People used to ask me what I wanted to do with my life after I finished college. And for a long time that answer was the same, even though it seemed impossible. Because what I dreamed of doing, what I dream of doing, is something that could never be more than a dream. I was always told I wouldn’t be able to make money, because apparently your dreams have to fit into a career. And those that did believe with me, that did dream with me, none of them knew how to help me, because they had their own dreams to follow.
Ever since I fell in love with poetry and started doing spoken word, I’ve wanted to travel and do that. My entire life I’ve imagined myself speaking and telling stories and somehow encouraging people who felt as lost as me to keep going. But trying to explain this has gotten too hard and unconventional, so I’ve allowed myself to settle.
When I packed up my car and moved across the country with no job, few friends, and no place to live, I really thought I was taking a step toward making my dreams come true. I thought that I would be writing more. I thought that I would be performing more, possibly. I thought there would be people that believe in me and knew how to help me. Because I’ve never known how to make my dreams come true on my own.
Instead, I sort of allowed myself to almost give up. I settled into a good enough for right now job. I let my minimalist ways slip a little bit and probably have more than I need. I have a dog and a boyfriend and furniture and I’m locked into a lease. I can’t fit all my possessions in my car, and I can’t just pack up and go anywhere, even if I wanted to. I decided to go back to school next fall and get my masters in counseling, because maybe I’ll be able to change lives using poetry through counseling. Because this makes sense. Because this is comfortable.
I bought a camera about a year ago. I bought it so that I could start filming spoken word videos for youtube, because that seemed like a logical first step. I had someone that was willing to help me with shoots, but they aren’t as willing as I thought. So I can do them on my own, but I guess I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the judgement of the quality, because I know my editing won’t be as good. And I know that the sound quality won’t be perfect because I don’t own a separate mic, and I know of at least one important person who will judge me for that. I’m afraid of embarrassing myself. I don’t really like to draw attention, I’d rather have it be given. Thus, I haven’t really tried to chase my dreams. I haven’t tried to book any gigs. I haven’t shown anyone anything . And I’ve almost quit altogether.
Last Wednesday I went and saw a spoken word artist that I used to listen to in college. He tours and does spoken word for a living, and he happened to be coming to Florence. He doesn’t make a lot and he doesn’t have a lot, but he’s doing what he was made to do. He’s doing what I wish I could do. And I told him that. And he told me to go for it. He told me do it anyway. Because I actually have the resources to record an ep. I actually can do some videos. I actually could start doing gigs. And I’m wondering if I’m just too damn comfortable.