Monday, July 15, 2013

She's a wannabe writer and he's a wannabe photographer

Every year I encounter young students telling me how they're going to be rock stars, NFL players, and models and if I'm being honest, which as you know I like to be, I internally roll my eyes and think to myself, "yeah, okay, tell me how that works out for you in ten years."

Now why the negativity? Am I being a debbie downer, a pessimist? Am I wrong? I don't outright tell them "keep on dreaming buddy!" I just kindly, in that nice teacher voice way"just make sure you have a back up career in mind in case that one doesn't work out for you." I also usually ask them what else they would be interested in doing, and they look at me blankly like they've never considered the fact that they may not be the superstar athlete or model they envision in their future.

Yet, here I am the negative nancy of harsh life's realities and the wannabe dreamer with her own crazy unrealistic ideas in her head. I look at my husband at 35 who still dreams big like a little shy boy sitting in the back of my class. I see my theatrical daughter and I don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing that she tells me she wants to be teacher because that's what she sees with mommy and daddy.

I look at myself who at the age of ten has always dreamed of writing, publishing books, reaching readers, sharing stories and lessons about life, yet it's a dream like everyone else's ideas of the future. Aren't all our ideas of the future a dream? My husband loves photography. He's taken pictures his whole life. He loves scenic ones the best but we both know the writer and photographer gig is a starving artist kind of deal. It's a dream, a hope, just a love like a boy that loves football or a girl that loves to pose for the camera; something we enjoy that in most cases wouldn't suffice to provide for the necessities and enjoyment of life.

Even though in so many ways I'm not much different than that dreaming 15 year old in my class I don't encourage his or her dreams. Later,  I often catch myself thinking why? Unfortunately, I feel that we discourage one another's dreams more than we encourage. Hell, I'm guilty of that with my own husband. I worry that I'll be too much like that with my daughters. Do we do it because of our own fears, our own expectations, our own experiences with reality?

Here's what I concluded. I decided to pursue something I've put aside for twenty years with writing this blog, which I am so excited to see grow everyday, and working on finishing my first book since I was probably a 15 year old myself, at the same time my husband decided to start his own photography website because he shot his first wedding shoot this past year. Even if it was family he did an amazing job, but I never knew how much work went into professionally editing photos. It's a lot; very time consuming. Why? Have we become unrealistic teenagers hoping to quit our day jobs after such a rough year. No. Even the absurbness of that make me laugh. I do love teaching, and I don't think I could leave it as much as I thought about how much less stressful others jobs may be this past year. I would take the idea of not starting work until after 8 though; I can dream about making that a reality can't I?

But we pursued these things because we wanted to show my daughters how important it is to not give up on your dreams. How even when people doubt you, do it anyway. And I think one of the most important things is that it's okay to fail. Because if you go after something you dream about and it doesn't work out, you've succeeded right there because you didn't quit. You didn't let fear keep you from trying. This was all a reaction to people's criticism and doubt too because when people make me feel like I can't do something it tends to just make me mad (but discussing why we just want to doubt and put people down is a different post altogether). But the other thing that inspired me was facebook. I don't mean facebook itself, but through facebook I have watched so many people, especially ones from back home, work really, really hard to go after the changes they wanted to see in their lives. I applaud them and found them as inspiration to just not give up on something I love to do. Life gets busy as parents and it becomes very easy to let our passions and interest fall to the side, and I didn't want to do that anymore. So yeah, maybe we're just going to forever be a 15 year old wannabe writer and photographer trapped in our aging bodies but I'm okay with that. (Maybe not the getting old part)  What kind of wannabe dreamer are you?

Some of you have wanted to know where my recent facebook and blog photos came from; they are Nate's and here's a peak at some more. I hope you can visit his website at Point Click Capture Photography to check out his wannabe dream pictures.

As always thanks for reading! And keep on dreaming!

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