I don’t have a fancy-schmancy university degree. I have two years of post-secondary education under my belt, to which nothing really has come to fruition. I studied communications, french and journalism in those long-ago years.
All along I was told that I could write. That I had a bit of talent with the written word. For the longest time, after my failed attempt at university, I refused to believe that. I rebelled against it. I chose to think that I was talentless. Talent? Other than being extraordinarily anal about organization (my closet is colour-coded, I shit you not) and being able to speak in any accent on the planet and doing a mean version of the Chicken Lady from Kids In the Hall, I had none. Zero. Zip.
I can’t sing. I thought once I could dance and act, but growing up in a small town did not supply my dreams of the stage with any realistic mediums in which I could at least try and see what I could do.
So writing was all that I had. I wrote short stories and poems in school, the likes of which I cringe to recall, teenage angst of young love and suicidal thoughts and vampires. But all that faded. I put the proverbial pen down without a second thought and went on to have a wonderful life, getting married, raising kids, volunteering at the school, discovering that I am a Yogi.
Every once in a while someone, usually my Mom or my sister, would remind me that I was a good writer. It irked me. See, whenever I heard people say “Oh, I’m a writer…”, it always sounded so… smug and sure and conceited…. I’d roll my eyes, insist that I was not that great. Perhaps I was afraid. Afraid of being audacious enough to say that I had talent too.
Life though, well, it rolls along, and all of a sudden you realize that in less than a year, you’ll be 40. That gigantic milestone of a culmination of dreams and hard work, of being able to look back while having something to look forward to. In less than a year, that number 40 will be etched onto my face, my life, my soul. Questions arose. What have I done, really? What have I given this world, other than my children? What part of MY soul is now out there?
And what of that dream of so long ago, to write? It seemed to be gone. So, I searched for it.
It was still there. Jammed between wiping bums and laundry and marital strife. It was dusty and forlorn, this little dream of mine.
It is a daunting thing, to assume that there might be a sliver of chance that I might be able to do something. But what I found was that it doesn’t matter if the end result is being published or not. It is the the physical act of allowing myself to make my words flow from my fingers onto this screen in front of me. I find that I can sit and write and not notice that two hours have gone by. I feel full. I feel excited and scared and alive. I feel like ME.
So, whatever may come to me in the future, whether I do “succeed” with finally having my words published or not, just the act of finally putting myself out there is enough right now. This little dream is carried with me, glittering and gleaming in it’s restored newness.