When I was a little girl, a very little girl, I wanted to be a ballerina. I could envision the stage, the music and my perfect, graceful body flying through space. But how did a three-year-old know about such things? My family came from farmers, people of the earth, not artists. What weird reconfiguration of fate placed me there? What master plan was in play?
I always felt just a little outside the family. As though I wasn’t really there. I was in a physical sense of course. I was the one with the blonde curls and soulful eyes. I was the wise child who didn’t say much but seemed to know plenty. The one who always wondered if the stork had made a wrong turn because of a snow storm or earthquake. The others fit into each other like puzzle pieces. They made a picture that made sense. I was the piece that no one could find the niche into which I belonged.
The next dream was to be a fireman. Then a teacher. Then a doctor. A bon vivant who strolled the streets of Paris singing out ‘bonjour, bonjour!’ My mind couldn’t settle on just one, I wanted to be them all. Perhaps that is how I came to writing. There are no limits there, you can be whoever and whatever you want to be. Just put the pen to paper and voila you are there, you are it. Simple. Easy. Well, not quite.
My head was in the clouds or off on some distant planet. My heart was wrapped in the colors of my imagination – such vibrant, dimensional colors that I never longed to be back on Earth. Yet, time and again I would be pulled back to perform a mundane task; laundry, cooking, making my bed, homework, going to work. And each time the me inside of me would protest, pout a little and carry on like the martyr I was. ‘It’s not fair,’ I’d mutter to myself. ‘I don’t want to do this.’ At which point the practical me would surface and scold. I had to work hard, I had to carry my weight, fulfill my obligations – life was expecting it of me and I acquiesced. Damn it! Damn it all to hell!
I comforted myself with the dream that one day I would have my dream. That one day I would finish all the chores and work and obligations and then I could really live my dream. Even though my dream was constantly shifting and changing shape and no matter how much I chased it, it could never be caught, I still dreamed of living my dream.
Is it an inherent quality of writers that they are never satisfied? Is it part of the spiritual and mental makeup of the scribe? Or is it that we can so easily assume the viewpoint of anyone and anything? That is a quality that has always annoyed many in my life. I can pick up an identity and be it – like that. I always have wondered if it’s a charm or a curse. I’m not sure I will ever be able to answer that question and maybe I prefer to have it lurking around in my psyche to tease and taunt me like a naughty lover who won’t commit. Meanwhile, half the time I feel like I should be committed.
So here I am, all grown up as they say and I’m still chasing the dream of the living the dream and I have to ask myself, ‘What is it?’ So many answers pop up, like impatient school children flailing arms in the air when they are sure they know the answer to the teacher’s question. But only answer that rings true is, writing. I want to write. I want to spend the rest of my life writing. And if I’m lucky I will die in front of my computer or at a desk with pen and pad in hand, in the middle of thought that was so pure and perfect that I had to get it down before I lost it. I may never amount to anything, be a someone, be sought after by fans or groupies or even get any of my books published BUT I will always write. And that makes me a writer because a writer writes. And so I am living my dream. So, it dreams to me now pretty damn fine.
Tell me your dreams.