When Jessica Rinker said she had made “unconventional choices” as a mother, I was intrigued. I’m currently obsessed with ideas of unconventional lives for women. Some days, I feel so overwhelmed by these little children I have. I wonder when I will feel rested, when I’ll have time again to just sit for hours and write, or even read. I feel time passing at a rapid pace. When they turn eighteen and go to college, I’ll be in my fifties. During our nightly bedtime routine, which can take anywhere from one to two hours, I think about the words my fingers are itching to type and by the time I’m free I can barely keep my eyes open.
Have you seen The Kindergarten Teacher on Netflix yet? It’s about a teacher who thinks her student might be a poetic genius, and she wants to do everything in her power to protect his gift. Its star, Maggie Gyllenhaal, says of her character, “she’s an artist and nobody cares about her work. She doesn’t have any kind of artistic connection or human connection, and she’s driven crazy by the insanity of the culture and the time she finds herself in. (She lives in the same time that we do.)”
This interview is so meaningful and relevant to me. Jessica is the author of Gloria Takes a Stand (March 2019, illustrated by the fabulous Daria Peoples-Riley!) and the upcoming middle grade book, The Dare Sisters (2020), described as The Goonies meets Little Women (yes please!), and as you’ll see below, she has so much more in the works. Once she got started, she really never stopped.
For anyone out there struggling to find space for your own creativity, this interview will inspire you. Jessica’s ambition is unapologetic and her commitment is fierce. Maybe you don’t have children. Maybe it’s a demanding career. Maybe you’re a care taker. Maybe you simply don’t believe in yourself enough right now to pursue what’s in your heart. It is so easy to lose yourself to parenthood. Not only easy, but sometimes necessary. Kids need A LOT. But it is also necessary to protect and fight for your own time. The cost of not doing it is too much. These words are just what I needed. Maybe you need them, too.