You know, life is a pretty funny thing. Sometimes the things we want the most are right in front of our faces and we don’t even realize it.
Tuesday will be exactly 5 years since my mom died. For some reason, it means more to me this year. I’m not really sure why but I keep thinking about those weeks and days leading up to her death and how I felt as I prepared for a life without a mother. And now I find myself, on Mother’s Day, feeling that the world is surreal once the one person you’ve known since the moment you came into it is gone forever. She’s not coming back, even though I sometimes think I hear her voice or catch a glimpse of her walking past me in the grocery store. At first, I found myself picking up the phone to tell her something funny that had happened or I would wake up and for a few moments forget that she was gone.
But those days are over. I know she’s gone. I remember when my grandma died, my mom told me that the strangest thing about having lost a parent, at this time she had lost both, was that you could realize your own mortality. This resonates with me today as I realize that the days are counting down and if I want to get some shit done in my life, I better get to it quickly. When my mom died I swore I was going to take her death as a stern message to get my ass up and start making my dreams come true.
I would love to tell you that I’ve spent the last 5 years slaving away at dream construction but the truth is that life moves on, we forget, or choose to forget, and our dreams become secondary. All of a sudden, that book we always wanted to write, or that city we vowed we’d visit, or even that friend for that matter, is slowly pushed to the back burner and reality mutes our dreams.
But what if our dreams become our reality? What if we could take our wildest fantasies and make them come true so that our lives were full of magic everyday?
So laying in bed last week during one of my many mid-day naps, I started thinking about how I had always dreamed of being a full-time writer and maybe that was never going to become realized. And then I thought, “You run a full time website interviewing international celebrities, you write on three different blogs and you have novels you’re working on at the moment. You are a full-time writer!” That which I had always wanted had come true…and I didn’t even realize it. Maybe it just didn’t feel like it because my novel wasn’t on the New York Times Bestseller list and I wasn’t traveling the globe for book signings. I wasn’t accepting Oscars for films based on my book and people weren’t forming book clubs around my characterizations. Nonetheless, I was a writer. I am a writer.
A very wise man once told me, and continues to tell me, whenever he gets a chance, “Successful men are those who are willing to do what unsuccessful men aren’t willing to do.” What wasn’t I willing to do? Take chances?
I immediately got off my ass and onto the computer, Googling names of well-known literary agents, e-mailing them bits of my novel and biography. But deep down I knew nothing would happen. Dreams only happen to those people in movies, right? For years I’ve told teenagers I’ve worked with that the difference between me and Tom Cruise, besides his craziness and extreme acting abilities, was the fact that he showed up for the audition. Maybe if I showed up to life a little more often, life would happen for me.
12 hours later life showed up in the form of an email from one of these famed literary agents. “I would love to read your manuscript. Please send me the first 50 pages and I’ll let you know what I think within 24 hours. If all goes well, I’ll ask to read the rest.”
Years ago, this amazing woman who is somewhat a guardian angel told me that sometimes all we have to do is ask for something. The worst thing that can happen is that we’re told no. And then we ask someone else.
So here I am, busting my ass editing the first 50 pages to send off and quickly working on the 2nd novel…a juvenile love story of death and addiction, because you see…I am a writer!
Today…I am a writer.
You can be whatever you want to be. Ahhhh…the magic of life!