Did you have a childhood dream?
I’m talking about an early ambition that might have seemed unconnected to your opportunities or sounded totally outrageous to your parents when you declared them with spunky certainty. You know, you’re gonna be a firefighter, a ballerina, a detective, an astronaut! Those early enthusiasms take fantastic and specific shape. They are the quintessential child’s bright and unbridled imagining of who we long to become–and as of yet have no reason to doubt or question whether it might be possible.
If you had a childhood dream, what was it? When was the last time you thought about it? Can you remember?
I was watching a video of a friend the other day. She has been working hard in the music industry for a while now and recently hit success. Her growing stream of interviews and bits of content have been showing up on social media more and more frequently. A strong theme that I’ve heard her mention time and again in almost every story, has been that she dreamed of being a country singer ever since she was a little girl. It was always the only thing she wanted to do and she dedicated her life to it and fought hard for her dream, believing that she had what it takes to be a star.
On this particular day, watching this particular video, my first thought was: not many people end up living out their childhood dream. The fact sat there in my mind for a few minutes as the rest of the video played out. After it finished, I looked further into my internal response.
Well, not everyone HAS a childhood dream, I realized I was telling myself. At least, I didn’t.
But once that claim was out there in the open, I knew it wasn’t true. I spent a while pondering, interested in all the layers of thoughts and reactions I was sorting through. As the mess of questions settled, I felt as though I’d dusted off an old file, hidden away on a back shelf for long time. And it was quite simple. I did have a childhood dream after all.
I had something that I’d wanted to do, something I’d wanted to be, ever since I could remember. It seemed funny to me that I was surprised at re-discovering the fact. How could I have forgotten? Turns out, I always wanted to be A WRITER.
I was in love with the idea, carried away by the romantic image in my head of what I would grow up to be. I could see it clearly. Full on, typewriter toting, with glasses, baskets full of crumpled notes, pen behind my ear, thick hand-marked manuscripts and novels with my name on the shelves. Or maybe I’d have a pen name! Maybe I would be a journalist too. Oh, I’d definitely be a poet. I could write songs and plays! I’d have writer friends and would travel the world, collecting interesting things from wherever I went. I could be a member of some creative society or maybe I’d start one of my own. I would make art for art’s sake and for the sake of the truth and the enrichment of the world. I would dedicate my best works to the people I loved and who had believed in me from the beginning. Of all the things I dreamed, I loved this dream the best.
Yes, I fantasized. But I also scribbled things down constantly and kept sporadic and impassioned journals overflowing with character names, dramatic scenes and ridiculous plot lines. I hoarded papers with ideas like precious treasures and at an early age had racked up an impressive collection of files, folders and drawers full of my “writings”. I read all the time, sometimes to the detriment of all else, and took note of all my heroes. Plenty of the people I learned about began writing at an early age and I would rise to their challenge.
Now, I experience an overwhelming wave of affection towards my young, ambitious, naive self when I remember those days and that dream. Looking back is still relatively new for me. There was a long stretch of my life where reflection on my childhood was non-existent. True self-examination was not something I could do accurately or healthily at any level of depth. But these last two years have brought the greatest measurable change in my life so far and I have been pursuing my inner child with great interest and love.
When I first posted on this website, I was sure that it was the right thing for me to do. I was unsure, however, what sort of reaction might follow or what the next right steps might be. I had not considered or predicted that people would encourage me in my writing itself and speak words of validation straight into the heart of that little dream sitting on the back shelf.
For a few months now I have been actively reconnecting with my songwriting which turned out to be the one way I had always stayed connected to my original writing aspirations. I am happy to report there is reason to think there will be new music to share in the near future. However, I’m also dusting off the files and folders and papers filling the shelves in the back. What happened to make me think that those dreams aren’t real or worthy? Who’s to say that I can’t accomplish my craziest goals?
One thing is for sure. If I’m going to be a WRITER, I have to WRITE.
Welcome to my blog. <3
Jessica Fisher | 9.3.2018.