Thursday, June 4, 2009

Grand Plans

[This post is somewhat immature, but I'd rather disclaim than take it down]

In the summers, people often have these grand plans about how they're going to spend their time.

"I'm going to join a gym!"

"I'm going to learn a musical instrument!"

"I'm going to watch all ten seasons of Friends!"

And so on.

I also have grand plans for this summer. I want to read a number of books, including The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. (And I'd love to read Don Quixote, but who knows if I'll actually do that this summer. And I want to read James Joyce's Ulysses just to prove I can.) I'm actually in the middle of reading Breakfast at Tiffany's, a book that I read a few summers ago and vaguely remember.

I want to start watching Seinfeld (my family owns one or two seasons). I've been told I'll love it.

I want to pick up the flute again. I haven't taken lessons since I was about 12, so that's ten years ago already. A few days ago I started playing again just to see what I could remember and I ended up being able to play (not spectacularly, but I'm extremely out of practice) Part Of Your World, Can You Feel The Love Tonight, and the Bonjour song from Beauty and the Beast. I was even able to play a few bars of Memory from Cats.

Even more importantly, however - I want to write. I want to seriously work on my writing and possibly actually do something with it. But it's hard to concentrate and really lose myself in writing when there is so much going on around me. I think I understand now why writers like to go to isolated cabins in the woods. And most notably, once I start working, it's really going to be a challenge to come home from a long day and then be able to write. And when I say write, I mean really sitting down to write for a number of hours. Not a few snatches here and there.

Right now is my time for that kind of writing, isn't it? If I don't do it now, before the craziness of life actually begins, then when will I? Is my dream of becoming a writer going to end up really being just a dream?

So often when I bemoan the fact that once I start working, I'll be working for the rest of my life, people smile that knowing smile and say, "Welcome to Life." Well, you know what? I hate money. I absolutely loathe it. Because if I can't spend the time doing what I want to do now, then when will I ever be able to? My whole life I'm going to have to spend working in order to make money in order to pay bills in order to live so that I can be able to go to work. What kind of a life is that? When will I have a chance to actually live my life the way I want to live it? My dream right now is to be a stay at home mother and a full time author. But how can I get to be a full time author if I am unable to actually write my first book? Where will I find the time and energy for real writing? And yet if I prolong this time without a job, I'll have no money. So basically my life is about having money so that I can actually have a life? But then, when will I be able to quit that part so I can spend my days writing? When I'm retired?

In the olden days, writers and all artists used to have patrons who would basically provide for them so that they could work on their art, which they would then proceed to dedicate to their patrons who had so generously supported them. Nowadays, I don't think we have such a system. At least, I've never heard of it. So those who wish to pursue the arts have to either be a "starving artist" or have to squeeze in the time before they are good enough and wealthy enough to make it a full time profession. Or their dream of working in the arts remains just that. A dream.

How many dreamers are out there who spend their lives doing something else completely?

When do you get to start becoming who you want to be in this world instead of just focusing on paying the bills?

Why am I 22 years old and already aware that there is real danger in losing my dream completely - that if I want my dream to become a reality, I'm really going to have to fight for it? Because nothing about this world, this life, is going to let me have it.

I just really hope it's not another one of those "grand plans."


Anonymous said...

You know, when there's no homework in your life, you have lots of time in the evening to do whatever you want.

And many people claim that being a starving artist is necessary - as soon as you don't feel the pinch, the flow just doesn't go. Remember - Rawling didn't write Harry Potter in a gazebo surrounded by solicitous servants.

pobody's nerfect. said...

if u get season 8 of friends, please let me know! my brother lent that one out and it was never returned so i dunno it!