But then there is something else.
Behind the unbridled joy intermingled with fear is something else. I didn't recognize it at first, but then it hit me like a lead weight to the face. Behind the complex brown eyes I have come to love, was guilt.
That feeling that shouldn't be there. Not even a little.
I almost yelled at him for it in the middle of a grocery store when I recognized it. His shoulders sagged and he seemed almost broken admitting that he hadn't had his full focus on work, or really anything else since the idea had overtaken him. I told him it was fine and I went on to tell him it was normal, throwing in a joke or two about how the only thing he should feel guilty about was not helping plan the wedding (he is, for the record, just in his own way).
That guilt however, has stuck with me. Looking back it's a guilt that I have also experienced. For me it comes November 1st and leaves somewhere around December 5th. NaNoWriMo has been a passion of mine for years. But it requires a level of dedication that often rivals anything else I have ever experienced in my life.
I have apologized to countless people for doing precisely what I love to do. I felt guilty for leaving them behind to follow my passion for the written word. More over I felt guilty for being what many would perceive as selfish. I've never been a selfish person, but during those days I become obsessive and yes, selfish. My story lines become my life. i can feel the words itching to come out. My fingers tap furiously on the keyboard and pile letter after letter creating heaps of words and potential upon an otherwise blank screen.
That guilt has also been one of the reasons why I stopped writing for a while.
Yes schedules became crazy, my work shifts flipped, and I received a promotion. I got engaged and my family became a focus while we all lost the patriarch of my fathers side of the family. Health is always a concern, and beyond that there are always excuses.
Guilt is now in the pile of excuses for me. I can not let that nagging feeling be the reason for putting my dreams to the side. It took seeing it in someone I love to hit that realization for myself.
So just as I encouraged him to follow his dreams, I'm taking mine back up. Here we go.