When do you admit, “Hey, I’m not really going to create my own non-profit save Africa and sea tortoises organization?”
Would it benefit the world, if there were a mandatory age when everyone must admit that they are not going to write a novel that turns into a movie that turns into an action figure? This age would have to be old enough that you have a track record for good or for ill, but young enough that you don’t waste any more of your life thinking that your beer can collection will be worth 250K on eBay. If you have not yet come to grips with the fact that you are not Michelle Obama, this age should be about one year older than you are now.
Mind you, this is for the general public. There are, of course, exceptions. You are, for sure, an exception.
But I’m not. I grew up thinking I didn’t just want to be a writer, I grew up thinking that I was a writer. I really believed it. In my teens, I wrote deep, sad, things that no one had ever thought before, not ever. But I woke up one day in my late twenties, and realized that I wasn't a writer. I didn't have a humor column in the Washington Post. I hadn't published a hand bound book of poetry or been commissioned to write the sequel to my bestselling young adult novel.
All I had were the first 75 pages of an embarrassing attempt at a science-fiction nov – wait, you can’t even call it a novel, more like a terrible terrible mess of terrible clichés. Oh, and pages and pages of break-up poetry. I wasn’t a writer. I was a middle school English teacher.
And then I thought, I can accept that I'm an English teacher, and that I'm not a writer OR I can not accept it and continue to live with expectations for myself and feel . . . how . . . how would you describe that feeling? Like I hadn’t arrived yet.
Expectations are the worst things ever.
So at 27, I ditched my self-imposed expectations that I should be married or that I should cook men cookies and I began to love life like I never had before. It was amazing, just being an English teacher.
Now, I have no expectations, but as you can see I’m starting a blog. I don’t want to be a “blogger” or “writer” or anything. Can’t I just be myself?
Sure, I’m not that smart or that attractive or that successful. And I tell you what, what a relief.