In approximately 4 weeks I will do something I’ve never done before. I will complete a dream. I will finish (sans editing) my first original novel.
I’ve had many dreams in my life. Many lofty goals. I’ve never finished, or accomplished, any of them, outside of being a wife and mother. That dream is important in its own right, but this isn’t about that.
I have wanted to be a dance teacher since I was three. The closest I came was when I was at a dance school at the age of 10. The owners picked me and two other advanced students to be TA’s. We helped teach the youngest students on Saturday morning’s. We were left alone with the classes to teach basics, but we never choreographed their recital numbers, and we were always in a group.
Another goal I’ve had since that young age was to perform onstage. When I was three, I wanted to be Ginger Rogers. As I grew up, it became a dream of Broadway. But, in high school I let an idiot choir teacher wreck my confidence and let him influence my faith in my voice. 4 years ago I came the closest to this dream I ever will, I performed in local theatres in 4 musicals, doing both dancing and (*gasp*) vocal leads! It was close, but still not my dream.
I wanted to finish college. My first attempt was a very sad failure. My own fault. In one semester I was kicked out with a 0.0 GPA. I never went to class. My second attempt was more successful. I went for a Dance Education major. Halfway through the first semester my ballet teacher bumped me to the 200 class. I ended the semester on a 3.8 GPA. I was so proud. But, then I became pregnant, and would have been 8 months pregnant at finals. With a dance major, it was a no-go…so I let that dream go (though not permanently, I still carry it.).
I have viewed my life as a series of failures. A disappointment to my parents, especially since I was the ‘smart’ one of their kids. The one they were sure would finish college. Turns out, my brother did that before me thanks to 10 years of military service. Every time I’ve had a ‘great idea’ it’s fizzled, and they know it.
When I set out to write this novel, it was with great fear. I’ve never finished anything I’ve said I would. Even small things get lost in the mix. My friends convinced me that the story was too good not to make into something better.
A year ago my husband and I went to dinner, and during the salad course I decided to tell him what I was going to try. With a nervous knot in my stomach I told him that I wanted to take this thing that I’d been writing and make it…real. I wanted to try to write it and finish it, and sell it.
I waited for his answer in fear. I heard my mother’s voice in my head telling me I was being a fool. I was being just like my aunt who went through, and still goes through ‘phases’ in her life. Something is her dream, her passion, and then it’s gone in the wind. That’s what I was doing…again.
But he didn’t say anything like that. From that day forward he’s been so supportive. He hasn’t read it yet (Historical Fic/Romance isn’t his cup of tea), but he’s promised to. He asks me how it’s going. He doesn’t push me when it’s not going at all. He’s excited for me, and scared for me. His support, along with the support of my best friend, have been what have gotten me through. I never knew having someone believe in you made all the difference. Now I do…
And so I face the coming weeks with trepidation. Will I truly succeed where I’ve always failed? Will I finish something I set out to do? In a years time, no less? I believe, for the first time, that I will. This year has been plagued with self-doubt. Now I’m filled with hope, and fear. Because beyond the success of my first completed dream comes the obstacle that I have little control over…the selling of my dream. But I now know that completing it was the true goal. Selling it is just the gravy. And it feels good to know it will happen. Once it does, I’ll have faith that anything can, and will, happen.