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Should we allow
our dreams to die

 

Charmain Blair Robinson

Guest Columnist

  Like most Americans, as the old year draws to a close I make a list of goals I want to accomplish in the new year Ė exercise more, eat healthier, spend less, save more and write the great American novel.

   Well, the year is almost halfway through and as is the norm with me, I like to do a mid-year evaluation. I like to check off what I have already accomplished and determine what I need to do in order to achieve the rest. So far, Iíve been good on the eating and exercising part; the spending and saving will take a little more time and effort thanks to my unhealthy obsession with shoes but my novel is still just in my head. This goal has been a perennial item on my list for more years than I care to remember and I am now at a point where Iím beginning to wonder if I should just let this one go. After all, if it hasnít happened by now, it probably never will. 

   Almost two decades ago I migrated to the United States with a suitcase containing all that was dear to me that I could fit in it, $300 dollars and a list of dreams I was going to accomplish. There were so many things I wanted to do and to be and I firmly believed that I was in the right place to realize them.

   Today, I can honestly say that I have accomplished most of my original goals with the exception of two. Chief among them is my desire to be an author. I knew I wanted to write from as far back as I can remember. Way before my mom would assault my young ears with her seemingly endless stream of foreign words that had me running for a dictionary for elucidation then eagerly waiting for the opportunity to use my new vocabulary in sentences of my own. Way before I fell in love with journalism while in my early teens after watching CNNís correspondent and my idol of idols, Christiane Amanpour, dodging bullets and all manner of evil while reporting live from various war-torn countries across the globe. I loved words and the power they possess and knew that writing was going to figure largely in my life.

   Now that I am married and have a family, I no longer want to go trekking all over the globe, risking life and limb in order to inform the masses but my heart still yearns to write. Not a day goes by that I donít think about writing. The peace and pleasure I feel when I sit down and write is unlike anything else I know. It fulfills areas of my being that my role as a wife and mother just doesnít. When Iím writing and the ideas are just flowing, I know without a shadow of doubt that writing was what I was created to do. These days it doesnít matter how I am feeling or how much I have to do, I make time for my writing. Sometimes itís just a sentence, sometimes a paragraph or sometimes itís simply a note in my journal, because giving up is not an option. Many people have found success later on in life and I have no problem being among them. Frank McCourt was in his mid sixties when he published the Pulitzer Prize winning Angelaís Ashes. Susan Boyle was almost 50 when she auditioned for Britainís Got Talent, the British version of American Idol. Although she was not the typical contestant she too had a dream of becoming a professional singer. Despite the fact that others were skeptical, she believed in herself enough to take the requisite steps to realize her dream. To date she has released about six albums, is living her dreams and having the last laugh.    

   Every day we get older. Whether we are chasing our dreams or not, time still marches on. If, like me, you have an unfulfilled dream still gnawing away at your heart, you owe it to yourself to fight for it. Donít become the killer of your own dreams and donít worry about how old you are or what others might say because in the end you are all that really matters.   

 

  Charmaine Blair Robinson lives in McDonough with her husband and two children.

 

 

 

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