Sunday, February 05, 2006
I've always been a daydreamer, and I've always had big juicy plans. My life was not going to be ordinary! I would sail the world, sparkle, write books, see both sides of the moon. And for so long those big dreams were a safe distance in the future. I never had to connect the dots from "here" to "there." I remember so clearly the days just after college when it began to dawn on me that it was time to connect those dots. A paralyzing feeling of helplessness came over me. I was just some penniless kid with a diploma clutched in her fist who had no idea where to start searching for that magic tightrope to dreams. It was terrifying. I didn't search much. I got a job -- a great job! -- editing travel guidebooks for Lonely Planet.
I, who had dreamed so much of traveling and writing, found myself in an office editing the writings of other travelers. Hm.
I know I'm not the only one who has ever carved themselves a safe little nook on the fringes of their dreams! There is much to be said for safety, for health insurance and home ownership and all that good stuff. But what is sadder than a whole lifetime spent skimming along that crust of ice that begins to form over your dreams, watching it get thicker and thicker as the years go by but remaining always transparent so you can look through and see your dreams forever as they grow more and more misty and inaccessible? That's what happens when you "approximate" your dreams by choosing the closest safe alternative!
After two years I quit my job and went into debt to go to art school. I told myself, what's the price of one new car, more or less, for a whole lifetime of dreams? And I think it's worked out pretty well, happily! I didn't come out of art school six years ago with a map to that magic tightrope to dreams, but rather, that first big HUGE commitment showed me what I think we all already know: that the tightrope is invisible, and it's forged with every step you take. Following your dreams sounds like a grand romantic notion, but in fact it's a daily trudge, and not for the faint of heart!
I have heard myself say, in the past, the more people who aren't willing to take the risk, the better for those of us who are. But honestly, I think we could do worse than to live in a world full of daydreamers walking invisible tightropes towards self-fulfillment, and I wish more of us could find the confidence to put our dreams first!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 11:49 PM