I think at times one of the hardest things I struggle with as an adult is realizing that sometimes our dreams and our reality simply don’t match up. I envy people who are able to live the life of their dreams but I have always accepted that my path has been a tad different. When you have a child at 19 which while legally an adult is still pretty young, it means you quickly give up dreamland and start to live in that place where only reality pays the bills and keeps you and your child fed and clothed.
Even when I moved out of survival mode and went back to school, I relied on logic as a form of course correction and chose a career path that was a combination of practicality and what I was good at and wouldn’t drive me mad. All the while ignoring what I really wanted to do because well, I had started to grow rather fond of eating, staying clothed and keeping a roof over my head. So despite knowing that I felt little passion for my path, I made the conscious choice to be the best that I could be.
I have a confession; I am tired of not really living my dream. Oh, I have been flitting around talking about making career changes but to be honest they were rooted once again in practicality. Taking skill sets I am good at, that mesh well with my background but passion? Love? Nope. Not even there, the truth is I love life coaches, I have worked with some amazing ones, but I really don’t feel it in my bones. I know this deep in my soul and frankly I am tired of doing what I am good at because I fear failure.
I have known what I loved for over a decade but it’s so impractical, I laugh at myself. Back when I was an undergrad, I took a storytelling class and fell in love. Stories are fun, historical and often reveal deep truths about life; I love storytellers in all shapes and sizes. But the storyteller who most inspires me is the late Studs Terkel. Growing up in Chicago and listening to public radio, it was impossible not to know who Studs was; later having read several of his books including my beloved Working, I knew I wanted to be like Studs. Funny thing is there really is no way to be like Studs because there can only be one Studs.
Several years ago, I started kicking the idea around of how does one gain the skills to tell stories in this modern world, that was when I figured I would start this blog and well tell my own stories about my own life. I also found this fabulous program that is conveniently located in my own state, mere minutes from me. However after amassing over $100,000 in student loan debts for a BA I feel was worth every dime and a Masters degree I wish I could give back, the reality is I can’t afford to go back to school. Especially a program where I would have to pay out of pocket, after all as we all know my pockets are currently on empty. I have toyed with the idea of getting an MFA in writing but the truth is I am not sure I am really a writer; I like to tell stories which in many ways is different that simply being a writer though they can also be one and the same depending on the person.
So today in an act of silliness I am putting it out in the universe that I really want to go to Salt Institute, my credit is hosed so I can’t take out any loans to make it happen, but damn it I really want this. Life is short and while being practical has served me well in recent years; it is time to dream a little. If nothing else I find when I set my mind to something, it often happens, so I am putting this out and maybe just maybe the universe will help me make this happen.
I look at my kids and tell them to follow their dreams, but maybe I need to lead by example.