Monday, June 09, 2008

old dreams to new...

When I finished high school, I wanted to be an actress. Not just any actress, I wanted to be a Soap Star. How awesome would it have been if that show "So You Wanna Be a Soap Star" had been around in 1987...

Unfortunately, I let a few naysayers douse my dreamfire in water and it took me a long time to rekindle it. I never lost my desire to act, (If you're ever out with me, you'll see. I am very good at putting on a production. And if you get Kristen and I together? We should charge admission.) but I never pursued acting professionally. I went about my business, got a college degree, and found a job that would pay the bills.

And I was miserable. I did not just want to work to make ends meet. I wanted to enjoy my job.

When I turned 30, we moved out of state--away from friends and family. I did the stay at home mom thing for a while, but I needed some creative stimulation. I was daydreaming a lot. And finally, I started channeling my boredom, imagination and my desire to be an actress into a new creative outlet...writing.

That's where I found that I could be whoever I wanted to be, say whatever I wanted to say, and look like a million dollars. It was a whole new world for me...and a whole new dream.

And it makes me very happy.

I used to think I regreted not running off to become Erika Kane's latest long-lost daughter. But now I realize that's not true. I didn't pursue one dream, only to find myself another one. (and frankly, a better one. I never could've kept myself skinny for that long. I would've been miserable.) If you find yourself hesitating on following a dream, maybe it's not the right dream. Or not the right time. If finances aren't there, or the parents aren't supportive, don't fear. The universe could just be telling you that your time will come later. Just be patient.

But if you feel like the time is now, go for it! I envy your fortitude. Each dream we pursue makes us stronger. This is a case where more is definitely better.

Dream big or stay home. That's my motto.


  1. Ooooh good post! There were so many things I wanted to be as a an opera singer, a scuba diver, an astronaut, and the first female president of the US. LOL. I wonder how many of those I can accomplish before I die...

  2. And this is why you are the bringer of awesomeness, my friend.

    It's so true, and you framed it wonderfully for us. Finding a new dream isn't the same as abandoning an old one.

    I think we focus too much on "picking a career" and too little on figuring out who we are and where we flourish. The questtion shouldn't be "what do you want to do?" The question should be "what is your bliss?" What lights you up inside? When somebody praises you unexpectedly, gushing, it's because of... what?

    That's your gift. That's your blessing. Forget job descriptions. Go be amazing at the thing you do best and I promise you the future won't unfold... it will blossom and glow.

    I'm so glad you let yourself bloom, Mel, you really are awesome.

  3. I wanted to be an actress, too! But not soaps. I wanted my name in lights on the Great White Way. Broadway, baby!

    I let me fear stop me, though. And my family, who were also afraid.

    I did that "career-focused" thing in college, but ended up realizing that it wasn't what I wanted to do, so I switched to the thing that led me to writing. Well, after a few years doing the mom thing.

    About a year ago, I came to a minor cross-roads. I could either do community theatre, which meant night-time rehearsals across town for weeks and months. Or I could stay home and write.

    The old drive to be on stage simply couldn't outweigh the responsibilities of family, as well as the knowledge that my new stage is on paper.

  4. Very well put.

    You know, I find that a lot of writers were aspiring dancers or actresses or singers or whatever. It's the whole "pretending to be someone we're not" thing. LOL!

  5. thanks guys!

    Rhonda, better get to working on that list...

    Chrissy, you put it perfectly: Finding a new dream isn't the same as abandoning an old one.

    Sela and Amanda--I think the pretending to be someone else really is a big draw to writing, acting, dancing...but I also think that so many of those "stage" folks are drawn to writing because of the creativity/imagination. It's having your cake and eating it, too!

  6. I didn't want to be anything career-wise by the time I got to high school. How sad. I just wanted to be happy...but had no direction. So I let other people direct me for awhile...guess how happy that made me?

    So, I say Mel is right--but not just about a job or career or dream--about "who" you are.

  7. I wanted to be a black singer, but alas, I am as white as they come. Still, I think we could totally have our own show. lol

    Other than that, I dream of owning a restaurant.

  8. you and Marley could open a restaurant, and then I would come and you and I could be the entertainment...

  9. I wanted to be a singer or a ballet dancer-preferably both. But my mother's nickname is 'The Dream Crusher' -need I say more ?

  10. Alongside being a writer, I always fancied being a movie director. Years later I was able to combine the two dreams into one ... writing the stories and making book trailers to promo them :))