I get excited about things very easily. Enthusiastic. Optimistic. Dreamer. These are some of the words that may best describe me. And they’re all true — annoyingly so.
You know that “forest for the trees” saying? My problem is, I can see the forest and the trees, but I’m missing the little critters on the forest floor.
That analogy didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to. Let me explain — being a dreamer (and perhaps this stems from being a writer as well), I think big. I grew up hearing teachers and mentors saying that anything is possible, and I actually believe that. I see the world as one vast opportunity full of promise and venues for accomplishment and success.
Which is why I’m probably feeling so restless right now. I want a steady job, I want to move, I want to be doing something. Lately, I’ve been applying to jobs across the country, for anything and everything that sparks my interest and will allow me to write and be creative, even if it means not really pursuing what I had always set out to do. For the past few months, I’ve begun to question myself, uncertain if my dreams were real, if they were true, or if I should pursue other ones.
I recently spoke to someone who has a blog that contains advice on how to break into the television writing business. For awhile, I thought this would be a cool idea — I love the venue, I love to write, I love character and plot and emotion and creating…Hell, the dork in me even used to write fan fiction for some of my favorite tv shows. It seemed like something to really go for.
Only, my heart isn’t really in it, and as she explained the steps to getting into that business, I realized that it wasn’t really what I wanted. It was almost like the revelation I had when I was in college. All throughout high school I thought that I wanted to be an English teacher, even citing that as my major Freshman year. It would be great — I had fabulous mentors in high school who served as inspiration and can remember speaking with one of them for hours about ideas for how to get kids interested in reading; I could read and talk about books; I would be able to show students how to cultivate their opinions and write concise answers as we analyzed character and setting and all that nerdy stuff that I love so much. And, bonus! I’d have the summers off to write my own novels. What could possibly be better than that (even now, it doesn’t sound like such a bad gig)? But at the end of my freshman year, my enthusiasm for all of that waned — there were the lesson plans and the politics of the schools and, quite simply, it wasn’t for me. If I’m going to work hard for something, I’m going to be sure I really want it.
I have to be honest with myself. I want to write: books, short stories, even poetry. Maybe poetry. Some poetry. Maybe down the line I’d like to venture into other areas. I enjoy public relations and even business writing, as long as they may have creative spins; maybe I’ll teach at a university level someday, or maybe even the television/screen writing idea may come to fruition. But as of now, I need to determine what my passion is and go after that. And as of now, that is fiction writing. And editing. But that job hunt seems to be headed nowhere as well, so I’m going to concentrate on getting my name out there and getting published.
My problem is that I have so many dreams and I’m so anxious to pursue them all, that I lose sight of everything else; I lose sight of the road, too interested in the scenery. While I can see the big picture and I recognize the hard work that it will take to get there (and believe me, I am more than willing and ready for that hard work), I’m impatient, needing to see some kind of sign. Maybe that’s what I’m waiting for all along — a sign that will say that I’m headed in the right direction, reminding me that I need to have just a little bit of patience and I’ll get there.
It’s going to be difficult to force myself to have patience. As much as I know that it’s what’s necessary, writing about it and actually putting it into practice are very different things. I’ll give it a try. As I’ve said before, I need to appreciate what I have — which is a steady income in a job that I kinda rather enjoy, a supportive family and network of friends, and my passion and ambition. I once thought that taking action meant results, but maybe, instead of pursuing something so relentlessly, I need to wait and let things fall into place.
That’s not to say I won’t continue working towards what I want. I’m amibtious, I’m determined, I know what I want and I want to go for it. So, I won’t necessarily be passive, per se, but I won’t be as aggressive. For the meantime, I need to step back, break away from this Pollyanna vision and desperation that has been causing me to lose focus. I need to look at the details of everyday life, to appreciate the forest for all that it has to offer.