I have a dream.
I dream of writing a book. Pages and pages of words. My words.
I dream of crafting sentences, which, when read together, make a story. And since in the world of dreams, anything’s possible, I dream of a magnificent story. One that will touch people, expand their hearts, make them laugh some and maybe cry a little too.
I dream of black letters on white paper. Thoughts transformed into prose. My thoughts.
I dream of forever leaving a little piece of me behind for future generations to enjoy in their own here and now.
I dream of crafting a chance at immortality.
Dreaming’s easy and free. Turning the dream into reality has a price attached to it. The only currency is hard work.
There’s a seed within me. A seed that will not grow unless I feed it what it needs.
Commitment. Time. Patience. Dedication. Hope. Trust.
But feeding it is not enough. It must be guarded against the gnarly weeds of shame, anxiety and fear.
Fear creeps up and wants to expand and fill all the crevasses of my inner thoughts. Left unattended, it just keeps on growing, until the seed and everything else of worth inside of me suffocates and dies.
Fear’s emissaries are the nagging voices in my head. They are loud and shrill and their mission is to keep me at a standstill. They’re happier yet if I slide backwards. They come armed with treacherous gifts of poisoned truffles: a bitter ganache of lies coated in a sweet layer of truth.
It’s true that I’ve never written a novel before. But there must be a first time for everything.
It’s true that I don’t know what I’m doing. But I can learn.
It’s true there are millions of novels out there that will be better than my first one.
It’s true that it will take a long time. But it will never get finished if I don’t start.
It’s true that it may be hard to find an agent. But not impossible.
It’s true that it may never get published. But that’s not the point.
What is the point?
To learn. To grow. To do that which I think I cannot do (Eleanor Roosevelt). To silence the fear. To trash the lies. There are some things we can only learn by doing. There are lessons in life that only marriage taught me. There are lessons I learned only in the trenches of motherhood. I can only imagine how writing a novel with a beginning, a middle and an end would change me.
As thoughts transform into words, so would I be transformed.
As a plot takes shape, a new chapter of my own story would be written.
I don’t have to be the most talented, I just have to be.
I don’t have to do the best work. I just have to do something.
Show up. Be brave.
I don’t want life to happen TO me. I want to make IT happen.
The truth is that I’ll fail at some and succeed at the rest…but only if I try.
I’m 40. I don’t have the luxury of time to waste. Postponing my dreams will not slow down my life. I only have so many minutes left. I don’t know exactly what will happen in those minutes. But I know that one day the clock will stop ticking. My time will be up.
I would love for my last thoughts to be: I made the most of it. I gave more than I took. I tried more than I failed. I did more than I thought I could.
And long after I become a memory, I hope I will keep on living on…
…because I wrote.
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