Whenever someone would ask my what I wanted to be when I was a child, I would give them typical children’s answers.
Veterinarian. Doctor. Teacher.
I was never too keen on telling people what I actually dreamed of doing. It’s not that I couldn’t handle criticism or negative feedback. I simply hate unfinished things—whether it be homework, a painting, a piece I’m writing, a book I’m reading—I hate when they are left half-done.
Now you may be thinking what that has to do with me exposing my aspirations. Well, I have been writing for years, and I have never told anyone about what I was working on until it was done. You see, when you show people unfinished and unpolished work, it doesn’t matter if you warn them about it’s progress status beforehand, they will judge it as if it is complete.
I didn’t want to scream from the mountains that I wanted to be a writer when I didn’t have any proof that I could do it other than my sheer determination. Looking back on this now, those were such stupid thoughts to have. This was my dream. It’s what I was, still am, and always will be passionate about. I was not writing for anyone other than myself, so why was I so concerned with what others would think? As long as it made me happy, right?
Then came the time to start applying for colleges. I did. I told everyone I was going to become a lawyer; Criminal Defense, a real bigshot. Yeah, I kept that up for a while. I’m not a very good liar so whenever anyone asked me about going off to study law, my shoulders would drop a little (or alot) and I would suddenly be trying to escape the suffocating conversation.
The first time I’d told my parents I wanted to be a writer, I was hesitant because I am not a very good conversationalist, and that is clear as day. Still, I told them, assuming they’d forget by the end of the day. Well, years later when I am telling everyone I want to be a lawyer and then, like a flip of a switch, I say I don’t, nobody knows how to react.
I am questioned for weeks, pressured into making a decision (they claimed they weren’t trying to pressure me but you know how parents are, they want their children to have a solid plan). I say ‘TO HELL WITH PLANS, LET ME CHASE MY DREAMS’. My father ended up hearing about what I wanted to do (for the second time) in a roundabout way, not directly from my mouth.
To my surprise, he had remembered from the first time and even told me that he thought ‘writer’ suited me more than ‘lawyer’.
“You’ve always been a free spirit,” he said.
He wasn’t wrong. I couldn’t see myself studying law and then going on to right some wrongs (and wrong some rights), mind steadily dulling from the loss of my true dream. I saw myself being free and fluid within my words, finding my peace within the stories I’m crafting.
I am a firm believer that without dreams, we have nothing. What are we living for without a goal to fight toward? What are we without our dreams giving us hope, providing us happiness with every milestone? Who would I be without writing? It’s not something I’d like to think about.
Point is: Don’t ever be afraid to voice your ambitions in life. Don’t be afraid to chase. Don’t be afraid to fail, and most definitely, don’t be afraid to succeed.