Life is a funny thing. When you’re young, you have a certain perception as to what your life will become when you’re finally old enough to leave the nest. You are committed to following a certain path, and mentally prepare yourself toward achieving that goal. The direction is so clear to you that nothing is going to get in your way. And then LIFE happens. Because no matter how hard you try, you can never fully predict or anticipate every single factor that will come into play over the course of your existence. For every ying, there is a yang. And you may be yanged in a direction that is so far off your path, you might as well be in a foreign country.
I mention all this because that is exactly what happened to me. From a very early age, I was committed to the life of a struggling artist, peddling my wares on street corners and flea markets until I was finally discovered as the next great talent. Of course, this was a somewhat romanticized vision of my future, based no doubt on too many viewings of “A Star is Born” and too many readings of People magazine and “Hollywood Wives.” But I was a dreamer. Though I would later learn that you also needed a certain amount of artifice, as well as a cutthroat mentality, if you ever intended to succeed in my chosen profession. And an incredibly thick skin, because becoming an artist means opening yourself up to all kinds of harsh criticism and negative, destructive influences. Why anyone would willfully subject themselves to this kind of rude and insensitive behavior on a daily basis is beyond me, and yet that’s exactly what I did.
For years I allowed myself to suffer through some of the most painfully embarrassing experiences in pursuit of my goal, because I was certain it would all eventually pay off. Then years went by, and I finally had to face the fact that the dream I had for my life would have to be altered. And though at first I was somewhat devastated, I ultimately discovered this adjustment actually gave me the freedom I needed to truly grow. Because now I was no longer chained to the perceptions I had of my life when I was younger. Now I could do whatever I wanted, opening up even more possibilities and avenues for me to explore. Instead of being defeated, I felt more like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
And now, for some reason, I am in a fever pitch of creativity. The ideas and concepts are continually popping in my head, and I feel a flurry of energy to complete as many of those projects as possible. I even wake up in the middle of the night with bizarre thoughts of future rubber duck movies, or a song that would make a good parody. I don’t know why I am compelled to make the little movies, or to sing the songs, or to even write this blog. Except that I get complete and utter satisfaction from all of it. Some people may say “you have too much time on your hands” But that’s not true at all. In fact, I don’t have enough time. Because I am constantly working on various projects, or socializing with friends, or attending to the house and yard. I even get in some quality TV and movie viewing, so I am never without something to do.
But these little creative projects are what I choose to do. This is what I love to do. Create. To be creative. To find the humor in something and share it with others. That is what I was born to do, and that is what gives me the most satisfaction. And so my dream is still actually alive, after all. It didn’t go away. I didn’t lose it. In fact, I’m actually living it. I just took away what wasn’t important and concentrated on what was. Because like the song says, “Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a dream.”
But that’s just me. What happened to the childhood dream you had for your life?