i have a lot of conversations/daydreams/thoughts about what i want my future to look like. i spend time thinking about my career, my family, my free time...what does it all look like?
i like to dream big.
big for me.
which may not be big for you
when i picture my future...i'm in my home, which is by the water and has a lovely spacious kitchen. it is filled with natural light and is spectacularly decorated. my kids run through the rooms and my husband and i dance as we cook dinner together. upstairs, there is a room that is mine. it is my yoga/writing studio and there i write plays, novels, and poems and practice handstands against the wall. i teach creative writing at a local university and a local middle school, much to the chagrin of my kids. as a writer, people respect my work. people know my name. i've gotten a few big fellowships and no longer feel like i am trying to prove to everyone that i am a good writer.
see, that is one picture. that is the best case scenario. i dream big, but i also wonder what is the baseline i need to be happy.
for example, my home by the water? i'll settle for being able to see/walk to the (hudson) river. the spacious kitchen? how about just a functioning kitchen with a dishwasher... my yoga/writing studio? i'll just take a desk that i actually use.
natural light is pretty much necessary. as are kids and a dancing husband.
but what is my baseline for my career? what does my career need to look like for me to be happy?
i think about this a lot every time i get a rejection. rejections are part of the territory, but, man, sometimes you get several in a day and you can't help but feel a little hurt/overwhelmed/frustrated by it all. even when there are so many other awesome things going on, rejections can trip you up. i get that, as a writer, rejections are a part of my life, but i often wonder how many rejections i am up for receiving.
am i someone who can get hundreds of rejections and push through? or am i someone who is eventually going to take that to mean i shouldn't be in this field?
am i someone who is okay with never really being noticed outside the community i am a part of? or am i someone who feels as though not winning certain fellowships or not being noticed by certain types of people is failure?
am i someone who is happy to write plays that i self-produce and maybe get seen by a handful of people? or am i someone who wants larger audiences and wants people to want to produce her work?
am i someone who is going to go out and connect with as many people as possible in order to get my name out there? or am i someone who is going to be picky about who i connect with and, possibly, miss out on some opportunities because of it?
i know in reality these questions aren't so black and white. there is so much there. so many details. depending on the day, i feel as though i would be content with different things.
but i wonder.
i fear i am not someone who would do "absolutely anything" to win at this writing game. i fear i'll one day hit my rejection limit.
i also fear i am selling myself short and that i actually will do fucking anything and get rejected every fucking day to get this career of mine off the ground.
i fear this wondering means i shouldn't be doing this. i fear this means i don't want it badly enough.
and then i just want to say fuck you to anyone who implies i don't want it badly enough.
so i fear. i wonder. i say fuck you. i apply again. i write more. i continue to take steps forward.
in the meantime, i'll just dream big because maybe that is my baseline. maybe that dream will just have to come true, no excuses.
or maybe my baseline will appear when i least expect it. maybe i'll look around and realize that i am content exactly where i am.
i guess i just have to wait and see.
...i'm not the only one who wonders about this, right?
p.s. title of post comes from this song. i do not support the message of the song, but it was on the my best friend's wedding soundtrack and i, therefore, know all the words.
p.p.s. last year, i tried to write a poem a day for the entire year. i promised to choose some of the poems, edit them, and then self-publish them. well, i did it. almost a year's worth (book, ebook, or PDF) is available for purchase here.
p.p.p.s. i have been so incredibly touched by the responses i've received for this. please keep them coming!