No matter what you do in life, there’s always someone who’s going to tell you what you should be doing and how you should be doing it. Sometimes it’s a well-intentioned partner, friend, or teacher who are concerned about you. You tell them that you want to be a novelist or a sculptor, and they’ll say, “That’s crazy. You can’t make a living that way. Get a real job.” Don’t listen to them. In fact, the best thing you can do is keep your head in the clouds.
The Lost Dream
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer. But attitudes in my circle of influence (my family) were not favourable to a life in the arts. Writers, musicians, filmmakers, painters, sculptors … they were all drug addicts and alcoholics. And, surely, I didn’t want to end up like that, right? The pressure to not pursue what I really loved back then won out. I buried my writing aspirations deep inside of me and tried to forget about them.
Head in the Clouds
You can’t outrun your calling. As an undergrad, I read poetry at open mic nights and was invited for interviews to talk about my writing. My mother said, “I hope you don’t say anything stupid,” when I mentioned the interviews. Then I learned to not say anything about my creative dreams to anyone. But I kept writing, kept sharing my work … almost incognito.
Over the years, despite working in an office, I kept writing. I like to say that I came back to my writing, but the truth was I never really abandoned it. I kept daydreaming about a life as full-time writer. Would the dream come true? I didn’t know. But I couldn’t outrun the calling. I had to write. I had to try.
Never Give Up
Whatever your dream, don’t listen when people tell you it’s impossible, crazy or stupid. They’re often the ones too afraid to strike out, to, as Audre Lorde put is, “use my [their] strength in the service of my [their] vision.” They’re jealous that you’re daring to try, to be of service. They don’t have your courage.
Yes, keep your head in the clouds and your dreams alive. Dreamers change the world.
Be a dreamer!
Did anyone try to discourage you from going after your dream(s)? Did you take the bait or did you power through? Click Reply or leave a comment in the section below. I’d love to hear from you.