things I stand for. Old habits will not open new doors. (Aside from the funny memes here and there that I love to post. Those happen to be one of my guilty pleasures. I’m always down for a good laugh).
INVEST in Yourself – Ever heard of the phrase “it takes money to make money”? That is one of the most important quotes that I have ever heard. I used to waste so much money on unnecessary things and it wasn’t until I was trying to pay for editing services for my book, that I realized this journey was not going to be free. All of those pointless vacations I had lined up for the year had to cease until my main goal was accomplished. I knew I wanted to write a book. I did that. I knew that I wanted my book published. And even though I was a pretty good editor, I needed this first attempt at becoming a published author to be done correctly. On one hand, I had all of things that I planned to do this year (vacations, events, parties, etc.) and on the other I had an invoice for editing services. Let’s just say I chose to work with that invoice. Work hard now, play hard later.
Start ANYWHERE – It’s never too late to start following your dream and living the life that you dream of living. It’s all in your mind. Make the decision to do what’s best for you! ALL the time. You are in control of your life and what comes of it. You’re always one decision away from a different life!
Surround Yourself with LIKEMINDED People – Keep in mind that not everyone will understand or support your decision to follow your dreams. Your dream will not come without its share of negativity and haters. But for every ten haters, there’s bound to be eleven supporters. Focus on those that support you and uplift you and hang around those that do similar things in the field that you’re looking to get into. It makes for great conversation and networking.
Support Other Women – We ALL need support as we go along with following our goals, even the people who inspire you. There is nothing wrong with supporting another person’s dreams while trying to accomplish your own. There is enough shine out here for all of us!
FOCUS – One of my favorite words! Set some goals and focus on those goals. Stay dedicated. Stay determined. Write it down if you have to. Whatever you have to do to remain focused, do it! Whether that’s reading a self-help book, mediating, Yoga, positive conversations with some girlfriends, or positive affirmations and quotes, feed your mind with things that you want to manifest in your life! I read a minimum of five positive quotes per day and post at least one just for anyone reading who may need to see/hear it. In the words of the BET television series, Being Mary Jane,
“Attract what you expect, reflect what you desire, become what you respect and mirror what you admire.”
**Remember that you are a Queen and you can do whatever you aspire to do! The only person stopping you is . . . you.
Em Woodz Aka The Dream Big Pretty is A Nashville, TN native, Em is a twenty something year old millennial writer. When she isn’t penning a new book, she can usually be found stalking Pinterest for the latest trends, planning new vacations or enriching the lives of others with motivation. Feel free to follow her journey on Instagram: @thatFANCYwriter| Facebook: Em Woodz | Wattpad: thatFANCYwriterEM.