When I was inviting my friends to write posts for the new blog I suggested writing something about themselves, something that might not be common knowledge. Will, who writes beautiful books, has come up with an equally beautiful post.
Who I Was by Will Parkinson
They say that every decision we make means a thousand we didn’t choose. Who is to say which one would have been better? Because every choice you make now, affects the person you’ll become in the future.
When I was six I told my mother I wanted to smoke her cigarette. She gave it to me and I puffed it. She said no, you have to inhale really deeply. So I did and MAN did I get sick. Never wanted to touch a cigarette again.
When I was a teenager, I came to the realization that I was gay. In the 1970s and 80s that was some heavy shit for a kid to get hit with. I did a lot of things I’m not proud of (and no, we won’t be discussing those). My loneliness led me on a path to making my own worlds, ones where kids like me would be happy.
When I got older (but still a teenager), I wrote a lot. I loved it, and thought I had written something that was worth sharing (science fiction story where more than half of my junior high class got eaten by a monster…oops). I took it to a person who I wanted to be proud of me and handed it to him. He took it from me and without looking at it said, ‘What are you wasting your time on that shit for? It’s never going to amount to anything.’
I made the decision that he was right. I was wasting my time trying to be happy. So I took everything I ever wrote and threw it into a box and didn’t write again. Instead I chose to graduate high school and take a job I came to enjoy (working room service at a 4 star hotel… let’s talk about naked baseball players, singers, and other assorted guests!). I was good at my job. Had it for 27 years. But it didn’t give me the satisfaction I had when creating my own worlds.
I made the decision to buy a Nook, and it opened my world to M/M Romance. Eden Winters wrote a book called ‘The Telling’. My first male-male romance, and I fell in love with the story, the characters, and Eden’s writing. In fact, I sent her a letter to say how much I enjoyed the book. I figured she was like a rock star and I’d never hear from her, but a few hours later, I got a mail, and that started a long friendship between us. One day she asked if I wrote. I told her my story, and she said the need to write never goes away, and that I should do it again. So I did.
I wrote a little story called ‘Nuttin’ For Christmas’. It was a YA holiday story about a boy and an elf. It felt wonderful writing again. Then I had a dream of a baseball player and the boy who fell in love with him. From that came Pitch, my first novel. I also got an inspiration for a story from MLR about love songs on cassettes. I chose 500 Miles by The Proclaimers, and it made my editor cry.
I thought I would regret not writing for all those years, but the more I thought about it, the more I realize that if I had, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now. I might not have the friends I’ve made, the husband I love, the books I’ve written.
So no, I don’t regret my choices. In fact, I am happy I made them, because they brought me to where I am today. I guess, in a very long-winded way, this is me telling you not to regret things you did when you were younger, or fear to make choices for the future, because they’re going to become a part of who you are.
If you’re a parent, encourage your kid to make mistakes. They’re the greatest learning tools you’ll ever have. Hell, make mistakes with your kids. Show them there’s nothing wrong with it.
Because in the future, they’re going to look back and realize that it’s okay to grow up happy.
How do I follow that? I can't... check out Will and his alter ego Parker Williams on Amazon. Just buy tissues at the same time.