Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have author Robyn Roze asking and answering the important questions.
First, I want to thank Joanne for inviting me to include my second act story with hers and so many other interesting women. All of your stories are inspiring.
I’m a wanderer by nature. Always have been. I’m not much for planning too far into the future, because I could change my mind, my direction. Having said that, it won’t come as a surprise that as a young girl, a young woman, and now a mature woman, closing ever so quickly in on the half-century mark, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Well, except that I’ve always known I wanted to be happy, healthy, considerate, open-minded, and compassionate. The very same things I hope my own children will be when they grow up. But that’s not what people mean when they ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Frankly, I never had an answer for that question. At least not one I felt completely comfortable with, or confident about. My interests varied, my focus shifted over time and there was never an overarching gut sense of what I should be. I must admit, I’m still a bit jealous of people who know at a young age exactly what they want to be when they grow up. And then go on to pursue and achieve the very thing they always knew they wanted to be. How wonderful it must be to have that kind of certainty in life. But not me. So, I plodded through college and earned a bachelor’s degree. Only to return some years later for another degree, hoping to garner marketable skills and a bigger paycheck; not because I’d had an epiphany about what I wanted to be.
Then when my son and daughter were old enough to begin thinking about their own futures, they asked me the burning question from my youth, the one I’d never felt comfortable answering. I understood in that moment what they were really asking: “How do you know what you want to be when you grow up?” And, “Are you doing it?” I was honest with them, as I have always been. So, my kids, not satisfied with my answer, changed the question and drilled down to the heart of the matter: “What would you be if you could be anything?” I think that was the first time I’d ever been asked that question, and my answer was instant: “I would be a writer.” I remember that day clearly with my kids, because for the first time I understood I had always known what I wanted to be. I had never given that answer before, because I knew it would be dismissed and the question rephrased to: “What do you want to be that will earn you money and pay the bills?”
And that is a valid question, too.
I’m all for pursuing dreams, but bills do have to be paid and children do have to be fed. However, what I discovered that day with my kids is that I had only been paying the bills and had dismissed my dream. So, in my late forties and with the unwavering support of my husband, I dared to pursue my dream of writing. I have self-published four books to date and am currently working on my fifth. I write the kind of stories I want to read; a nod to one of my favorite quotes, by the way. The process has been difficult and rewarding, all at once. I have connected with some amazing people during my journey, my second act. Writers and fans, some, who have even turned into friends. Lucky me.
No matter how my second act turns out, I am grateful for the insightful question my kids asked me that day. The question that shifted my focus, reopened my eyes, and pushed me to wander down a new path. Pushed me to do more than just pay the bills.
We all have obligations that must be met. But once you’ve met them, live your dream. Don’t get stuck in the rut of just paying the bills when you grow up. My kids taught me that. And in return, I hope I’ve shown them how to do both.
Shayna Chastain’s marriage crashed and burned. She walked away, bruised, but not broken, without so much as a glance over her shoulder at her philandering husband. Oh, his betrayal stung, but Shayna has experienced loss before. She knows it comes for you when you least expect it.
Now feeling a bit past her prime and wanting a new direction in life, Shayna reawakens the woman she remembers being before marrying Frank Chastain. She wants a different life from the one she’s been living. However, she doesn’t have much support from her family and friends who think she’s made a regrettable decision.
Frank Chastain, Mt. Pleasant’s steely real estate mogul, begrudgingly signed the dissolution papers Shayna forced on him. He never wanted to divorce the love of his life. Always believed they could work it out.
She’ll be back.
He’s sure of it.
Now more than ever, he needs that to be true. Events have conspired in his life that could blow open the secret he’s been hiding. He needs Shayna to help him seal it shut, but it may already be too late.
Sean Parker owns an Italian restaurant that has become Shayna’s oasis, giving her respite from the swirling storm around her. Their attraction is instant, but the fallout will last a lifetime. Sean’s smooth, handsome exterior hides an unsavory past that he walked away from years ago and has no intention of revisiting, or discussing.
If it’s really in the past, is it even anyone’s business? Sean sees no point in being an open book. What matters is right now. And right now, there’s no way in hell he’s going to lose the only woman he’s ever loved. The only woman he can’t live without.
But life doesn’t always let us keep our secrets. And these secrets are about to explode to the surface with far-reaching, deadly consequences.
How well do you know the people you love?
Even the one’s you’ve known most of your life…
**Mature themes and sexual content for 18+**
Where to find Robyn…
Robyn, thank you for reminding us to ask the “right” questions. And congratulations on your literary achievements!