Today is my birthday. It goes without saying, as with the passing of the new year where I might reflect on unkept goals, that I will reflect upon the current state of my life. I’m another year older, and I’m working harder than before to get where I want to be, but I have to wonder where I would be if I hadn’t decided to take this chance; moving to Los Angeles to become a writer. For those of you who have been following me for a little while now, you know I am working at becoming an established, professional screenwriter in Hollywood. This is not what I thought I would be doing when I was growing up. When I was a kid, I thought I’d be a teacher, or an artist of sorts (I always liked to write and tell “stories”, some of which got me into some trouble), or maybe an astronaut. I’d definitely be married with at least four children, living somewhere nice in a house with a picket fence, and where the kids could build forts in the wild. My life would be “settled”. It’s strange how things do/don’t work out. I look at some of my friends, their grown up lives, and wonder, “Have I veered off track?”.
I’ve written about this before, about not comparing lives. What works for some does not work for all, and neither should it. If I had married when I was younger, stayed in the church life, had a family, and started a career of another sort, I have to wonder what kind of person I would be now? Would I be happy? Would I still be writing? Would I still like to play video games? Would I be content in the life I had built, or have a nagging feeling that I did not follow my dreams? Do dreams change? I love the line at the end of Tangled (the Disney movie) about how they each became the other’s new dream, which is a lovely sentiment, but as with all princess stories where the end goal is to catch the prince, is that the best message? I think I’ve grown a bit cynical in my “old age”. Yes, I do want my own happily ever after, but now I want it wrapped with a different bow, one of my own making. This is something that has come with age — knowing yourself better. I’m not unhappy about where my life is, but sometimes I just wish I would have realized earlier that this is what I really wanted to do. But then again, who knows if I would have had the nerve to do this. Life is a series of events and decisions that makes us who we are today. Maybe now I am the best version of myself to accomplish this dream.
I thought about this woman I know, a professional with a family. She has no hobbies, no further goals, her movie watching and book reading are limited, and I have to wonder if I’d be more like that at this point had I followed a similar path? To each their own, but oh, how boring that sounds.
I was reminiscing this weekend…I think I was about thirteen or so when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I was writing a romance novel, of which I had no actual knowledge by the way. While vacationing, I left my pages on the balcony and a wind picked them up and scattered them to the world below. I went from floor to floor in a panic, trying to gather all the pages from the balconies I could see them on. I never did recover them all. I’m not sure exactly why this memory came up, except that I am much older now, and finally working at making that little girl’s dream a reality.
I also thought about my first love. I would have married him at twenty-one years old. He broke my heart, letting me go to follow my dreams, and although it took some time to get here, I have to thank him for that. He had a great impact on my life. We shared some extremely romantic moments that I refer to in my writing still to this day. He was a good man, and I hope he is well, wherever he is.
I don’t really have any tips or words of wisdom from all this, take from it what you will. It was basically a ramble as I reflect on my life, but thanks for letting me do it. If you have a dream, I hope you’re brave enough to follow it. Today, again, a friend told me how they admired my passion. I’m glad I have people in my life rooting for me to succeed. I hope you all do too. If not, let me be the one who says — “I admire your dedication and passion!” I wish you all the best of luck!
Have a great week!