Many of you know me as a Rebecca Hawkes, but in real life most people know me as Becca Bryer. Rebecca Hawkes was a pen name I created when I began to write about adoption issues on my blog Love Is Not a Pie. At that time, I needed the anonymity of a pen name. It freed me somehow to write openly about a sensitive, deeply personal topic without self-censorship. Hawkes was a significant choice; it is a surname that appears in the maternal genealogical lines of both my adoptive and biological families. And it served me well.
But after a while, I had wrung every drop out of the topic of adoption. I was done. I didn't realize it at first. I kept thinking I'd come back to writing about adoption. But I never did.
Meanwhile my life went on. I left a career of 21 years in publishing to start a completely new career in the mental health field. I parented my three amazing teen daughters as they moved increasingly towards independence. I got sick (chronic but not life threatening), went to A LOT of doctor's visits, got a little but not completely better, and adapted to my new reality as a chronically not-quite-well person. My original mother moved to my area, and we slipped relatively seamlessly into a new normal. (You can read more about that at Lost Daughters.) I turned 50, and stopped caring what anyone thought. That may be a slight exaggeration but not much. For some reason, 50 felt like freedom. I started dressing in brighter colors. I started taking up more space in conversation, and apologizing less. I became a LuLaRoe retailer and spent a year trying to figure out how to run a business in my spare time (ha ha ha ha!), while also working full time and parenting. And it was hard, but I loved it.
Then I started to get that feeling. It was a familiar feeling, though I hadn't experienced it in a while. The urge to write.
So here I am, a middle-aged slightly unhinged woman with too many projects, barreling towards what I refuse to call "the empty nest" (because "empty nest" sounds sad and lonely, evoking an image of a somewhat purposeless left-behind parent, when to me the upcoming phase of life feels full of possibility). And I've decided to write about that life, without really knowing what will come out. I've created something both wonderful and terrifying to a writer: a blank page.
The adoption posts have all come down and have been converted into a Word document for editing into book form. Stay tuned for more information on that project. (As I said to my mother the day I got the book idea into my head, "I've decided that instead of cleaning up my house and sorting through the giant pile of laundry I will instead launch into another major project." To which she replied, "My girl!")
Whether you are a former reader of my Rebecca Hawkes writing or a new friend who has just arrived, welcome! I don't know exactly what's ahead, but I'm delighted to have you along for the ride!