Note to Self (82) Living the dream

I woke up this morning, my head still in a fog from the night before. I forced myself to walk to the bathroom, take a shower, brush my teeth, comb my hair and put on clothes, the routine kicking in while my muse yelled at me in the background.

I jumped on the bus, checked my emails, tweeted a few words, then caught the subway, my thoughts in a place where my body wasn’t. I peeked at faces who commuted with me, and I saw the same expression everywhere: unhappiness, frustration, robotic moves against human nature and a lack of drive that’d cause the entire world to collapse if something bad suddenly happened.

I didn’t even reach my thirties yet, I got married and now I’m dealing with a divorce. No kids, good income, one nice 1 bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, loving friends, family too far away, and two cats to keep me company. To any outsider, I’m living the dream. The single girl in New York City who can do anything she wants! She’s free! Look at her! Envious eyes stab me in the back while I pace to the office. My phone in one hand, my Ipod in the other, I represent the cliche that you watch in movies. The busy corporate lawyer who never stops breathing because her life sounds so exciting.

But another reality hides behind the curtain. I wear a disguise so I can pay the bills at the end of each month. If I lose my job, I’m homeless. I don’t even have enough savings to sustain for more than 2 weeks. My parents don’t live here. My friends can’t keep me forever on their couches. My cats need me so they can be fed. I became the slave of a lifestyle I abhorre.

I get up every morning, and I want to write, because this is my dream. Yet so many people also dream of writing. And singing. And dancing. And acting. And playing baseball like Derek Jeter. How many succeed? A handful.

This would be a good enough reason to stop fighting for it. Many would advise me to just continue with my boring life, because I live comfortably. I can afford to go on vacation, and buy nice stuff. Deep inside, however, I don’t care about vacation and nice stuff. I need a roof over my head so I can feel safe, and food in my mouth so I can survive, but the rest doesn’t matter to me. I only want one thing.

I remember being 11. When a teacher asked me what I’d like to do when I grew up, I simply responded: writer.

I’ll maybe never reach the stars, but I’ll follow the Moon, because this is the only reason that keeps me going every day. I probably aspire to become much more than I’ll ever be, so what? The routine is what’s killing me. Not my crazy dreams.

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