When standing at the start of one’s journey the destination can seem far away but moving one step at a time you realize that in a blink of an eye you’ve arrived. My “dream job” ends on 09/09/09 and I’m leaving. It’s not due to lack of funding or a different legal opportunity. Many raise their eyes when I explain this as though I’ve told them I’m running off to join the circus or have renamed myself Eileen Wigwam. It might seem strange to leave a job and not replace it with another W-2 generating job. For some time I stayed quiet about my reasons, and to those I’ve admitted it to, I feel my cheeks flame up with embarrassment. It seems so presumptuous, so risky that sharing makes me shy, but no more. As the months dwindle to weeks which surely will trickle to mere days, I think its time to share since this blog has always been a place where I share my dreams.
If you’ve been reading my blog for some time you know that beyond my dream of “dream job” or teaching a deeper dream has always resided, one I’ve agonized over for years. I’ve wanted to be a writer. When I was young I would write with abandon all the time, in math class, and while television buzzed in the background. As I grew older I found out how hard it was to actually get published much less have a career as a writer so I pushed away the dreams of English majors and creative writing courses for an education degree and eventually law school. Sure, I still freelanced from time to time for newspapers, and magazines, and I have kept up this blog for going on five years now, but the writing that I dreamed of, the novel writing, I felt too intimidated to begin. Each time I considered putting pen to paper the nasty little muse that resides in all of our heads that chuckles when we dream of things that require some risk whispered really? Forget it! Not happening!
This nasty muse suffocated my writing for years until one day as I sat in my bedroom poised to pen a blog entry the idea hit me with the force of lightening on still water. I saw her. I knew what she looked like, the room she sat in, and what she felt. That day I began writing without any worries of future publication or reviews from disgruntled Amazon reviewers. I just wrote because the story needed to be told and it appeared I was entrusted to tell it.
This was three years ago and today after countless revisions and second guessing I’m done. Seasoned authors and close friends have provided insight and I’ve incorporated them to the best of my ability. I’ve begun researching agents who publish in my genre and I am now ready to write my query letters and consider sending my little one who I poured my heart into for three years [but cradled in my heart for many more] into the huge stark world of potential rejection. I’m leaving my job to query this novel and write the next one that is drafted and sitting patiently waiting for me to finish it.
Leaving my job was not an easy decision. I’ve held a paying job since I turned 16 years old and the prospect of not earning a paycheck fills me with second guessing hesitations, but there is a single image that fuels me on to take this year off to see if my writing can amount to anything publishable and that is the realization that I really believe I was meant to write and I was meant to pen novels. Perhaps these novels are meant to be written but never published, but I deserve it to my dream to see it through and know the answer. In some ways I’m scared to see the dream through because there is comfort in dreaming. If I fail, then what? A dream I’ve cultivated since I learned how to put pen to paper will shatter. It’s scary to go down the road because the road may be open but may also just as easily be barricaded shut. My rationale is: it’s best to know. It’s time to know the answer however harsh or kind it may be.
I’m sure after a year off if this writing business does not work out, I will find a way to get back into the traditional work force and be okay. But I don’t want to defer this dream. The biggest illusion life offers us is the sense that there will always be tomorrow to accomplish what we dream of today. I think I may have the ability. I certainly have the opportunity. Now its time to leap and let come what may.