Following a dream with Shinazy
I’m standing in line at Starbucks day-dreaming about ordering my current favorite. Behind me are two young women discussing their future. The tall one tells her friend, “Why don’t you just give up? No one’s going to publish your poems.” To this, the poet sighs, “But it’s my dream.”
Dreaming one thing, doing another – being a poet laureate, published author, a professional writer.
I, too, wrote poems during those brooding adolescent years. On lined binder paper, secured in a black plastic spiral notebook, I deposited lyrical expressions, images of the torture of being misunderstood. I had dreams of publishing my work. But, then my focus changed. Boys distracted me and I postponed my dream.
In my 20s, I started writing a novel, “Imprisoned Shadow“, a tale of a young woman who had yet to discover her identity and her strength. However, this time, it was the joy of raising a family that distracted me and I blissfully postponed my dream.
Then, the worst day of my life occurred, I had my 30th birthday! Remember, we couldn’t trust anyone over 30. With my years of parenting experience, I decided to write a child user guide – an updated version of the Dr. Spock’s Baby & Child Care™.
It was an encyclopedia, providing all my practical “know how” of what to-do and when-to-do it, such as placing a plastic wading pool under the highchair when teaching a child how to drink from a cup; or laying a full-length mirror sideways on the floor so that a playmate was always in the room. I typed and typed, and typed, one copy for me, one copy for my publisher. But soon my “job” became a “career”, distracted I became, postponed became my dream.
In the prehistoric days before Starbucks and Pete’s Coffee became as essential to the very function of my life, I was introduced to espresso. As this new love affair began, a new problem presented itself: where could I find great coffee outside my neighborhood? Ah, ha! I saw a need for a coffee travel book. And, of course, I was the perfect person to write the “Latte Highway.”
But, alas, as time passed, the promise of the next best-selling travel guide became more and more faint, and then stilled altogether as the emergence of a new diversion reared its head: the birth of the Starbucks Reward Card. The almost sinister lure of endless ounces of this steamy black elixir had tempted me away from my original purpose. I heard it whisper, “Why write when you can simply drink and enjoy all the rewards?” I took the bait. For years afterward, my caffeine-infused mind occasionally would ask. “Now, where did I put that dream?”
Fast-forward and my dreams of publishing had morphed into jotting down fragments of information. No published poems, no great American novel, no guides, nor tales. Instead, I composed concise memos, well-crafted business strategies, procedures, emails, texts.
Then one day I wondered, did my desire to write – really write – ever fade away? Or, did it remain crouching behind my memories and to-do lists. Can a dream be resurrected? Is it ever too late?
Nay, it’s never too late. Today is a new day and here I sit at my computer typing, writing, telling stories. Living my dream, again!
photo by shinazy
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