Have you ever felt like you were pursuing your passion in life only to have responsibilities wreck your dreams and take over your days? Well…I have. I’ve gone off the grid for a while and I’ve missed writing! Personally, I’ve had a lot of changes in life. I had to get a full time job to start saving more, so now I’m working 40+ hours per week. When I first started, I was sure I would write regularly. I would be exhausted when I got home so I always decided to write “tomorrow.” However, days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. I finally decided to blow the dust off my laptop and try to get in a little bit of writing. I sat down to write, full of anticipation. I placed my hands on the keys and–and–that’s it. I had nothing. My creativity didn’t kick in. My mind, previously full of ideas, went blank. I stared at my computer screen for a good fifteen minutes, my mind wandering to any topic that wasn’t helpful. It was then I realized that I hadn’t been “too busy” to write, or “too tired” to create. My well of imagination and creativity was long dry and I hadn’t taken the time to replenish it. Where I had been living my ideal life by working part time, doing some college, and having time to just focus on creating; I now was forced into living the life of the average adult in the United States. For me, this was the most unfulfilling way to live I’ve ever experienced. I felt so unsuccessful with my passion for writing and creating.
However, everyone has to start somewhere! It does not mean failure just because I had to find the means to support myself! I can still use the outlet my blog has given me to let my creativity flourish. That being said, I brought a character in during my “From Your Mind to Your Paper” post named Elizabeth. I’ve started an ongoing story to just see where it goes. I haven’t titled it or wrote a lot, but I am excited that I have been able to write again! No matter how small, it’s progress–and that is something to always be proud of. I hope to hop on here more regularly and start sharing my advice, ideas and stories once again. However, for now, without further ado…Elizabeth Haven.
Elizabeth Haven sighed as she put in yet another order at the Southern Style Cafe in Hartsville, South Carolina. The small diner was teeming with people as it seemed all of Hartsville had decided to hit the small downtown area tonight. She felt her heart twist as she realized her mother would’ve been sitting at table ten as was her ritual on Thursday evenings if she hadn’t gone to meet Jesus six years ago. What made it worse was their staffing issues. There were seven people scheduled for tonight, but two had called in sick. Elizabeth assumed they were across town at one of the two sleazy bars that operated on the outskirts of Hartsville. Because of the staffing shortage, Elizabeth was hosting as well as waiting tables. As she exited the kitchen carrying two steaming plates, she glanced toward the door–and almost dropped the country fried steak at the familiar face. She served the food to the appropriate table in robotic fashion. How was she expected to seat and wait on the couple at the door? She took a deep breath. She had promised herself that she wouldn’t become bitter, and with God’s help, she would keep her word. She walked confidently to the host stand and picked up two menus.
“Right this way please.” Her words came out clipped and harsh even to her own ears and she winced. Making a deliberate effort to brighten her voice, she spoke,
“How are y’all doing tonight?” Her southern drawl was more pronounced than it typically was, revealing her stress.
“Elizabeth, your mother used to come in here every Thursday night! You know that! As your father, I need to continue the tradition. That’s the only reason I came in tonight. We’d like to sit at her usual spot.” Elizabeth’s stomach churned with the thought of her father and his new fling sitting at her mother’s table and she barely stopped a snort at his fake words. Her father hadn’t cursed the diner with his presence in months. His other dates preferred the bar side of town. She glanced over and sighed with relief.
“Sorry, dad. That table’s full. Perhaps you would prefer to eat elsewhere?”
“Of course not, sweetheart. I’ve spent every Thursday night here in her memory since her passing. We can sit wherever is available, but it is such a nice thought that my daughter just gives her mother’s table to any stranger to pass through.” Biting her tongue so hard she was sure she would draw blood, Elizabeth desperately searched every section of the building except hers. No tables were open. Her section had the only two remaining tables. Hating the fact that she showed up to work, she directed the couple to the table by the window.
“Y’all can have that table right there with the pretty view. It’s getting a little dark but the sunset is beautiful tonight. What can I get you to drink?”
“Babe, shouldn’t we tell her now?” The blonde latched to her father’s arm giggled and lowered her eyes. For the first time, Elizabeth really looked at the woman. She was significantly younger than her father, but not quite as young as Liz. That wasn’t a surprise, her father had always wanted model looks in the women he dated. She had pretty gold flecked eyes and make-up caked a quarter inch thick. Her fake lashes were dramatic and swooped to the point Liz had to wonder how she held her eyes open. Liz noticed the clothing was a bit too tight and the heels a bit too high, but what caught her attention next caused her mouth to drop. She followed the woman’s gaze to her left hand where a shiny diamond ring glinted on her ring finger. This woman was engaged to her father.