“We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write poetry. You probably hate poetry, but it’s hard to argue with ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate’ in terms of sheer beauty. We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.” ― Nicola Yoon, The Sun is Also a Star
I'm turning thirty in a month. And I'm sure most people don't feel thirty when that birthday comes around, but I've barely lived outside my room since sixteen. I didn't experience many things teenagers typically did. First dates, first kisses, school dances, learning to drive. Graduation. College. Jobs. Some of those things didn't really bother me. Others bothered me a lot. And still do. Because none of those things have changed.
I think I've forgotten how to dream big. When I was a child, I was passionate and imaginative. I knew how to hold dreams of magic and romance, even in spite of the intense pain I was living with in reality. I believed in miracles and soulmates. I was my Jane Roberts. Innocent dreamer. Now I'm actually more like Chaz Parker. Still very compassionate. Wanting great things for those I love. But jaded. Damaged. Cynical. Miracles and soulmates still exist, but not for me. Magic and love never found the real me. Dreams of magic faded to a feeling of being trapped in reality.
Writing used to be like magic for me. I could create anything my heart could yearn for and put it into words. Make it almost real. And while I knew I had so far to go in writing skill, I was certain that I'd get there. That I was meant to share the stories, the characters, the words in my heart. And that it would matter. Maybe not to billions of people. But to many. I believed in my dreams.
Years later, I self-published my first book. Now I'm scared that nothing I write will matter to anyone. I don't know how to reach for the stars anymore. They aren't any farther away than they were when I was a child. In fact, I'm taller than I was then; I'm much further along. But that space between seems far more unreachable. Gravity holds me trapped to the earth. An inescapable fact instead of something I could bend through fiction.
I had to drag myself through Book Two. I had to cut myself open when I most wanted to hide and escape from myself. When I finally finished the book, things kept popping up to delay me from releasing it. Artist switches. Formatting issues. And now, deciding to re-edit Book One. And I've accepted it. Eventually welcomed most of the changes. Sometimes life has to redirect you to get you where you need to be. I'm quite resistant to change, but I do still believe things happen for a reason. The books will both be better for the shifts and changes when it's all said and done.
But I miss writing. Not editing. Not revision. Writing. I got a taste of writing Book Three during my first delay. And I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I felt more free and fully connected to writing again. And it's strange that in Book Three Jane is going through what I am right now. A loss of belief in herself. A disconnect with her own magic. That's what brought me to feel more connected to myself. By facing my true feelings. My dark night of the soul.
I want to dream again. I want to believe again. I want to find the Jane to my Chaz. The bright spark to light up my own belief again. Maybe it's still somewhere inside of me.