“If you can dream it, you can do it” — Walt Disney
My first passion was reading. The first memories I have are of being surrounded by books. Big and small, thick and thin. Dusty and clean, old and new. My favorite game was running my fingers over the tomes in my father’s library and picking a book at random. Secretly, I would put it back if it wasn’t a novel or story book—which was the case most of the time. When I had a book in my hands I read into the night, hiding under the covers. I decided I wanted to be a professional reader. I dreamed of reading all day, every day. And the more I dreamed, the more immersed I became in my own world, where suddenly I wasn’t only reading. In my mind, I was living out my favorite stories. Soon, I found myself making up stories of my own. I had found a new passion. Telling stories. I made up stories and told them to myself, to my parents, to my friends, and to anyone who would listen. Those stories never had an ending, I simply jumped from one to the other when I got distracted with a new idea.
One day, without thinking much about it, I sat at my father’s desk, picked up a pen and paper and wrote. I wrote a story with an ending. I don’t know what happened to it, if it’s still collecting dust among the library books or if it’s long been tossed in a bin. But I remember the pride I felt when I took the sheets of paper and showed them to my parents. That’s the moment I decided I didn’t only want to read stories, I wanted to write them.
I did keep writing, but never as enthusiastically as on that day. I went to school, and I wrote. I went to college, and I wrote. But one day, I woke up and realized it had been years since the last time I wrote anything. I realized I never thought I’d ever become a “real” writer and brushed away the fantasy, like every other story I had made up in my childhood and I could now barely remember.
There was something I never stopped doing, though. Reading. Over the years I became a very fast reader. I read hundreds of books and the more I read, the more I hungered to read. It was an insatiable need, until I realized that the need was not only for reading, it was also for writing. Two years ago I let myself dream again. I picked up a pen and wrote—well, I actually typed on a keyboard. And it felt good. It felt more than good, it felt right. I’ve spent my life searching for that one thing that I’m meant to do. Searching for the dream, and now I realize I knew it all along, I just couldn’t bring myself to admit it
The dream is writing.