Thursday, December 29, 2005

Following Your Dreams

The last entry took on a life of its own as I wrote it. At first I was focusing on the dreams I had as a child and how they vanished as I became an adult. I can barely recall them. And only a handful.  

How do they fade? And why? Is it because as we age we tend to accept the hand dealt to us? Do we tend to cope with the disappointments that accompanies leaving childhood behind as we enter adulthood? The crushing expectations of others thrust upon us, responsibilities and obligations....are these the things that squeeze the hope from our souls?  

I always have had a vivid imagination. I wanted to grow up and  be a writer. I remember  taking a creative wiritng class my Junior year in High School. At the end of the quarter we handed in our stories. After she graded them, without telling us who wrote them, she began to read selected ones aloud to us.   She picked up the last one telling us it was the best. Imagine my shock as she began to read my paper! I was so embarrassed. I can still feel how flushed and hot my face became. I distinctly remember sliding down in my desk and trying to disappear. Bonnie was sitting next to me and at the end of my story I looked over at her and was astonished to see her wiping tears from her face. I could move someone to tears?? It was a very poignant story told from a childs point of view about the death of his older brother.  

It was then that I realized how tricky writing actually can be. To offer up a part of yourself in the written work for others to read and criticize, love or hate, ridicule or admire. It is just very scary stuff.  

Where did that dream go? Is there a heaven for discarded dreams? 

I started college in the early 1970's as an English major. That ended in disaster! I actually majored in Having Fun. I got A's in that, and failed pretty much everything else. When I returned to school in the 1980's, I no longer had those dreams of writing and being a journalist. I wanted to be in business. Yuck!! What was I thinking????!!!!!  

If only I had followed that dream......  

It would be interesting to know which paths I would have walked down rather than the ones I stumbled upon.


yakima127 said...

I think this way, sometimes, too...JAE

tc01hm said...

We all stumble down our paths unless we have direction that overwhelmingly keeps us upright. From where that sense of direction evolves is a debate for philosophy, religion and retrospective thought. Intuitive talent may not represent the challenges for a direction. When we learn to walk, we stumble and right ourselves over and over. As with a toddler, we wish to run before we master the art of walking.
Nice to reconcile with dreams and friends.

nellemclaughlin said...

I loved to write too. I had a book of stories I had written in the fourth grade and my mother threw it away when we moved to NJ. I was devastated. I love to read and write. I When I was in college the professor told me I should "test out" of the two writing classes and I did. Since then I have done nothing. My journal was an opportunity to write but usually I am just sharing thoughts and not writing using imagination. You and I share a LOT of interests.

suzypwr said...

Maybe you weren't ready before. Maybe you are now!

yakima127 said...

I think you should write NOW!  Right now!!!  JAE

sunflowerkat321 said...

I often wonder about the road not taken.  My life would have been so different if I'd gone where I intended to go.  I was led of course by "love".  I don't regret it, I love the 3 children that resulted.  But I think about who I might have been.  She's still in me....somewhere.

readmereadyou said...

There's a line in "Bridges of Madison County".......I won't get it exactly right.
"The old dreams may not have come true but they were good dreams and I'm glad I had them."

Kinda like how I feel. I think you're right, we do give up the dreams as we get older in a sense.....but it's never too late to write. You're a wonderful writer. Take a half hour a day to write something that when you're 90, you can look back on and say......I kept my dream alive and I'm happy.

Happy New Year,

mavarin said...

First of all, Mary, you ARE a writer.  What do you think this journal is, "just typing"?  The series you wrote on your Cancun experience was especially good, and could be adapted into something professional, if it's not too late by now.  

As you probably know, I was an English and Film major way-back-when, but the degree I finally got this year was in business/accounting.  Do I regret that?  Not even a teeny tiny bit!  That accounting degree got me a good job, and it does NOTHING to diminish the dream.  I WILL get those novels published, regardless of what the degree qualifies me to do for a living.  

There's no reason in the world you can't keep your current job and still write.  After all, you already do that.  It's just a question of where your direct your writing, and how badly you want it.

Go to it!


myrdog said...

I didn't really have any dreams beyond getting married. Couldn't afford college. I wanted to be an artist but have just enough talent to be frustrated. I like to write but don't have the desire unless I am taking classes and they are hard to find. The ones I can afford anyway. I had a lot of stories about growing up and lost half of them . I tried to think what my dreams are now and I really don't have any. Guess it's too late. Just want to see my son happily married, my older daughter's restaurant do well and my younger daughter be happyand build the house she wants and I want my grandchildren to grow up happy and decent.

artloner said...

Don't have to have a degree in writing to be a writer, kiddo.  You're already there.


ryanagi said...

Ooo there goes that eerie similarity thing again. I got "A"s in party time and goofing off my first time through college too.  Then I went back and majored in Computer Science (aspirations at work). I did eventually switch to English to try and follow my heart and dreams, but I was derailed by a health crisis. Maybe I'll still go back to finish one of these days. But I agree with everyone else. You are already a writer. Put a check mark next to that dream.

mtrib2 said...

I can tell you want to reawaken that creativity in your mind.  Sometimes in life we come to a fork in the road.   As Yogi Berra said: "take it".   But seriously, if you want to be creative, it has to come from a personal place.  It is art for art's sake.  When the time is right, you will write about those things that are deep within you.   It is something that is important to you, and it will not be a struggle to uncover it.  Rather than forcing yourself into a field that has little tangible promise of a career, you thought it was necessary to find sustainable employment.   Now that you have achieved a steady and regular form of income, you are free to pursue your desire to craft you talent.  It's rewards will not necessarily monetary, but will fill the void that you feel from not divulging your spirit.    mark

mymaracas said...

I agree with the others, you already are a writer.

Go for it, girl.

sunnyside46 said...

very interesting point of view.
It got me thinking, which is another benefit of good writing.
Most of the things I have done in my life, I stumbled across rater than strode purposely toward.
My life has turned out much  I dreamed it would as a young woamn, jsut not as grandiose.
I alway s come away from your entries a slightly different person, which is another thing writers are supposed to do for us.