Why I Write, I’m a Genie and Granting Wishes!


I started my “adult” life very practically. My dreams of being a rockstar or famous author (either one would have worked out wonderfully for me!) had been put on hold in order to chase a college education, be practical, and make enough money to pay the bills. I listened to the practical, guiding voice of my father, and entered college – majoring in the most practical of all majors, accounting.

12 years later, my practicality had brought me to the top of my game – I was employed at one of the largest firms in my industry, holding an import title and a cushy job. I was well liked, successful at what I did, and a superstar in the company. A GREAT gig by all means, until one day I found myself thinking:

I would much rather poke myself in the eye with this pencil than sit through another one of these financial meetings…

I really didn’t want to poke my eyes out, so the only other choice was to correct what made me feel the way I did. So, I began making a series of changes that corrected my course ever so slightly at first, and then much more drastically once I tasted how truly wonderful my life could be. I was moving away from being 110% dissatisfied, to 110% satisfied.

At a family Christmas one year, my mother, whom I adore with all my heart, was telling stories about my childhood to my children. I remember hearing her say to them, “When your mom was a child, she never went anywhere without her notebook. She was like a little mad scientist, scribbling in her notebook everywhere we went, writing about everything she saw. I often wondered if she would paint me a heroine or a villain in one of her books. I thought for sure she would be a famous writer…

I remember sitting there, holding my hot chocolate, and when my mom said those last words, I felt a distinct pang somewhere in the deepest pocket of my heart. (I call this my heart of hearts, that secret place where all your wishes, hopes and dreams are whispered and given life.) It was the ghost of my creative self reaching from the secret place, and she cried gently, but lovingly to me:

“…write, because you must.

That night, I cried. I didn’t know where I went so wrong. How had I ignored my heart all these years? I missed that – so much I barely knew where to begin. The important thing to know – I decided that moment to BEGIN:

  1. I grabbed an empty notebook and just wrote. I wrote down all my secret hopes and dreams – the ones in my heart of hearts. The ones that were whispered but never spoken? THOSE secret hopes and dreams. I wrote them ALL down.
  2. I wrote down all the things that brought me pain, anger, discomfort or even minor irritation. The list was scary. THOSE items were also secretly whispered in my heart, but never acknowledged.
And at the end of it, I looked at both lists and decided I would start adding things on list 1 and eliminating things from list 2 to my life. It went something like this:
  • List 1 would say: WISH: I want to start writing again. Something creative and TOTALLY unstructured and NOT financially related. Create something every day. GRANTED: So I wrote in my journal everyday for a year.
  • List 2 would say: PROBLEM: My job is killing me. SOLUTION: Quit.
It gave me so much power – over my life, over my thoughts – to even just write everything down and acknowledge each and every item on those lists.

It is empowering to KNOW. Empowering to PLAN. And empowering to DO.

Do something – anything to grant myself a secret wish, and then do something – anything to remove pain/irritation from my life. I realized, I’d have to be my on own genie and grant myself those wishes.
And it wasn’t easy. Some things on that list were BIG. Like:
  • Find a new career (this had financial implications – how would I support a family in a new endeavor?)
  • Find real love and companionship in my life – which meant getting a divorce in order to make room for love and companionship to enter. (Was I ready to be a single mom?)
  • Get rid of “frenemies.” This was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. (I realized I had surrounded myself with “fake” friends – or friends of convenience.)
  • Add new friends that I have something in common with, that I admire. This also meant being a good friend. (How would I make new ones? Would I have the time? Would anyone like me?)
  • Write, write and write some more. Find readers, find followers, and most importantly, find my writing voice – again. (I hadn’t written in so long, would I even know what good writing was?)
  • Read, read, and read some more. (It had been years since I had read a book. Would I find the time in the midst of these other changes?)
Exactly 12 months from writing those lists down, I quit my job. Then I divorced my hoodlum husband of 13 years. I let him keep all the “frenemies.” I made new friends – ones that actually liked me for ME and not for the shell of a person I had been projecting. I wrote. I read. And somewhere along the way,

I found myself.

By granting myself every secret wish on that list, I found myself. And for the first time in my life,

I liked who I am.

That was 5 years ago. My motto now?

I deny myself nothing – I grant myself everything. Because I TOTALLY deserve it.

And you know what? YOU do too.
This week, I’m linking up to LOVELINKS with Erika M! If you liked my blog, please check back on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011, CLICK on the LOVELINKED badge below and then vote for me! There are TONS of other great small blogs that you can read too. Check it out!




  1. Erica M says:

    I am envious of your courage. Congrats on your new path.
    Erica M recently posted..the strangest urge to writeMy Profile

  2. Katie E says:

    I’m so impressed you were brave enough to make all those changes in your life. (Speaking as an accountant who currently worked for a Big Five firm – but only lasted a couple years before I knew it wasn’t for me. I’m still an accountant though.)
    Katie E recently posted..One Year AgoMy Profile

  3. Danielle says:

    I don’t even have words for this post. Truly amazing. It is so true that we sometimes just go through the motions of life not really noticing how unhappy we are becoming until we are so far gone we are not happy with anything. I love that you are your own genie, it’s such a wonderful way to look at it! Congrats to you for finding YOU! Some people go through life never able to do that!
    Danielle recently posted..Zombie Tuesday: Christmas EditionMy Profile

  4. That you actually did what you set out to do? That is awesome. More power to you!
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..Perth, 2009My Profile

  5. XLMIC says:

    Yes! This inner resolve put into action! I love you more and more every week 🙂
    XLMIC recently posted..The Biggest (tree) and the Best (gluten-free chocolate chip cookies)My Profile

  6. Eric Storch says:

    This is just awesome to see that someone has done what I am now just starting to do. You give me hope that my decision was not a bad one and that I too, can find out who I really am.
    Eric Storch recently posted..Happy Politically Correct, Non-Denominational Holiday!My Profile

  7. Shannon from my newfavoriteday says:

    I can so relate to what you say here! Although our paths are different I find similarities in the emotions and the experience of knowing there is more and not being willing to settle for less! I love your motto “I deny myself nothing – I grant myself everything. Because I TOTALLY deserve it.” it’s just perfect as we all head into this new year. I am well along in my journey but still find inspiration in your words and your story. Congratulations to you! Keep granting:)
    Shannon from my newfavoriteday recently posted..An Everyday Miracle for The Holidays…My Profile

  8. Granting myself indulgence in a secret wish list is dangerous. I do have to say, though, that I grant myself time to write and read blogs, as these are things I truly enjoy doing.
    Laura@Catharsis recently posted..Noteworthy Student SayingsMy Profile

  9. Mommy2cents says:

    You go girl! That’s awesome!! 🙂
    Mommy2cents recently posted..My Naughty Little Elf, Frank!My Profile

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