When I was a teen I just wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to be different or stand out from the crowd, I wanted to be like my peers. Or at least, what I perceived them to be. I loved hanging out with my friends, listening to music, and drawing and painting. These were all the things I was allowed to love, but the one thing I always hid from most of my friends was how much I loved to read and write. Through my teens I wrote many short stories and novellas about teen love triangles and the trials and tribulations of being a teenager in general. As a teen that suffered from depression, I used writing to vent my frustrations and sadness and it was one of the things that helped lift me back up from my low points. But still I kept it to myself.
Sometimes I ask myself why? Why did I feel like I had to keep something I loved so quiet? Maybe it was the nature of my writing, I didn’t want anyone to know how I was feeling or what I really thought. Maybe it was because writing wasn’t ‘cool’ so I didn’t want people knowing it was something I did in my spare time. Whatever the reason, the one thing I wish I could go back and tell my younger self is to, “embrace who you are.” Yes, I was a little quirky. Yes, I loved to read, write and had a nerdy side. And you know what? That was okay.
I always tell people I didn’t know what I wanted to be until I was twenty-nine-years-old. I’d always worked in administration roles until I fell pregnant with my son and left the workforce. Having him brought so much clarity to my life, and for the first time I felt grounded enough to work out who Linda Higgins really was. I realised I didn’t have to ‘fit in’ or be able to be put in a box. I was a multifaceted jewel with many interesting and quirky sides to my personality. I can socialise with groups, but be equally as happy on my own with a laptop writing or with a cup of tea and a good book. I’m a little quirky with a sprinkle of nerd thrown in, with a touch of hippy to finish it off. I don’t fit one of the moulds society has created. I’m just me.
Once my daughter came along and my son was starting kindergarten I grew restless and knew something was missing from my life. That something was writing. It’d fallen by the wayside between nappies and bottles and after some research I created a blog called DragonYellow. Dragon representing my creativity and imagination, and yellow representing positivity and happiness. Once I got my writing rhythm back and the joy of it started making me feel more like myself again, I decided it was time to do something I’d always dreamt of… write a full length novel. And now I wake up every day and do what I love.
We all have dreams and aspirations, and there are endless quotes about chasing your dreams. But I truly believe to achieve great things and be happy, you first need to embrace yourself. Be happy with who you are as a person, and don’t hide your amazing individuality from the world!