I don’t want to sound like a song out of a fairytale or a bad version of a graduation speech. But really. I have to say writing has brought me much more than I ever expected; something so intangible and wonderful that I burst and explode when someone asks me. The ability to dream again.
When I was little, I wanted to be a ballerina, dancing in my tutu and spinning around. Then, I fell in love with all the old movies and the glamorous Hollywood starlets, the Ginger Rogers, the Judy Garlands, and the Vivien Leigh’s of that era and of course wanted to be a movie star.
In college, I majored in theater and even started to pursue a career in it. It still eludes me to this day, why I stopped. I guess it was a combination of a lot of things. I transferred colleges, re-thought the idea of the struggling actress waiting on tables, and fell in love with my abnormal psychology class, but all in all, my guess is that I caved. I kowtowed to a world around me that asked, “So, when are you going to get a REAL major?” I guess I did it because I wasn’t ready to handle that kind of battle. So, I majored in something practical, got a job, got married, had a kid and then what? Life, death, finances slapped me in the face and I found myself eking by; just existing from one day to the next, from one paycheck to the next. Sure, there are things that make you happy, the touch of a little hand, sweet butterfly kisses and of course, chocolate. Through it all there’s always been chocolate 🙂
But I realized I had stopped dreaming, stopped asking, “What if,” and stopped imagining anything other than what the present held. I didn’t window shop or catalogue shop. I never said, “One day I’d like to get that. One day I’d like to go there.” Life had sucked that kind of dreaming away from me. In my heart, I felt that I would never have “that” because I needed to buy my son new school clothes, and I would never go “there” because I could barely make the mortgage. The ability to see anything beyond my cloud ceased to exist, then, I stumbled into writing.
I can’t express on paper…er…computer screen what writing has brought to me. All I know is that I get this wistful look in my eyes and I can’t stop talking about it when I’m sharing something about my writing. I’m filled with joy, and…dreams. Dreams that I dare to dream, now. In reality, I know that getting published is a long shot. I know it could take years. I know that it’s extremely difficult, but you see, it is a possibility. It exists. The idea that one day, just maybe one day…and that means more to me than anything.
I’ve found something new and exciting, beautiful and challenging that I never knew existed in me. Every day I battle self-doubt, self-sabotage and the non-stop beckoning of my pillow to come and take a nap, for nothing other than to have a beautiful dream and feel alive once more. When a song inspires me, or a commercial, or some situation triggers a new story in my head, it’s as if live wires were connected to my brain from something outside me, and it’s invigorating. I feel so lucky that my best friend pursued her dream and let me share it. Now, I share it with others, whether they want me to or not, and have been told more than once that I am an inspiration. Wow. That’s one of the best compliments that I’ve ever gotten.
Not too long ago, a co-worker asked me if there was “a buck” in what I was doing. And what I had been doing was toiling over a manuscript for about a year, sinking in my blood, sweat, and tears. My very soul. My response, “No, I’m doing it for the love of writing…” Sounds kinda corny and cliché’ but for the most part it sums it up, but not entirely. Writing has given me new air, new life, a new existence. Whether it’s the act of creating, the ability to share it or helping others to create it, it’s a new path. A new path with dreams and aspirations, the intangibles that somehow got lost along the way. So, my advice to anyone who reads this. Find it, find your passion, and dream. You won’t regret it, it’s delicious.