I was listening to one of my favorite songs the other day….
Yeah, one of my favorite songs is sung by a frog. You got a problem with that?
So I was enjoying the part about following your dreams and how you hear destiny calling your name when I heard it:
Someday I’ll find it—
The rainbow connection—
And it hit me. Crap! I’m running out of somedays!
No, I’m not ill or anything—I’m just getting old. (I refuse to accept that I’m old now, but I will admit I’m progressing in that direction.)
Not sure what made me so introspective that day, but it got me thinking about how many people run out of time before they realize any of their dreams. Of course, as the rock star said, our dreams change as time passes, but more often we just give up on them—convince ourselves that we’d really do this than that anyway. But when we abandon our dreams like worn out refrigerators, they (the dreams, not the refrigerators, though the thought of being haunted by a refrigerator is amusing in a surreal way) come back to haunt us like bittersweet nightmares.
When I was a child, our mother used to entertain my sister and me by drawing pictures of our favorite comic book characters. She had real talent. Only months before she died, my mother mentioned how she’d once dreamed of becoming an interior decorator, but had instead married young and decorated only her own homes. Did she regret it? Not really. But the dream never died, and she wondered “What if?” all her life. I think many people suffer that same fate. Is it because we choose dreams that are too far above us? Perhaps we just aren’t willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve them. Or do we just drift into other things and let our somedays play out without ever moving toward our goals?
When I took my brief detour into melancholy, I had already realized several of the dreams I’d listed when I graduated from high school:
1. Be first in family to earn a college degree—check.
2. Become a staff writer for a newspaper—check.
3. Work for a large company writing and editing their publications—check.
4. Write novels—check.
5. Become a published author—oops.
That last one eluded me. But since I’ve cut about 40,000 words, my first novel appears to be on track for publication. I’ve finished a novella, started two more novels, and have plots for three more novellas.
Ok, so I worked for a regional newspaper instead of a national one, for a division of that large company instead of headquarters, and I didn’t get a big advance on my novel. I still feel a little like that country song, “Why Me Lord?” because I can’t think of one thing I’ve done that makes me deserve even to come close to fulfilling so many of my dreams.
Now I find that I need another dream to inspire me through the rest (may they be many) of my somedays. But I did have a Number 6 that I haven’t told you about, and I kind of suspect it’ll be enough to keep me writing as long as I can sit at a laptop—or even croak words into a mike. What do you think?
6. Win a Hugo. *
(*author’s note: Please be aware that the author realizes that her chances of winning any award, much less a Hugo, for her novel are nil to none. The author will be ecstatic if a few people admit they enjoyed reading it. ( - : )