It’s odd how small moments can change your life…
One day when I was in elementary school, I realized when I had walked out the front doors of school that I had forgotten my lunch box. It was a small mistake that ended up making a big impact.
Now my neighborhood was such that there were several ways I could walk home, but I took the same route each and every day, but that day, because I was running late, I was a few minutes behind the other kids that walked in that direction.
Have you ever had that moment when instinct tells you to turn right instead of left? The hair stands on the back of you neck? When I was standing on the corner where I usually turned, that happened to me. So for the first time I continued straight and turned down a street further down.
Good thing I did too. Turns out some high school kids were jumping the elementary school kids on their way home. They beat the crap out of them and took their stuff.
I learned several things that day: always walk with a group in the neighborhood and to listen to my instincts.
So…my laptop died.
I know, I know. You’re like, “Katie, what does that have to do with the above story.”
Well, a lot.
Small moments can make big life altering changes.
A few years ago, I wrote my first story on my husband’s computer and I was terrified. I loved writing. It was a passion I had abandoned for many years and when I found it again, I wasn’t sure I could let it go.
But what was I going to do? Get published?
I had giggled to myself. Who was I to get published? I didn’t have an English degree. I read, but I wasn’t as well read as everyone else in the world. I was me. Katie McGarry. Mom of three children. Wife to the love of her life. Who was I to take my story, put out into the world, and think that people would want to read it?
While I may not have thought much about myself and my talent, my husband, as always had faith in me. At a time when money was hard to come by and we had mounting bills, my husband bought me a computer.
A laptop. Red cover. Microsoft Word already loaded. A new e-mail address already created for a business appearance.
He did all that for me. Because he loved me. Because he believed in me.
While that brought a smile to my face, it also freaked me out. In order to become published, I needed to believe in myself.
So this red laptop and I began a relationship of sorts. I banged on the keys while I was frustrated with writer’s block and it never yelled back. It sat silent listening as I cried over rejections, but it always sat waiting with a forever blinking cursor welcoming me when I would get over my hurt and was ready to start again.
This laptop—it was there when I sent my first query. It was there when I got my first contest results. It was there for rejections and eventually it was there when I got the call.
I also saw my first cover on it and that day, I definitely cried.
I wrote all but one of my books on this computer. Even the ones that will never see the light of day.
It has been with me day in and day out and even while it was wheezing its last breath, it stuck around long enough to let me back up every precious piece I had saved on it.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped thinking of myself as the girl who had the dream that seemed unreachable to the girl who has a book on a shelf.
One small moment: a computer given to me and my life changed. To my computer: I’ll miss you. Thank you for the many years. You’ll never be forgotten.
It’s amazing the way life works.