Following my dream.

The other night, on my drive home from work, I gave my mom a call. Don’t worry, I used my bluetooth. Both hands on the wheel, just like Mutti would want.

We did the usual chitchat – How was your day? How’s work? Grandma still crazy?  – and then the conversation drifted to me. I filled her in on all the exciting happenings in my life over the last week, primarily the Entertainment Writers Panel I was able to attend on Campus.

For a brief moment, a feeling of melancholy slipped over me. I recalled the crowd in the room, so many young faces, and felt remorse that I was one of the older students in the room. I’m 28 years old and working on my second Bachelors degree. A total change of directions.

Why, at 18 or 19, did I not know what I wanted? The young faces around me were so confident, so alive! How did they know, right out of high school, their true passion? Why did it take me a decade to find mine?

Don’t stress: this isn’t a rant to tell you that I’m no longer a die-hard optimist and that I’m rebranding this blog or anything. I was about three minutes into my pity-party about the fact that I’d “caught the train late,” when my mother interjected.

“Tori, you’ve found what you love. You’ve found what your good at. Why do you care about your age?”

“Well, I’m behind everyone else! I have some classmates – five, ten years my junior – who are publishing work, left and right. They’ve been published prior to starting school! I’m late to the party, Mom.” I could sense my argument was pretty weak.

“So? Some people never figure out their passion. Some people will never do what they love. Whether its 18, 28, or 88 – at least you found it.”

Man… why are moms always right?

It doesn’t matter how old I am. What does matter is that I’m taking action. I’m not ignoring my passion. I’m running at it, full force. I’m submitting my work to every avenue I can find: contests, e-zines, journals, etc. I’m putting my heart – my soul – out there for the world to see. And it feels amazing. It’s the most glorious, rewarding, spiritual, freeing, and pure feeling I’ve ever experienced.

Perhaps being a little bit older is actually a good thing. Would I have understood these emotions at 18? Would it have been such an ephemeral experience? Would I have truly recognized what a marvelous thing I had discovered – my passion, my dream! – had I not done the traditional path, first? Would I have recognized the brilliance of the light if I hadn’t experienced the darkness?

It’s a question I can’t answer. I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter. What I do know is this: now that I know what I want, nothing – not my age, not my fears, not my angst – will stop me from pursuing this with all of the energy and zeal I can expend.

“If you’re going to fail, fail with what you are passionate about.” David Drabik, August 28th, 2012.

Failure isn’t rejection. Failure is refusing your calling. It’s making excuses. It’s denying your heart it’s wish because you’re scared, nervous, or insecure.

Failure isn’t an option,
~ Victoria Elizabeth Ann


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