Lately, I've been giving serious thought to my role in life.
I'm single. I work at a grocery store, having dropped out of both high school (got G.E.D.) and college. It has been over 20 years since I was unquestioningly a Christian, and 9 years since I began to consider that perhaps Christianity isn't for me1
. In fact, back in 2003, I decided that my "god" was simply going to be outer space. The planets, stars, and other phenomena out there enrapture my soul with their existence, and I've long considered paradise to simply be existing, without form, somewhere in our galaxy, just orbiting the galactic core with the stars. I have strained relations with my immediate family, and frequently feel closer to friends of mine than I do my own flesh and blood. I find reasons to shoot down everything I do, sometimes before I can even attempt them.
Now that you have a glimpse of what I feel being me is like, I come to the point of this post. When I was very young, I wanted to be an X-Wing pilot. At 10, I wanted to be an astronaut. When I was 12, I wanted to go to Narnia and play with the Pevensies. When I took French in my first year of junior high, I wanted to be a translator. By the time I was 15, I wanted to find a way to Krynn so that I could adventure with the Companions of the Lance. In high school, I briefly considered psychiatry. I wanted to be an advisor to King Belgarion and chat with Belgarath and Polgara from the Belgariad. Then it was something in the computer field, though I was leaning towards programming.
After I dropped out of high school, I found work at a grocery store. I figured it'd be a good place to start. I held onto my dream of computers, even trying my hand at college for them (I was far too undisciplined -- a trait that I still have, unfortunately). I continued to work at Kroger, and became full-time. I read Stardust when it came out, and wanted desperately to live in Wall or the Bazaar. I wanted Neverwhere
to be real, so that I could live with the folks who lived in London below. I quit the computer phone support job I had and stuck with Kroger. I felt the heartbreaking pain of knowing
what it must feel like to live forever without my soulmate, thanks to Philip Pullman's series.
Through it all, I've had a dream. One that I almost dare not mention, for fear that the winds of fate will rip even this from me...
...I want to be a published author. There, I've said it.
I have heard the saying about wanting it doesn't count, because you have to BE one. I frankly don't care. I think about the D&D campaigns I've run, and the one I enjoyed the most was the one in which I put a lot of effort into planning it, even going so far as to create an outline and knowing how the campaigns climatic moment would look. (I ended it before it got to that, which makes me very sad. No one knows what I had in store for my heroes.) I think about the times I've sat and composed poetry that no one but myself reads. I think about all the stories I've started and stopped (for lack of interest, or lack of belief in myself).
The way that the written word affects me, especially in a delightful piece of fiction, transcends age or hobbies. I want to hear that someone read something of mine, and was so into it that they read it over and over. I want to hear that something I wrote motivated someone to become more than they were prior.
Now, none of this will occur if I don't write. I can't exactly publish something if I don't write it, let alone if it's accepted by a publishing house. This is my biggest hurdle: reminding myself that writing is worth it, even if no one reads it, and that I must write lots that people won't read in order to get to the point that I'm writing something that has people hanging on my release schedule.
My second biggest hurdle, though nearly as large: my self-criticism. I am entirely too critical of everything I do, and will shoot down an idea as it's getting started. That I'm posting this on the Internet where someone can see it at all is a step forward. I've had it with that, too. If there's something in life that you want bad enough, you not only have to be prepared to fight for it; chances are that you WILL have to fight for it. I am sick and tired of bowing and scraping before the altar of my failure. It's time to dismantle that horrible thing, and just take that step.
It all ties into a personal saying of mine:
Nothing worthwhile is easy; nothing easy is appreciated.
I'm not entirely sure where I am going to begin. In the meantime, though, I will be posting more frequently on my journal. The posts may not always be so heavy, either. I may post something simple, shallow, and happy sometimes; something long and sad; or anywhere in between.
Now, it's late, and I must get things put away so that I can go to bed. I have work far too early in the morning.
1 - I am not downplaying it at ALL. In fact, I believe that it has a fantastic moral groundwork and that Jesus' lessons cross religious lines. My primary issue comes from what I perceive to be the "politics" behind the pulpit, but I digress...