When I was a kid, I wanted to be a rock star, a teacher, and a writer.
Let's face it. I had no chance of ever becoming a rock star. I can't sing. I quit the clarinet, and really, what rock band is looking for a woodwind player anyway? Plus, I really don't want the rock star life. I can sing in my car at the top of my lungs, and that makes me happy enough. I let go of the rock star dream a long, long time ago.
I did end up becoming a teacher, though not at all in the way I had envisioned. I was going to be a Social Studies teacher, and then I was going to be a school librarian, and then, well, it seems I became a homeschooler. Trust me, that was not really on my radar until a few months before we decided to take the plunge. So here we have a dream come true.
The third one, however, is a tough one. I have an abundance of thoughts swirling in my head at all times. Sometimes they are stories about made up lands and made up people, and sometimes I am really afraid that I am supposed to tell my own story. I cannot even begin to tell you how terrifying that is to me.
I've always expressed myself best through writing. I have a hard time being really open and real face-to-face. Some of you are going to psychoanalyze that. Anyway, it's so much easier for me to make sense out of all the noise in my head when I can take the time to write. I'm not quick enough for most arguments. I say the wrong thing ALL THE TIME. Not just something that offends someone, or hurts someone's feelings, but I literally say things I don't mean, and then chastise myself for doing so. I have to think out loud, and if someone isn't willing to listen to me go through that process, then there's a communication breakdown. And believe me, it's not a trait that I am especially pleased to possess, but it's how I am wired. My point is, writing helps me think out loud, but I can backspace and erase half of it and start over. Verbal communication doesn't work like that. I prefer writing.
When I was younger, I wrote constantly. I wrote short stories. I wrote (terrible) poetry. I started writing a novel in junior high. I journaled, a lot. Really, this blog is my journal every now and then (like today), but I rarely journal anymore. I did NaNoWriMo last year, and felt like a massive failure. I wrote. And wrote. And it was just garbage. Horrid. I never let anyone read it, and I deleted it.
I have been thinking about becoming a writer, and maybe it's time for me to just let it go. I mean, I got the teacher thing. I feel like a rock star when I play Rock Band. I don't need to hang on to being a writer. I tell myself it's okay; I don't really have anything to say. No one would want to hear it anyway.
On the one hand, I think I should just give up, and grow up, and let go of childish dreams. On the other hand, I think dreams are one of the best things about life. Writing has been that thing that I'll do one day. I think this dream is part of who I am.
The other day I saw one of those cheesy quote things on Pinterest:
I realized something when I read this. I am afraid of letting go and putting myself out there for critique and criticism. I do not take criticism well at all. I'm hard enough on myself that I can barely stand anything extra. Fear is a terrible reason for me to stop dreaming about becoming a writer. Quite honestly, I realized that I am already a writer. No, I'm not a great writer, and that's okay. But I do have something to say. I have worlds to create, people to tell you about, and stories to share. Maybe even my own.
I'm keeping this dream.