mixed up monday: graduated dreams

on 06-25-2012

Pomp and circumstance weekends always nudge me into reconsidering the path I followed after high school. I jump started my speech graduation speech with “Can we talk?” – the question du jour á la Joan Rivers – followed by this I-am-18-hear-me-roar revelation: My classmates and I were going to define happiness on our own terms and pursue our dreams with unrelenting passion.


At that time, I thought my dreams were pretty well-defined — linear and logical. If I was going to be a writer, becoming a creative writing professor would provide financial stability while immersing me in a creative sea of other writers.


It didn’t take long for unexpected detours to enter stage left – everything from down-sized writing departments to a defunct marriage made me wonder if my inner-compass had a warranty. Not all of the alternative routes were bumpy, though, like that tricky SCRABBLE brand. It took me months working for the National SCRABBLE Association to realize that the daily mix of writing, pitching and strategic initiatives had actually made me into a cracker jack public relations and marketing executive. Who knew?


It makes sense that the preschool girl who eavesdropped on fishermen’s tales while she made bait boxes at her family’s fishing station and the third grader who put a poem in every bag of tomatoes she sold from a card table in front of her grandfather’s farm would not be the kind of writer I’d imagined a writer had to be – completely enveloped in craft and the act of writing.


Sure, I know there comes a time when you have to get your ass in a chair and WRITE,  but my business/ writing mix kept on cropping up — in elementary school when Rock and Rock Roll Rebel, my first novel with a musical soundtrack {think AC/ DC and Joan Jett on a cassette tape}, ignited my earliest desires to create opportunities for artists by bringing books and music together. Today there’s my novel with a playlist, THE WHEELHOUSE CAFE, and initiatives like theBOOKPROJECT, a book club and literary social.


Sometimes  our dreams haven’t been ignored or unattainable. They’ve actually been with us all along, but just don’t look like we imagined.


Travel back on the path you’ve taken and see what’s woven into the fabric of your dreams. Then, grab hold of what’s moved you through the years and toss your cap in the air to seize some of the just-graduated spirit swirling about.


While you’re at it, tune into this GRADUATED DREAMS playlist . . .

Billy Joel – Vienna
Dave Matthews Band – Ants Marching
Dawes – How Far We’ve Come
Depeche Mode – Dream On
Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
Fun. – We Are Young – feat. Janelle Monáe
Green Day – Good Riddance [Time Of Your Life]
James Morrison – Dream On Hayley
Matchbox Twenty – How Far We’ve Come
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Dream On
The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy – Amended Album Version

And, if you haven’t watched Caine’s Arcade, you’re in for a treat. I can’t even begin to imagine where this remarkable boy’s dreams will carry him . . .





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