Eat, Pray, Love….Eat your heart out!

A secret revealed….

I always wanted to be a writer.  I was in Writing UIL when I was in middle school and I wrote for the school newspaper…..yes, I was that geeky!  I wrote stories when I was a little girl and I even wrote a short novel when I was in high school.  I want to kick myself for not saving those treasures!

A dream set aside…

Sadly, I never considered writing as a career.  Since I grew up poor, I knew I wanted a career that would get out of the “barrio”.  I knew that writing would not provide me a steady paycheck.  Fortunately, I seemed to have a knack for math and science as a kid therefore ended up becoming a physician.

A selfish luxury….

I have not been forthcoming about my desire to be a writer, even to myself.  In fact, this is the first time I have publically discussed it, except with very close friends and family.  Part of my hesitation is that I am afraid to act like a spoiled yuppie.  “Oooh, I am taking a year off to be a writer!”  How many people have an opportunity like that?  How many people have the luxury to quit their jobs and move to a beautiful country to pursue their secret, life-long dreams?  I hated the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I felt sorry for her depression and suicidal ideations, but I could not help thinking that she was selfish for leaving her marriage to “find herself”.  And she was so spoiled (and lucky!) for getting to live abroad in 3 amazing countries at the expense of her publisher.  Then I realized I probably hated the book because……..well……I was just a tad bit jealous of her.  Of course I would love to leave my stressful life to move somewhere else and write!  But unlike the author, I did not want to “find myself”.

After all…..

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Or redesigning yourself……

Rejected!….

Another reason I am rather shy about my writing is because it is the one area in my life where I feel I have failed.  A few years ago I wrote a Young Adult (YA) fantasy fiction manuscript that I submitted to Candlewick Press.  To those who don’t know, Candlewick has published some of the best children’s books in the last 20 years.  I met one of the editors at a Society of Children’s Bookwriters Conference, and she had asked me to submit even though Candlewick does not take unsolicited manuscripts.  I was so excited when I finally submitted the manuscript.

I got rejected.  Ouch!  It hurt!  I felt I had shown the editor a picture of my babies and she said, “Yuck! What ugly children!”  In efforts to protect my ego, I did the only rational thing I could.  I put away my manuscript and did not open it for years.

Following my dream…

When I decided to leave behind a fast-paced career in academic medicine, to move to Costa Rica to live a simpler life, I knew that this was my chance to make an honest attempt at a writing career.  I set aside my yuppie guilt and my fear of rejection with inspiration from the quote below….

“Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely necessary.”

–Jessamyn West (American author)

My goals….

I have swallowed my pride and decided to just write.  If I don’t get published or get a book deal or if nothing comes out of this at the end of the year, at least I know tried.  I have my medical career on which to fall back.  I would rather say, “Oh well, I tried and it didn’t work out”, rather than, “What if….”.  So once the kids start school in a couple of weeks, I will get started on my writing projects, including overhauling and resubmitting my YA fantasy fiction novel.  After all, I would rather someone else reject my writing than reject it myself.

Do you have any unfulfilled dreams that you would like to follow?

Pura Vida!

About Noemi Gamel

Noemi Gamel is a physician who prefers writing diverse children's fantasy stories instead of medical charts. She is a geeky nomad, too.
This entry was posted in Becoming an Expat, Redesigning Your Life, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Eat, Pray, Love….Eat your heart out!

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