Growing up, I always had stories in my head, characters and scenes from books or my own imagination. I read constantly and wrote frequently. But when I started medical school I was too busy, too tired, too focused to write anything creative beyond my personal journal. As time went on, a little piece of my soul died, but isn’t that the cost of growing up and finding a profession and starting a family? But after having my last baby I cut back at work, and I started having recurrent dreams about a new room in my house. I would wander into this new, undiscovered part of my home and make plans for all the new ways I could use it. A playroom, an office, a library, an in-home gym. The details changed, but one thing remained the same: I would always wake up longing–aching–for that dream-room to be real. One day I read something on one of those interpret-your-dream websites that stuck with me. Everything in your dreamscape is a manifestation of yourself. So what did that mean about my dream-house and my dream room? Could there be some other, undiscovered part of myself just waiting to be turned into something beautiful?
Fast forward a few months, and I started, first, reading, and then, writing again. I read a novel a week, at least, and started writing down the stories living in my head. For a while I told myself it was ridiculous– did I really need something else to do when I already had a career and four kids and a husband and a house and a mortgage and constant pile of laundry to fold? But I kept writing, kept reading, started submitting my stories, started a novel. And I don’t have that dream anymore, because I’m now living in that extra room in my head.