Since this is my journal, where I can say anything I want, I’m going to be honest. My dream is to become a fiction author. When I think of my perfect life, I picture people reading the stories that have been in my head for so long. I picture being the author at book signings, hearing how my words changed lives. I dream of people admiring, respecting, and being interested in my art. Instead of rolling their eyes at another foolish dreamer. Despite spending four years pursuing a degree in Psychology, I have constantly been asked if I was studying English. People praise my passion for reading, my natural skill for writing, and my observant quiet demeanor. I spent elementary school escaping to the fictional world’s inside my head all the time. I was the weird kid who spent recess with her imaginary friends going on adventures. I want to write these stories down. I love to write. I need to write.
Today I went to an author signing. Now, after getting my degree in Psychology, I have tried to quiet the idealist inside my head. I am going to be a psychologist now. It has been decided. I need money. I need to make a living. I can change lives there. But it has never felt like the right path for me. Not once has it felt like my destiny, my passion, or my desire. It’s a field that needs to be my focus if I want to succeed. Everything else must get brushed aside so that I can allow Psychology to take over my life and time. Yet. The idea terrifies me. The artistic, romantic, and imaginative parts of my personality are what draw people to me. They are the parts I love about myself. The things I ramble on about, the things that keep me up at night, the things that make life worth living. The idea of throwing all that away seems unfathomable to me. Every time I humor that passion, it hurts a little more. This is the life I was meant to live. I’m on the wrong path.
Today at the book signing, I was watching the author with a keen eye. Seeing how he acted, listening to what he had to say, and watching how he interacted with his fans. He was awkward, kind of shy, humble, imaginative, and amazed by the world around him. He mentioned a childhood that consisted of wandering around empty buildings, reading any book he could get his hands on, and imagining up entire worlds. It was impossible to ignore how much he reminded me of myself. To see those personality traits and skills appreciated was a beautiful thing. It was like all of the things I had considered flaws in myself were validated. They are not flaws. When used correctly, in the right context, they are strengths. My personality, my talent, my passion…it could be my greatest strength.
Maybe I’m a dumb dreamer. A fool. An idealist. Another naive idiot with delusions of grandeur. But it’s been 22 years and I just cannot let this dream die. I feel broken, disillusioned, and lost without this part of myself. I have a story inside of me. Of that I am certain. I finally have a dream. I finally have a goal. Yes, I’ve still got to find a job that pays with benefits. But I am tired of listening to my parents condescendingly telling me that I need to shut out that part of myself in order to follow the stable comfortable path. Not once in my life has that been the pathway for me. Suddenly I feel like my life has purpose again. I have a story to tell. And, damn it, I’m going to tell it.