I love this quote. “Follow your inner moonlight. Don’t hide the madness.”
I’m sure it can mean many things to many people. But it makes me think of all those nights in my late thirties, when I lay awake feeling so strongly that I was in the wrong place in life, doing the wrong thing.
From the outside I’m sure I looked happy. Married, with a pretty little house in San Francisco, an adorable dog and a successful career. But at night, when the day was done, I was haunted by the truth of my world. I was married to the wrong person. My work left me stressed and exhausted. And I longed for the courage to follow my dreams. Dreams of having a child, of finding someone who made me feel truly loved, and being brave enough to write the stories that filled my mind.
I was thirty-nine. People told me I was crazy to leave my marriage. They said the chances of meeting the great love I dreamed of were very low at my age. That I was probably already too old for a baby. They giggled at my writing dreams, implying that writing romance was a strange and low-class thing to aspire to. And they reminded me that people who wrote books rarely got published anyway. I felt like everywhere I turned, from friends to therapists to self-help books, I was told the same thing. Make peace with the status quo. Be grateful for what I had.
But at some point, my inner moonlight, that madness, that yearning for the things I needed like air, took over. I had no idea how my life would end up, but I knew that this could not be it.
So, I started a book. I left my unhappy marriage. And you know what? All those well-meaning friends, therapists and self-help authors, who told me to accept my life as it was, were wrong. I found the person who truly loves me. We had a child. And to date, I’ve written and sold seven novels and a short story, and self-published a novella.
Maybe it’s madness, but it’s my madness. From the moment I met my husband, I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be. Our son, my miracle baby, is the light of my life. And the stories just keep coming, each one bringing its own sense of wonder and magic.
So this is my pep talk. Follow your path, even if others think it’s a bit odd. And I promise you, they will. I still get questions from those well-meaning friends. “So do you really enjoy writing those novels? Is that what you’re going to do now?” Or— when I explained that the Harlequin line that I wrote for had closed down— “Well, maybe this is your chance to look for a real job.”
Those comments don’t feel great, but I’ve realized that it doesn’t really matter if people support or understand my dream. It’s my moonlight. My madness. And it has brought so much joy and change and challenge and growth into my life.
So I’m going to continue following my moonlight. And, Dear Reader, I hope you are following yours.