04 April 2013

Working for the Weekend

I never thought I would be one of those people who races through the work week, crossing the finish line on Friday to spend 2 blissful days free of the 9-5, only to go through the same marathon the next week, and the next, and the next...

As a young girl, when I thought about my future it was always filled with unicorns and cupcakes and kittens: there was no way it could possibly go wrong.  I was going to publish my first book before I graduated high school and have a book and movie deal before I hit 20.  I was going to move to some far off land and live a spectacular life - traveling wherever I wanted and writing my heart out and everyone would love what I wrote, because I was so inspiring.  Young girls would want to be like me and I'd have an endless list of suitors waiting for my call.

It was a nice dream.  Sometimes it was the only thing that got me from day to day; to say that I had a well-balanced childhood would be giving it too much credit.  But the dream was going to happen - I was determined.  I never told anyone, but I wrote most of what I thought would surely be a best selling novel and sent it off to 5 publishing houses at the age of 14, including a letter to let them know that it was almost finished, and I was sure they would love it, and I was ready for their call.  I received rejection letters from all of them, of course.  But it didn't stop me from dreaming.  It did keep me from writing for a while, and convinced me that maybe I wasn't cut out to be a writer after all.  I'm also pretty sure I trashed the book, thinking it wasn't all that great of an idea after all.

I graduated and moved to Phoenix to attend art school.  I didn't write much, then.  I recorded my dreams, but mostly I was so busy with art projects that I didn't have time to write, even though I had the itch.  I started several stories, jotted down any spare idea I had, and vowed that some day I would get to them.  Someday I would write them and tell their stories.  Someday I would be an Author.

After college I got a big-kid job.  I worked long and hard to be successful.  I wish I could say that I have been, but 6 years later I'm in almost the same place.  It's not for lack of trying, but there aren't really any opportunities for me here.  Its something I probably should have realized sooner, but I was so busy trying to be successful at something that didn't make me happy, that I didn't stop to look around.

And so I find myself working for the weekends.  Rushing through the weekdays, doing just what I have to in order to squeak by, and cherishing my two, blissful days off; my reward for the rat race I've found myself stuck in.

But I never forgot about my dream: to one day become an author.  Over the last several years I've had my struggles. I've started and stopped several projects.  I've attempted NaNoWriMo a few times, not yet succeeding (mostly because it makes my writing feel forced - but some day I'll be a 'wrimo finisher).

I'm pleased to say that while I can't admit I've figured out life (because really, who ever does?), I have finally figured out a big part of myself.  There are some changes coming up in my life - big and glorious and long overdue changes.  

For now I'm still working for the weekend - and even the week nights.  Writing when I come home from work isn't a chore - it's a reward, and the weekends are like endless playgrounds in my imagination.  I can't wait to dive into my characters and see where they take me. It's an exciting, brave new world in my head, as crazy as that sounds.

Some people believe that you can't truly be happy until you're doing what you believe you were put on this earth to do.  Everyone has a talent, a special skill, and not everyone figures out what that is or how to use it.  Some people slog through their daily lives, working for the weekend like I am now, and never chase their dreams.  I don't plan to be one of those people.  I plan to someday write for a living - full time, as my real, big-kid job.  I know it will take many years for my dream to be come a reality - I may even have to wait until I'm 40 for it to happen (which really isn't old at all), but someday it will, and knowing that makes me happier than ever.  

Stay shiny - and whatever you do: don't give up on your dreams.