We sat across from each other at a little round oak table finishing up our supper. We hadn’t been dating long and were still in the beginning stages of exploring one another, learning all there is to know. Things like favorite colors, how many dogs we’ve had, places we’ve visited. We were new to each other so talking and kissing is what we did. A lot.
And then he asked, “What are your dreams?”
The answer didn’t come to me quickly. It wasn’t simple like yellow, three, or Boston. I paused, I stammered, but I couldn’t come up with a dream.
“I guess I’m doing it.” I replied. “I’ve done everything I’ve wanted. I’m content where I’m at right now.”
Maybe it was the way he looked at me. Maybe it was me, but a feeling of failure overcame me. Is this it? Is this all I want? Is that the best answer I’ve got?
Then nonchalantly, I let it out. I said it. I released my dream. The dream I’ve been afraid to tell anyone. The dream I didn’t even want to admit to myself. I told it for the universe and everyone to hear.
“Well. I’d like to be a writer.” I felt my insides crumble. My anxiety rose. Will he laugh? Will I fail? Will the universe shake its head in disgust?
The years have come and gone. I’ve written. I’ve submitted. I’ve been rejected. But I will persevere.
I just finished a book by Amy Greene entitled Bloodroot. She’s a debut novelist who wrote an awesome story. I love debut novelists. You know they’ve tried hard, as hard as they could. I rejoice when a first timer’s book makes a best seller. What an accomplishment. I imagine myself. I study the books and envision my name instead on the front cover. Sometimes I even believe it can happen. I get so wrapped up in these debut authors so much that I read their interviews and their stories. I study their writing process. I learn of their backgrounds and search for connecting threads to convince me that if they can do it, so can I.
Then I hear how they met so and so who introduced them to such and such who lined them up with this agent who loved their stuff who submitted it to the top publishing company in the U.S. who made a book that went best seller. And the demon of doubt knocks on my door, and foolishly I invite him in. We sit on the couch, I offer him a drink. Then he tells me, ‘here you sit in the panhandle of Texas with nothing but tumbleweeds and windmills, listening to the wind blow the prairie grasses, existing where agents, authors, and publishing houses might as well be a foreign country. You don’t have a chance’. I agree with him. I know he’s right. It’s a stupid dream.
But sometimes, like today, I politely show him the door.
And I’ll persevere.