I hate when people ask shit like this.
Like: of course I dare to dream. Where else would I do things like that? I’m certainly not going to announce my thoughts to the world. (Incorrect statement: I have a blog that takes wildly personal turns.)
Someone asked me today what my dream was for my business.
Okay okay, it was my therapist.
Oh yes, I’m in counseling now. These are things I don’t really think are important to tell you. Or maybe they are, but I don’t want to. I tend to share the things I feel comfortable with, and therapy is not one of them. But if you read my posts following the Hala Khouri workshops, you probably knew I was seeking it, and lo and behold, it was found.
Never mind it was found in the one person I decided I didn’t want to see as therapist.
But things work out in funny ways like that. (I am actually now very grateful to have her, even though it initially made me uncomfortable.)
Anyway, I digress. So my therapist asked me what I wanted to do.
This is something I’ve been struggling with lately.
I have so many ideas, so many passions, so many loves. As my husband can tell you, every day is a different story. Today I want to be an astronaut. Tomorrow a ballerina. Yesterday I was determined to be a college professor.
(Yes, I’m like a grown child. I think it’s part of my charm.)
Anyway, so she said something super genius but annoying: “I think you really know what you want to do, but you just can’t get it from your heart to your head.”
Like, shut up.
I think about things, bitch. (Okay, I actually don’t think she’s a bitch at all. I quite like her a lot, in fact. I seem to get in trouble lately with people thinking I’m all judgemental and shit, when really it’s just for kicks. So no, to my therapist and all those reading – I do not actually think she’s a bitch and did not actually think “shut up” in my head. These are my humorous post-interpretations.)
But so then she asked. What is it that you want to do?
I gave her an answer, which is just a step or two away from what I’m already doing with my life.
But then I left, and I did some stuff, and I started thinking about this again. Like, really thinking about it. If I could do ANYthing in the world, absolutely ANYthing – what would I do?
I would write.
But not for other people. For me. I want to write for me and I want people to want to read it. I want to write a book, I want a collection of essays, I want a non-fiction self-help book. I want to write short stories and I want to dabble in poetry and sometimes I want to take these words that I write and speak them out loud, in front of people, because Lord knows I love an audience.
Even just thinking those thoughts gives me the heebie-jeebies.
How annoying is that, anyway? I want to be a writer? Oh, how novel. (Pun intended.) Oh, how original. Oh, how boring and annoying and absolutely ridiculous.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love me some yoga – FIERCE. I still want to teach yoga, but maybe only 3-4 classes per week. And maybe take on some private clients or help new instructors find their voice.
I’m good at that, you know. Teaching other teachers. Teaching people how to be good teachers. I did this for new group exercise instructors in my college heydays and I loved it. I loved it so much for a while I was convinced I wanted to work in campus recreation and run a group exercise department.
By the way, did you know there’s a group exercise coordinator position open at KU in Lawrence? I’m only slightly thinking of applying.
But again, I digress. Why have I never admitted before that, in my heart of hearts, what I want to be doing is exactly what I do each day, on this blog?
Why did I never make the connection that the journaling portion of teacher training was the part I most connected to, that I most looked forward to? The one practice I’ve kept fairly constant throughout training and beyond?
Well I’ll tell you why, suckers. Because I’m in therapy and I know shit. I’m all introspective and self-knowledgeable and all that junk.
Because when I told people I wanted to go to school to study writing, they told me I should be an art teacher.
Because when I wrote beautiful pieces of essays and shared these most near and dear writings to those I cared about, I was laughed at.
Because to be a writer means you have to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability. That shit sucks.
Like – why don’t I just dump my heart and soul into this painting or into this piece of writing to have you crap all over it?
Wasn’t that my entire four years of undergraduate training? Make something, take your time, spend hours and hours refining it, and then have your professor rip it apart – publicly – during your “critique.” These were morally degrading. Mortifying. Trauma-inducing.
No wonder I didn’t paint for five years.
Anyway, I’m working to heal my relationship to visual art, but writing. Writing writing writing. Writing is even more close to my heart. Because these are my words, and my words are wrapped up in my soul. Because it’s the closest thing I can get to letting you FEEL how much I love you, instead of just saying words. Because it’s how I express myself, whether you love me or hate me.
Even saying the words, “I want to be a writer” sounds awful.
Like that’s really going to make a living.
But despite its practicality, its usefulness, its whatever… Now I’m actually owning up to it.
I want to be a writer. And for the first time in my life, I’m daring to dream it.