Thursday, March 14, 2013

Okay To Dream

In the late hours last night, I found myself reaching an end. I completed another set of revisions for RABBIT ISLAND, a book that has sent me flying on both real and metaphorical rollercoasters for years, a book whose title I can not seem to shed because it's so rooted in this place that I can't imagine the unimaginative title any other way.

Yesterday, I sat with my boss, Jeff, as I do each week and though the meeting is on our calendar to discuss a weekly status, the discussion is never quite about where we are, but where we wish we, that is to say, our company, our industry, this 'business' of play (I work for a toy company), could be.

Over the years, he and I have stood in conference rooms and pitched endless ideas to bored listeners. We've been dismissed and berated more times than we've been encouraged.  And, while I've often grown weary and retreated, Jeff, instead, continues to fly off on zig-zag paths, what if, what if, and soon he thinks we don't just have an idea but a movement, a musical revue with booming ensemble spectacles in the third act, and I never quite know how we get to Rockette kicks and jazz hands (you'll have to ask him) but I always end up thinking, Okay. Yeah. Yes. Let's go. 

Our discussion yesterday turned towards people, to the leadership of our company, and we wondered what it would be like, if we walked into a room and instead of the eye-roll, the bored sigh, the I don't know, I don't really get it, do we really have time for this now?, we received a help me understand, or, a why don't you try this, or I have an idea! How about...

Last night, I thought a lot about this, about hope, about possibility, about the people who encourage creativity rather than suppress it.  I thought about how it trickles, how one sarcastic, snide comment shifts an entire conference room of people, shifts the culture of a company of hundreds.

I wondered if I have let others stomp and whine and no no no too many times. I thought, if I had to look towards leadership, I'd better look towards Jeff, who will go anywhere, who will piggyback any idea and ride it just to see where it goes.  I thought, I have to be that person to others. I have to be open, kind. I have to shift the mood another way.  It has to start with me.

When I reached the final sentences of my novel, last night, I felt hopeful, a feeling I have foolishly suppressed in the past. Sometimes it's hard to hope, to let yourself wish for things but, yesterday, after I saved the document, then emailed it to myself, watched it pop up bold and new in my inbox, I thought, it has to be okay to dream.  We have to open ourselves, and others, to that possibility.


  1. Over the years, my ideas and dreams have been quashed by so many people, so I try as much as possible to encourage other people in what they want to do.

    My writing has even suffered because of these types of people, but I'm now lucky to find a support network both in real life and online, to encourage me to continue creating.

    Deep in our hearts we all have to take our dream and run with it. It's great that you have a boss like the one you have described.

    Congratulations on finishing your novel, I'm really looking forward to reading it!

  2. First of all, that picture is gorgeous. And secondly, I love people like Jeff, who have infectious spirits, who make things seem POSSIBLE. Congrats on finishing your revisions! From the old draft I read, however long ago it was, I still remember that roller-coaster scene. It was so *there* I don't even know how else to describe it.

  3. Sometimes I think all the snickering and nay-saying is because it's just easier to live closed up and in fear than to embrace change, hope and take leaps of faith. It takes great courage to ignore the voices of cowardice and laziness, which mask themselves as cynicism with some eye rolling on the side.

  4. Congrats on the revisions. What a great idea to email your story and have it be bold and new in the inbox! It's always good to have someone like Jeff in your corner, not to mention as a mentor. Seems like his zig zag paths and Rockette kicks have taken root in you as well.

    This might be a weird thought connected to your post, but I can relate to that squashed feeling you describe when it comes to the kind of hope I have in God. I have been beaten down and sent back to the place of discouragement at times when I've expressed something more optimistic for all of humanity than the awful ending so many people seem to believe in.

    And your picture.. oooh... red skies at night....

  5. I LOVE this, Melissa! I want to be that person too - I tend to retreat. So thanks, I'm going to remember this. Great job with the ending. I'm sure it's brilliant and I can't wait to read it someday (soon!)

  6. And the photo is magnificent.

  7. This post made me tear up as I read through to the last line. Knowing how far you've come, how hard you've worked...and the dream has survived, and dare I say, the dream has thrived. Dream BIG, lovely, and keep dreaming!! I'm so proud of you! xo

  8. Very well said. You write beautifully.