“There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, ‘Yes, I’ve got dreams, of course I’ve got dreams.’ Then they put the box away and bring it out once in awhile to look in it, and yep, they’re still there. These are great dreams, but they never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, ‘How good or how bad am I?’ That’s where courage comes in.”
― Erma Bombeck
That is exactly what I did for years. Upstairs hidden in one of my many sewing boxes is the column in which this quote appears, folded neatly, brown with age. Every so often, I would take it out of my sewing box, unfold it, and at look at it. Then put it away, again. Again.
I’ve tried other dreams. I became a quilter. I stamped cards, created scrapbooks. Those are good things; but not the thing I wanted to do.
I even went back to college at 42 to become a legal secretary, which is what I now do for a living.
But. I have always wanted to be a writer. I have always been a writer to the depths of my soul. Beverly, my hair stylist, said to me a few weeks ago, “It is in you.”
In July 2011, after years of secret longing, I took my dream out of the box. I googled writing groups online and found Word Weavers of Michigan. I got in my car and drove to Russ’s in Grandville and met them, and I continue to meet with them twice a month. I started writing.
Since taking the concrete step of joining a writer’s group, I’ve sold two short memoir-ish pieces, and am about to have a short story published in an anthology. I’ve started blogging as well.
Erma Bombeck died in 1997. I miss her. But I have kept her words of inspiration in my heart all these years. She has influenced me with her writing. She also had a dream and took it out of the box, to the joy, delight, and encouragement of many. I have always wanted to be like her.
She also said, “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”
Tonight on The Voice, a 51-year-old woman decided to follow her dream and sing before the judges, even though she has had a lot of success as an actor. Being a singer has always been in her.
It is not too late to take your dream out of the box; to show it to someone else.
What concrete steps are you going to take to make your dreams real?