I recently turned 35, which is no big deal, but it did get me thinking. There’s a few things most people my age are expected to have – a job, a spouse, a kid or two. Lots of us don’t have all that, through choice or circumstance, but it is the expectation, the dream for many.
I have a very different life – no job, sailing the world on savings and writing stories. Lots of the people I meet also describe my life as living the dream, and, in many ways, I am. But unlike a dream, there’s more cooking, cleaning, sail repair and engine oil changes than glorious sailing into the sunset. And there’s more revision and rejection than the pure joy of telling a new story.
But those highlights still exist, as they do for all of us. There are the opportunities to swim with tropical fish and revelatory moments in my writing. They are what keep us doing those things we once only dreamed of. They are what lets us live up to or defy expectation. And in fiction, they are what makes things interesting.
Here’s to the highlights, and even the lowlights – the stuff of dreams and great stories.