“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
I’ve had a dream for many years now. At first, it wasn’t something I verbalized or maybe even realized. Just tiny seeds of a dream hanging out somewhere in my mind – waiting for the right time to grow. One seed was planted when I was in college and had an assignment to make a children’s book. Another seed was planted when I was an elementary school special education teacher using books to reinforce my lessons . Other seeds were planted when I became a mom and sat in the nursery rocking chair with a child snuggled in my lap while we turned the colorful pages of a bedtime story. A seed might have even been planted back when I was a child being read to by my own parents.
It wasn’t until 2007, when characters started filling my thoughts, begging me to write their stories down. I obliged, but for several years just left it at that…a notebook filled with ideas. There was lots of self-doubt during this time and I was busy with two young kids and a baby on the way. Could I really write a book for kids? Do I have what it takes? Am I even a decent writer? Do I have the time?
That last question was a tough one. Having children makes getting anything done take two to oh… ten times as long. Even using the bathroom became an unannounced meeting of all the breathing creatures in my house (I can fit myself, a baby, two little kids and my large yellow lab in our tiny powder room, in case you were wondering). Time to yourself is hard to come by.
I realized, though, that those tiny seeds were growing and my dream wasn’t going away. And I would only feel regret if I didn’t pursue it. So I slowly waded through that self-doubt and (to paraphrase Mark Twain) finally jumped on the boat, set sail and decided to go after it. If this was important enough to me then I would have to find the time and not feel guilty about it.
And you know what? Writing makes me happy. If nothing else, I’m doing something that puts a smile on my face. Shouldn’t we all be taking time to do things that bring us happiness? Shouldn’t we be making time to do something just for us?
Have you seen the jellybean video making its rounds on the internet? It measures our lifetime of hours using jellybeans and puts into perspective how little time we have for ourselves. Watch the video here: The Time You Have (in Jelly Beans) / Colossal
So here I am. Putting myself out there. Setting myself up for potential failure or success. I often write when the kids go to bed and before they get up in the morning. I research during their sports and dance practices. I attend writing conferences and I’ve joined a critique group. And I’m even (gulp) starting this blog. I figure there’s no time like now to start making good use of all the jellybeans I have left.
I’m going to be brave and vulnerable at the same time and proclaim it out loud. So here goes: My dream is to become a published children’s book author. There. I said it. Whew!
Now…what’s your dream?
And if you’re not going after it, what in the heck are you waiting for?
(From the blog the kim collective)