On Writing A Novel.

“I want to write a book.”

This is one of those things that can be kind of scary to tell people. “You want to write a… book?” they’ll ask. “About what?” And then what am I supposed to say – “I don’t know”…? Because that’s the God’s-truth-honest-answer: I want to write a book, I just don’t know what it’s about. Yet.

“That can be your first line.” Kyle said. “‘I want to write a book, but I don’t know what it’s about.'” I’d been hesitant to tell him. (And when I say ‘hesitant’, I mean hesitant for about five minutes. It was too exciting NOT to tell him! I’m going to write a book! I think!) But what’s he going to say? I thought. What if he doesn’t believe me? Why WOULD he believe me? What aptitude have I shown that proves I’m capable of WRITING A BOOK?

“You should.” Kyle said. “I think you’d be good at it.”

I’d thought he was going to say, “Hah. Right.” or “Sure – what’s it going to be about? Shoes?” Or worse – the same thing one of my friends had told me years ago when I’d told her I wanted to write a book – “Oh come on, Jenn, you’re not smart enough to write a BOOK.” (True story.) But he didn’t say any of that – he, without hesitation, was SUPPORTIVE.

Which threw all of the excuses that I had lined up “I really think I could do it!” and “I’ll show you!” – well, it threw them right out the window. Because it turns out my fiancé is a supportive, kind human. (Which are two things that you really want in a fiancé.)

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Getting out of your comfort zone.

We went hiking on one of our first dates. I say “one of” because neither of us can remember which “one” it was. I think it was the sixth or seventh, and Kyle thinks it was, “Maybe the fourth? Fifth? I don’t know.”

Here’s what I can tell you – it was late enough in the game that we were comfortable spending an hour and twenty minutes in the car together, yet it must have been in the EARLY stages, because I remember waking up at 6 AM to shower and “get ready”.

Get ready. For hiking.

A day in the woods. Weaving through trees. Climbing over rocks. Walking through spiderwebs.  Doing that thing people do where they take really big, wide steps over puddles and act all, “What? Like it’s hard?”

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That time I almost worked for a fashion company in New York.

Contrary to popular belief – working in the fashion industry was never really my “dream”. People always assumed it was because A) I wanted to move to New York City, and B) I liked to go shopping.

That’s it. There was also a brief stint during my childhood when I begged my parents to let me pursue a career in modeling because the lady at the mall from the Barbizon Modeling School told me that I could. For a fee. But she thought I had a real “look”, so the $750 application fee would be totally worth it.

To this day, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d just gone to the Barbizon Modeling School. Maybe that lady WASN’T just trying to scam me as a poor, unsuspecting eighth grader with low self-esteem, maybe I really did have “the look” – if that look was ‘glasses and frizzy hair’. Instead my parents got hung up on that measly $750 application fee. Even though I was like, “The lady said it’s TOTALLY worth it! I have THE LOOK.” And my parents were like, “uh…” and I was like “The Barbizon lady said that! And she knows what she’s talking about, SHE WORKS THERE.” 

Right. She works there. So, she said it because it’s TRUE. Not because she’s trying to scam my family out of nearly $1,000. She wouldn’t do that, she was so nice.

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