I had the most incredible dream last night. Marvellous because of the overall scenario but also so incredible because I haven’t felt like I’d ventured into that dream universe for sometime now. I don’t exactly recall the actual context of this dream since there are numerous blank fragments floating about, but I do remember that I either happened to have or had made two new friends. Writer friends no less and it was the most phenomenal feeling. Two like-minded people, that I could actually physically touch and mingle with, not just via cyber space but out there in the real world.
We were three peas crammed comfortably in a pod.
And much like Carrie Bradshaw’s chance encounter with her Parisian fans after navigating through the cobblestone streets of Paree alone for days, I’d finally found my people; I’d found my place for belonging. The three of us would meet up at a coffee lounge, its walls cladded in dark mahogany and was teaming with overstuffed leather furnishings studded in tarnished silver. We had our usual table, and like the gang from How I Met Your Mother and their booth at McLaren’s, everyone knew that central rounded table was solely reserved for the three amigos. We always had copious topics on the agenda to discuss and our banter was just utterly euphonic. Euphonic because sadly I’ve never really had the pleasure of physically experiencing such dialogues in this lifetime. We were thick as thieves and they were so legitimately captivated by me and my thoughts and I of theirs. But above all else they were always so genuinely elated to see me.
You see, no one is ever overly enthused by my presence, at least by those presently around me, and it was such an enjoyable feeling to finally have another human be as delighted and ardent to see me as I was of them. It was also incredibly saddening to awake from this and realise my two new companions were that of fiction and that they were destined to wane away in my sieve of a mind. Then it made me long for my American family and friends who are probably about the only people on this planet who genuinely feel my absence and quite fancy my company. But most of all it had me thinking of the terrible what ifs.
What if I had gone down a different path in life? The intended path?
What if my talents, creative hunger and the like had been observed by others, not just my family but teachers and friends alike? And from a young age at that? What if they acknowledged and regarded the countless doodles and endless written tales I slaved over and pointed me into the right direction? Nurtured the obvious voracity for the written word and supported the idea of a life of creativity, rather than overlooking and discarding it to rot as the conforming need to be one of those pretty and popular girls took root instead.
Where would I be today? Well educated? Well read? Further advanced in my chosen craft? Successful even?
What if somebody in my family encouraged me to continue making those picture books I spent my childhood meticulously penning and perfecting. Took heed of that undeniable sparkle in my eyes as I splayed my newest creations onto your dining room table Maria, like my own personal show and tell time. What if they noticed how gratified and proud it left me when sharing those stories I concocted and the pictures I scribbled beneath those words. Even simply regarding how much pride I took in binding those little fabrications with a clever trick I spent hours unerring with my dad’s office stapler.
And what if I disregarded the nonsense my sixth grade teacher spouted in an attempt to discourage me from reading those Goosebump novels I adored? And in front of my mother no less, who then and there took his word as gospel and concluded that all books were repellent, loathsome and childish even. I doubt he intended to disparage me per say, perhaps make a point that it would be far more beneficial to me if I read more age appropriate material. But still in the eyes of a lost and self-conscious little girl whose happened to miraculously confide in you about her totally uncool hobby of reading, you ultimately doomed her love affair and sealed their fate. Imagine if I just brushed that away or was able to fully comprehend his intentions? The books I would have discovered and read by now! Not left to only reacquaint with at a time where there is far too much to catch up on and hardly any time for one to indulge.
What if I located my flock at a young age? Would I have so actively pursued a life of superficiality? If I had the opportunity to surround myself with like-minded people who shared my passions and assisted in further opening my eyes, would I be different? Would that have filled that void I still feel to this very day? Had I found my people back then would I have so scandalously persisted with the fickle friendships I made? Afflicted myself unnecessarily over some ideal and need to run with that cool crowd. And for what purpose? To be associated with the right people just to be invited to those ridiculous parties? It worked since I was only ever invited because of association and not for my merits or general perceived awesomeness, which was more fitting of narcism than anything else. I perfected the art of bimbo-ism, dumbing myself down for years and years because anything with a shred of intelligence was deemed unworthy of their attentions and these days, even though we are older they are now only met with confusion. Confusion because the mere hint of that girl who’d been locked away and hidden for far too long is new to them and utterly foreign because they failed to recognise the real me. And now these people have abandoned me and all because I am different; I’ve changed and are no longer like them.
I never really was to begin with.
If I’d had the confidence and belief in myself that I wish I had back then, I wouldn’t have felt the undeniable need to follow others as I so desperately did. And perhaps in finding my own voice I’d have chosen a different school and found the souls I was always meant to find. Then again, maybe those souls and I are divided by seas, hence why our paths never once crossed. And why I always seem to effortlessly connect with others from different continents to my own.
I’d have started this journey much sooner and with much more fervour, rather than that late night revelation one Monday a few years back. And imagine what I may have achieved by now? Published? Fame? Fortune? Love? Whatever it would have been, I know in my heart that I would have actually achieved something, not just dipped my toes into that pond but oh so much more. And with support of others too, the kind of support I crave so vehemently now. And just image what my strengths would be in having spent a lifetime of tending to and feeding those desires of mine.