I am a dreamer.
It’s one of thing that people find endearing about me (I think…at least my husband does).
Many years ago (but not too long), I wanted to be a lawyer. At the age of 12, I wanted to be that person who I had seen in court dramas on TV and make a difference. I even competed in competitions where I had to act and write like a lawyer. And I excelled at it. My mother got a kick out of it whenever she had to dress me up in a dress suit, looking ready to kick ass in the courtroom.
I became driven at the age of 12. And I completed the very dream I had envisioned. I’m a licensed attorney and have been now for about 6 years. I have touched upon almost everything within the law field, even the lofty goal of being an entertainment attorney working for the likes of Sony Music and Bad Boy Entertainment.
I was driven. I was focused. I was pushing myself to excel.
And I also stopped listening to the dreamer in my head.
Some short time into high school, I began to turn to the page. I was too much of a dreamer and most of the time hated the mundane of facts and non-fiction. So I turned to a little notebook I had and I began to write poems (like a lot of angsty teenagers do). But the poems morphed into bigger aspirations. I was then dreaming of stories and differences I would do in the books I would consume. It then became a writing a play for a competition at school and immersing myself in the Drama Club – the true place for dreamers. I began to write short stories. I had tapped into a stream of aspiration and ideas I didn’t know I had inside of me.
Then I gave myself a reality check. I told myself writing wasn’t going to pay the bills or put food on the table. I had to seek out a respectable profession like being a lawyer.
I buried the dreamer deep down. She had to be put away so I could focus. And focus I did.
To this day, I still wonder whether the dreamer and the achiever could have co-existed at the same time. Probably not, because I didn’t have the skills to balance two things at the same time. I’m not sure whether I can now but I am attempting it.
The dreamer reemerged when I needed her the most. To help cope with studying for the bar – I wrote fanfiction (not ashamed of it – if you want to read it some, let me know). Then when I was looking for a job, she came with an idea for a novel which I have spent the last 5 years working on. And I have several other novels in my head, ready to be put to paper.
How I functioned without my dreamer throughout college and law school is still a mystery to me. But she has been flexing her fingers and she is ready to spring out. Because she has now placed in me the biggest dream of all.
The Empire. Or at least that’s what I call it and I was calling it that before the show.
Being a lawyer in as many different fields of law as I have been in my short time has given me perspective. Your past experiences, good or bad, always teach you a lesson. Lessons that will benefit you in the future whether you know that future or not. My experiences gave me perspective on conducting business – how to do and what not to do. And that to be truly happy, the best business is your own where you can call the shots (especially if you are Type A like myself).
And I have a MASSIVE dream for my Empire. Media company that will feature voices that don’t normally have a platform that will encompass books, films, social media, etc. I could go on and on about this vision and how boss it’s gonna be (that’s for another post).
When you have such a huge dream, it’s very easy to get swept up in all that has to get done. And if you’re like me, you want to get everything done like yesterday. I’ve caused myself so much stress about getting everything done that I have burst into ugly tears about how I’m ruining everything by being tired (did I mention I’m a Type A?).
So here’s the first lesson I learned:
YOU ARE NOT A GOD OR A GENIE.
The dreamer is holding on to the dream of the Empire but the achiever sees that all of the legwork should have been done years ago. That we have lost time and that we have do everything now to just catch up, let alone progress forward.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH. NO, REALLY TAKE A DEEP BREATH RIGHT NOW. (I just did it myself.)
I am thorough believer that everything happens for a reason – even when I don’t like the outcome or wish it wasn’t so. There is a reason I took the long way to get to this point – of being a writer and wanting to start my own media empire including a publishing company. I had to go through the ups and downs of life to understand that this is where I wanted to end up. Because I needed perspective.
Just because I’m starting later doesn’t mean my dream will never get accomplished. It’s never too late for my dream. I will need to remind myself of this when I am pushing through work deadlines and possible distractions (read: kids) in the future. It’s never too late for now. And because it’s never too late for now, everything doesn’t have to be done now.
Take the slow cooker. You know why a slow cooker is one of the best inventions known to man? Because the best flavors and best textures need time to simmer. Time to perfect.
Slow cook your dream, throw in some dedication, a few dashes of patience, a couple of drops of innovation, a healthy cup of teamwork and collaboration. And let it cook until it’s done. And sometimes the dream is too big to fit in the slow cooker, so slow cook what you can realistically can get done now.
I’m getting my yearly strategic plan ready (more on that in my next post) so I can effectively execute the plan in a well thought out manner instead of the emotional mess I tend to be. And I learned that through my experiences. You see, full circle.
So I am may be a lawyer now, working on blah stuff.
But I will always be a dreamer. Taking it one day at a time.