I only just started using the word “writer” to describe myself. It still feels weird to say it.
I’m a writer.
It feels weird to type it, too.
One night, while talking on the phone with my husband, I was reminded of how much confidence I’ve lacked my whole life about my writing. My earliest memory of feeling incapable began when I registered for my classes in seventh grade. I knew I was smart enough for honors, so I elected to take all the honors classes I could, except in one subject – English. I don’t know why, but the thought of honors English scared the crap out of me.
I will never forget that first day of class.
To start, I knew none of the kids in the class because, up until then, I’d only been in classes with other advanced students like myself. That was awkward. Then, to top it all off, when the teacher explained the rules and expectations, my jaw dropped. He said that part of our grade included appropriately placing our name and date in the top right corner of our papers. I suddenly felt really out of place.
He’s giving us points just for writing our name on our paper? I thought.
I knew right then and there I had to get out of there. I must have went to the guidance counselor’s office as soon as the next day because I never set foot in that classroom again. Needless to say, I felt much more comfortable in the honors English class.
Two Years Later…
Having the best English teacher ever, I wound up winning a local speech contest – which, to me, just felt like I was reading what I’d written. (Apparently, I’m great at reading without sounding like I’m reading.) I was genuinely surprised that everyone gave me so much praise for it. Surely, it was not that big a deal. I was just completing the assignment, right?
It wasn’t until I entered college that I discovered that maybe I do have a gift. In Composition I, I remember feeling shocked and dismayed by the quality of my peers essays. Our whole class was asked to group up and share our essays with each other. That was the first time I’d ever been asked to review a peer’s work and give them feedback. Suddenly, I saw what everyone else had seen in me – I am a natural writer.
All that time I just thought I was a good student who learned how to apply what she learned in class. I really had no idea. Reading my peers essays changed my perspective big time. However, this discovery about my writing abilities didn’t force me to reconsider my major. I remember seeing my Comp teacher shake her head in disappointed when she heard that I’d chosen to peruse a career in finance instead of something related to writing. I just couldn’t see it yet. I’d always been great with math; plus, I loved calculating stuff, so I didn’t think anything of it when I choose to major in Finance. It was a no brainier.
When Things Started to Change
During my final years of college, I decided to take a course in Children’s Literature. I completed my assignments, emailed them to my instructor and anxiously awaited feedback. I remember being really nervous the first time I submitted an assignment because, again, my insecurities about my writing were making me feel like I would get a horrible review, such as, “You did this wrong and that wrong and that wrong.”
I came away from the course feeling more confident about my writing, but no more confident in my ability to use my writing to make a living. I guess as a little girl I picked up this idea that writers, artists, and musicians all had one thing in common: they were all broke!
I didn’t want to be broke!
Unfortunately, I finished my Finance degree broker than ever ($80,000 broker to be more precise) and since we were in the middle of an economic recession, I had a hard time finding employment.
And I thought getting an education in a high paying field would guarantee employment. Silly, me!
I ended up signing up for a certification program at a nearby college to specialize my education in the area of Personal Finance. (Actually, I hadn’t completed my BS degree when the certification program started. There was a one month overlap. Holy cow, that month was the craziest month of my school life!) Nine months later, I had a new, shiny certificate to brag about, but still wasn’t closer to landing employment.
Maybe it had something to do with my obviously pregnant belly. I don’t know. You tell me.
One Step Closer to Being a Writer
There I was, overly educated and bursting with knowledge to share with the world and I didn’t have a place of employment to exercise my new expertise. That’s when I started thinking outside of the box.
I’ll create a website for young adults about financial planning!
And I did, for about two years, actually. But then times got tough and I was too busy at my part-time job at a credit counseling agency to maintain the website, so I took it offline.
That was a very tough day for me. I loved writing content for my site and I loved the feedback I’d received from everyone who visited and commented. In hindsight, the break from it was beneficial.
During my time away from writing, I began a spiritual conversion that lead me to become a member of the Catholic Church. Those years of learning the faith of the Church allowed me to grow deeper than I could have ever imagined in my relationship with God. Now, when I want to take on new ventures, I first pray and consult with God about them and ask Him if my new venture will make the best use of the gifts He’s bestowed upon me.
How This Blog Evolved
In June 2015, I started a mommy blog called My Mommy Career, but after about 18 months, the subjects I wanted to write about shifted. At first, My Mommy Career was a typical mommy blog. Then, in October 2016, it morphed into a spiritual journey blog for moms – a positive place for moms to feel motivated and inspired. It was a place for them to turn to for spiritual information, such as natural and organic living, yoga, meditation, etc.
In January 2017, I converted My Mommy Career into From the Desk of Lauren. There, I continued the mission of my mom blog, but I also wrote about other life topics that guys could relate to as well.
But while I had good intentions, I wasn’t able to tap into my creative juices and lost my drive to blog. I occasionally posted updates about how I felt, like how I was receiving chiropractic treatments in addition to nutritional care. I even briefly took on a side hustle as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. And, actually, it was because of that slight life-detour that started a chain reaction of events that led me to where I’m at now. No, not because I made a bunch of money (I didn’t) – because somehow being surrounded by the Mary Kay culture reignited something inside of me that had burned out during my dark days. (You can read more about that here.)
With renewed spirit to pursue my writing dream, I created an entirely new website about moving that launched on September 25, 2017.
Feeling really good about where I was going with my writing passion and feeling better than I had in years, I then made the decision to rebrand this blog again. But this time I was done hiding from myself. And to prove it, I decided to strip down and just name it who I am – Lauren Sainz.
I have always been 100% committed to helping others by sharing my experiences with others. That hasn’t changed. The only thing that is different at this point in my life is I have renewed focus on my dreams. I took a dark turn back there and lost myself, including my self-worth. But I survived it. I overcame it. And I will push through life reminding myself everyday that I can’t go back.
Through my words, I want to help anyone who has ever felt the same and that is all the motivation I need to keep blogging.
I’ve been a writer all my life (from journaling to blogging). Even if I stop blogging, I’ll still be a writer. Writing helps me put things in perspective and helps me analyze my thoughts. It helps me share with others my struggles and my triumphs. It’s how I communicate with friends and family. Writing is my gift from God and I know that as long as I’m writing, my soul is smiling.
I’m a writer.