When I’m showering, or biking, or doing just about anything where my mind is allowed to wander, I am a fantastic writer. It all goes downhill when I sit down to actually create anything. I guess it takes me back to why I changed this blog – to practice writing and get better at this creation process in the format I’m most comfortable, creatively speaking. I’ve failed at keeping up with this blog, but it has been in favor of living life and having a few new adventures. Still, the “f” word looms with my writing and so much more. Perhaps this is writing as catharsis today.
I’m 36 years old. I often love my life and all that I get to do. I love Dan, my cats, my city, and the adventures I’ve found along the way. I wish I could travel more, but I absolutely love that I’ve traveled where I have. I’m blessed to be in a relationship that is a partnership, and that my partner enjoys taking dance lessons enough for it to be a regular thing. So why the FAIL word? It’s more about where I think I should be as a professional and my inability to fulfill those childhood dreams.
I love it when children talk about what they want to be when they grow up. It’s so unfettered by the “plan” of next steps. I want to be a doctor! No worries about test scores or if the child will get into med school. I want to be a performer! This was me. I wanted to sing, dance, and act. I really believed this was my calling. I was also an honors student who excelled in Physics and English in high school. My sophomore English teacher, Miss Huesmann, told my mother that English and my writing would be my ticket to success. I took that to heart since high school was neatly eliminating that “I can be anything I want to be” hope of childhood. Too bad I didn’t have more confidence in my math and science skills (I wasn’t joking about that Physics thing).
So, here I am and still wondering…what DO I want to be when I grow up? Except I’m grown up. Past the age of asking and a BA and MBA into my education with an established career. My new question is “what do I want to do when I retire?” As if, having a career has meant putting all dreams aside or on hold until that magical time when I can pursue them “just for fun.” Still, I can’t shake the feeling I failed that little girl who once saw an interview with Dolly Parton who said that she just knew she was going to make it big, and that little girl said, “me too.” I don’t want to be a famous actress by any means, but that can make me sad because I lost that single vision of a grand dream. In my 20s (and I still do sometimes), I thought of being a writer, and I told people of that dream. I still remember being taken aback when a roommate of a friend asked me one day, “did you start your novel yet?” I didn’t even remember telling him my dream, and I felt shame in saying “no” and knowing that it wasn’t happening anytime soon….possibly ever.
In theory, failure is something that can be measured and easily ascertained, but in the eyes of the individual who has had dreams unfulfilled, it can lurk in our hearts ready to intrude on the every day successes of life. F may be for the failure to follow the dreams of my childhood but it’s also for the fear that holds us back and dictates that situation. I won’t be a performer on Broadway and I may never write a novel, but I will dance with the love of my life and write a blog for my friends and family to enjoy. I will never be satisfied, so I’m always dreaming new dreams and looking to the next big adventure or challenge. I’ll admire those who follow their lifelong dreams and find inspiration to kill the fear and discover that F is for…