I remember my school journals from when I was a teenager. Between the pages reserved for 40 weeks of homework there were little snippets of wisdom. Every week was framed by a quote from someone like Goethe or Ralph Waldo Emerson, and at intervals a couple of pages were devoted to inspiring poems.
I still remember one of these poems:
"Follow your dreams wherever they lead,
don`t be distracted by less worthy needs...
Shelter them, nourish them, help them grow,
Let your heart hold them down deep where dreams go."
The irony of printing a poem like that in a school journal didn't register that with me as a teenager. Back then I didn't see the education system the way I see it now: a funnel that promotes one dream, and one mode of success.
When we were younger we all had dreams and visions of where our lives would go. We indulged in them, we fantasised, but we were not encouraged to take them seriously. (In fact, I distinctly remember scribbling out the word "dream" in a friend's journal, and replacing it with "dick". Evidently I haven't matured much since then, cos' that still makes me laugh ;) )
We grow older quickly. We become adults with paths and responsibilities, but our unfulfilled dreams don't die. We feel them at the back of our minds, nagging us. We plough ahead and don't entertain these ideas of what our lives might have been. But every now and again, in moments of stillness, they surface, and drive us mad.
I am so honoured to say that, difficult as it is, I'm following my passion. But sometimes I wonder how it happened. I wasn't an "artist" growing up, so it never even occurred to me that I might be creative (even though I wrote poems, stories, songs, played instruments and sang). No one in my family is in a creative field, and I wasn't encouraged to pursue one. I always knew I wanted to create stories that touched people, but what gave me the impetus to pursue this shadowy path?
I think it's because I never stopped dreaming.
"Follow your dreams pursue them with haste;
Life is too precious too fleeting to waste...
Be faithful, be loyal, then all your life through,
the dreams that you follow will keep coming true..."
~ Larry S. Chengges