Gumption: A Thought About Pursuing Dreams

I am proud to say that I am from a family that has a lot of gumption. We grab life by the balls and make it our bitch. Forgive my brutal honesty, but it is true. There is not a single person in my family who doesn’t rock. On my mother’s side at least. My dad’s side, that’s a whole different story. But screw them we aren’t talking about them.

Point being, I have some great examples to aspire to in my family. This is part of where my determination stems from. It is due to their support that I have come as far as I have. And trust me, it wasn’t easy. I work full time, commute as much as as three hours a day, raise two children, a crazy pooch, and a husband. (Yes, I sometimes feel like I am raising my husband!) I go to school online full time, and maintain two blogs, and I edit on the side. Why do I put myself through this? Because I am determined to get to where I want to be.

I want to write. I want to read. I want to edit. I want that to be my job. I want to be so immersed into the literary world that I can duplicate the library in Beauty and the Beast. Okay that is a bit of an exaggeration, but still. If I had the space I probably would make that my goal.

And you know what? I will achieve that, no matter how hard I have to work. Because that is what my family taught me. Because I have the gumption to make it happen. Do you?

Mommy, I want to be a Mermaid.

Mermaid Mother and Child by Shijun Munns

Mermaid Mother and Child by Shijun Munns

This little declaration from my open minded three year old was made last night, shortly after my copy of The Little Mermaid arrived in the mail. We were sitting on the couch, preparing for bed when she smiled up at me, her big brown eyes wide with joy.

“Mommy, I’m going to be a Mermaid when I get bigger.” She said it with such reverence, such confidence, such elation and I could not help but feel so proud of her.

Younger and younger, children’s imaginations are being stripped from them in an attempt to educate them on the real world. The magic of being young is losing the war against our perceived reality. In fact, I recently read an article where the writer actually encouraged parents to dissuade their child from creating unobtainable goals, such as being a mermaid, because it sets them up for failure which leads to decreased self esteem.

Well you can dissuade your child, Mrs. Big Shot Parenting Writer, but I will not. My daughter will grow up to be a mermaid, do you know why? Because when I am swimming, I AM a mermaid. When I am in the shower singing horribly off tune, I am doing it to an audience of millions. When I walk down the street, you bet your pretty little behind that flash mobs are dancing around me like they do in Disney movies. Why? Because unlike you, I don’t believe reality is confined to what we see. Reality is what we make of it, and is unique to us all. Where you look at a child flopping chaotically in the pool, I see a mermaid splashing about with her very own purple, sparkly tale.

And there is nothing you can do about it.

Finding Your Voice

findyourvoice

Yesterday, I was speaking with a pretty fabulous friend of mine and she said something that sparked a bit of a soul-searching-vibe within me. She told me to keep writing, and eventually I would find my voice. Of course, my initial thoughts on this were along the lines of a typical child; “But when would I find it? How will I know I found it? Why do I need a stupid voice anyways?” Okay, that last one was just something a petulant child (me) would have said before she matured to the awesome person she is today. (Everyone that knows me just snorted at that statement.) The real question is, what is my voice? What is it that I hope to accomplish with this blog? Or with my writing in general?

The truth is, I have no idea. I know that I love to write, and this blog lets me do that. It also lets people read my writing. A goal of any writer is reach an audience, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Yeah I know, a lot of writers say “I write for myself” but that’s just not true. If it were just for yourself, then you could keep it locked up in that pretty little brain of yours and just dream it like a movie. But when you put that pen to the paper, you are doing so to share. And that’s a beautiful gift, one that people should cherish.

So what beautiful gift do I want to share? I am not sure yet. Do I want to become a published author? Of course I do. Do I have what it takes? No idea. Will I try? Probably, at some point. However, I don’t think that is all that I am meant to do. Thanks to this blog, I was able to meet some wonderful people, and these people value my opinion. It has allowed me to realize that maybe writing isn’t all I am good at. Being able to help other writers, even with just a few corrections here and there, or some advice on story flow, has become a passion I never knew existed. Who knows, maybe one day this blog will say “Kay Froebel, Editor.” That sounds like a good voice to me.