“It’s not where your dreams take you, it’s where you take your dreams.”Maya Angelou-poet, author, storyteller, civil rights activist
The idea of becoming a published writer lingered in my mind for a number of years. However, it seemed unrealistic and in some ways self-serving to actually pursue making it happen. You see, writing has always been good for me and to me. Writing provided comfort whenever I poured my joys and struggles onto the pages in my journals. In personal letters, writing offered an opportunity to share my vulnerability with family and friends as I expressed my gratitude, apology, or forgiveness. Writing poetry taught me that words matter and they create art from thoughts and emotions. Like a BFF, taking pen to paper has always been a deeply personal and private relationship I shared with writing…or so I thought.
I recently met a young woman, at an instructional coaching training where we both experienced a powerful moment of insight and reflection. This moment tapped into our common passion for equity in education. Together we engaged in depth about what we had heard and how it defined our role in education as well as our identity within it. It didn’t take long to get a sense that our conversation was giving birth to a powerful message. It moved me enough to tell my colleagues, friends, and family about the content of our discussion in great detail when I returned home. As for the woman at the training…? Well, she shared with me her discerning blog post about that captivating conversation just 3 days later. (see her post)
It was in receiving the link to her post that the intended powerful message in our interaction revealed itself. It was far greater than even the essence of what we talked about. Both of us recognized the value in sharing what we experienced but she chose a larger audience. In turn, she stands to influence and serve a broader community. The stark contrast in our actions demonstrated how written work provides a conduit for the possibilities of connection, understanding, and compassion. Other than talking about it to a few people in my intimate circle, I contained my reflections, my life lessons…my words in personal journals and notebooks. Her selfless act of exposing her truth in writing for a very public audience awakened in me a dream that remained dormant for too many years.
I dreamed, perhaps not so secretly, of becoming a writer for much longer than I even realized. Whether writing creative stories shared with my 6th grade classmates, contributing to school newsletters, sharing book reviews, or offering strong opinions to the editor, the craft of conveying a message in written words has always been a part of what I had to offer to others. I recall now that I used writing to evoke an emotion, an idea, or a motivation to take action. However, due to the twists and turns of this thing we call life, my writing skills surfaced only when opportunities presented themselves to me in the form of an assignment, occasional project or requested favor . I simply waited and waited for the dream to take me somewhere. Frustration and disappointment led me to disengage from my dream as it took me only as far as my own desk. Though writing may emerge from a personal place, I now know it is ultimately intended for readers.
This blog is the result of me reaching back to a dream that had long been forgotten and finally making a decision to take it to a larger community…all of you. Sometimes realizing our dreams means to reflect on our past to rediscover what we may have denied, diminished, or deferred. With an open mind and careful reflection, the reminders come from unexpected places…like an engaging conversation with a like hearted person.
And now my dream resumes.