Monday, September 12, 2011
There's an age we all reach when we begin to sort out our dreams from our reality. For me, I think it hit me at about 16. I wanted to be a forest ranger, and I believed the life would suit me. I consumed Thoreau, Emerson, and every naturalist poet I could find to fuel my dreams. When I got to Florida State University, I couldn't pass chemistry to save my life. My roomie, Pam, used to coach me through each week's lessons, and it began to dawn on me that I might have chosen the wrong path. I chose Journalism, but in my first class, one of the essays the professor read aloud was mine, and he mocked my imagery and my anthropomorphism, saying I was completely ill-equipped to be a serious writer. So I went back to my default dream, education, because deep in my heart was a child who wanted acceptance, and I knew that as a teacher I could give children what I needed for myself. I don't regret that decision. I am a good teacher, and I understand how to reach and teach children. I value a child's innocence and spirit, and have guarded many kids from the harsh realities of the world around them, while trying to equip them with the skills they need to live their lives.
But something in me never let go of the writer within, and I have spent my free time writingwritingwriting, trying to make it work. Trying to make something meaningful, relevant, and worthwhile out of my words. So this week, I'm going to Chicago. A group called Story 2011 is meeting, and I'm going to try to pass muster within this "creative collective." I actually have my friend from Hobby, Laurel, to thank. She shared her blog with me --From Snowflakes to Hotcakes. Laurel kind of explores various topics that are a part of her life, and she wrote about a book she was following called A Thousand Gifts. Laurel's writing encouraged me to start my own blog; I felt compelled to get started on reading A Thousand Gifts as well. The author, Ann Voskamp, shares her life through A Holy Experience. Ann writes with very few words. In a whisper, she can share a shout. In a handful of words, she can express a heartful of desire, desperation, delight. Over time, I've been learning that I can let God define my time and talents, and then refine me to fulfill the purpose He has for my life.
So wish me luck, would you? I'm going to learn from Ann and other Christian writers and artists who have dreams similar but much larger than my own. Let me take this writing and commit it to Him, and then see what happens next. I am excited...ready...and very hopeful that I can learn to yield, surrender, and follow, and that my reality can finally match His dreams for me.