There aren’t too many people who can say that their lifelong dreams have been realized. Some get sidetracked on the way to those dreams. Maybe their dreams were unattainable or maybe they simply change course.
I have always wanted to be a writer. Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be the one who wrote the wonderful stories that I spent hours reading. I wanted to be the story-teller, the one who captivated the imaginations of innocent minds and made them aspire to be everything they could be.
I wanted to be a writer.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but it became my dream. I knew it’s what I wanted to do when I was in the third grade and wrote, “If I was on the Mayflower.” A simple story, but it lit a fire within me that could not easily be put out. I needed to write.
I remember spending hours laboriously tapping away on the keys of my father’s old Electra typewriter using write-out to correct the many mistakes I made. (Erasable paper came out while I was in junior high and I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven!) The stories were about everything, anything, and nothing. I was embarrassed because I didn’t think they were any good and ended up throwing the typed pages in the trash.
But my father noticed. The first time I asked to use his typewriter, my father smiled and carefully took it out of its case and set it gently on the dining room table. I was surprised because I had the reputation for breaking everything I touched. But he didn’t seem to mind.
“Let me know when you’re done so I can put it away,” was all he said.
Even then I would get lost in my stories. While the other kids were outside playing, I sat and let my mind wander. Many of the stories were about me and what I would do when I grew up. Some were about things I wanted to do; travel to different lands, become a famous dancer, or save the world.
I showed my dad a few stories and he would tell me how proud he was of me. But I never thought it would take me where it did.
Like many people, my dream got sidetracked with marriage and children, but I never gave up writing. I’d write just to write and when I finally got a computer of my own, I wrote even more. But even though I had a passion for writing, I still didn’t think I had what it took to be a professional writer.
Encouraged by a friend, I decided to go back to school and learn how to be a better writer, not exactly sure where it would take me.
At this point, I had to ask myself, what kind of writer did I want to be? What was I good at? What was my niche?
I tried my hand at creative writing and found that it really wasn’t my forte. I wrote some poetry, but that too, came up a bit short.
I joined the newspaper at my community college. I had been the editorial editor of my high school newspaper and liked it then; would I like it just as much now?
I didn’t have to wonder for long because soon I was volunteering for the stories that no one wanted. I took pictures whenever I could. I always had my camera with me just in case something interesting happened. I gained the reputation of being a photo-junkie.
I found that I enjoyed the interviews, the writing, the layouts, the photography, even the deadlines. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was preparing myself for my future; I was becoming a journalist.
Everyone has a dream. This is mine. I will be graduating from Mount Mercy in December and I’m making plans for my own newspaper. Am I crazy to think that my dream could actually be coming true?
No, I just consider myself lucky. I have the faith to keep taking that next step, the hope that I will see it happen, and the determination to see it all materialize.
I think everyone has a dream. Some see it happen early in their lives. Others, it takes a little longer, but it’s always possible.
In the words of Walt Disney, “If you imagine it, you can make it happen.” I believe that now. I believe that anything is possible. I have already succeeded.