Did you ever have "something" happen that changes the course you've set for yourself? Something that maybe didn't happen directly to you. Maybe it happened to someone else. Maybe it happened to the population in general. Maybe you just saw it on TV. But, that thing stops you in your tracks. It scrambles your brain, makes you gasp, and makes you take a step back in disbelief. And then, it makes you decide to take massive action in a totally different direction than the one you'd planned to take. This is commonly referred to as a sea change.
Recently, I experienced just such a "something". I didn't see it coming. I'd planned to keep writing the Weird & Wacky Planet series, do some school visits, some book signings, but generally with the goal to make enough to stay at home with my dog, Jack. Yes, of course, educating and entertaining kids and exposing them to conservation practices was certainly up there on the priority list. At the very least, it was equal with staying at home with Jack, but I felt I could do both equally as well. Why not? As a writer, I'm an introvert by nature. Most of us are. That life had a definite appeal. Stay at home, kick out some more books with Jack in her office chair right beside mine, not drive in snow storms, order groceries online. You know, THE LIFE. (Arguably, also the beginning of Agoraphobia, but I was kinda cool with that. )
Then, the "something" happened. And, this is what it was:
The current administration made it legal to bring animal parts from lions and endangered elephants into the USA. Parts means mounted heads. Parts means tusks. Parts means death. To an endangered species. Did I not just write two books on endangered animals? Did I not have four more planned? Did all the laws in place protecting elephants from the ivory trade mean nothing? Did the uproar over Cecil the Lion not have any impact? Did conservation efforts, always an uphill battle, just take a giant step backward? I was stopped in my tracks. My brains were scrambled. It made me gasp. I took a step back in disbelief.
But then, something strange happened. I began to see all the good things that could come from this. What GOOD could POSSIBLY come from this, you ask? My short answer is this:
Realization. Galvanization. Organization. Activation. The realization that my work, my message, my impact is important. More so now than ever before. I have been galvanized to stop thinking small. The world is not served by me staying home with my dog. I am getting organized by getting lists together: of schools, of events, of corporate partners. The more kids' eyeballs I can get on my work, the bigger impact I can have. And, last, but never least, from this point on, I will forever think of myself as an Animal Advocate.
Just like that, K.B. Carr-Author, Accidental Adventuress, and ACTIVIST is born. No more playing small. No longer on the road to Agoraphobia.
I'm sorry, Jack.