“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
T.E. Lawrence a.k.a Lawrence of Arabia
As I laid awake at the crack of dawn, I searched the TV for some semblance of quality programming that did not feature the latest in home products or the next big cooking appliance. I eventually stumbled upon Roseanne. To my surprise I did not expect to be touched so early in the morning and awake my creativity to write this column.
On TV Land, the final episode of Roseanne, “Into That Good Night: Part 2.” Roseanne closed the series with a powerful monologue that revealed the whole series was actually an alternate version of the real events. She spoke about each member of her family and friends in such a thought provoking manner that was so unlike her jarring, in your face screeching that made the show unique.
The description of her son D.J. spoke the loudest to me, “A lot of times, ‘nerds’ are really artists who just listen to the beat of a different drummer.” Although I make my living as a confident artist now, I was more of a mousy nerd growing up. I didn’t even pick up a paintbrush until I was 18. I marched to the beat of my own drum, but I definitely didn’t make a big fuss with a lot of pomp and circumstance. My uniqueness was apparent, I didn’t make excuses for it but I definitely did not stand up for myself.
I always had creativity bubbling inside me but it took a pointed and an insightful observation from my sharp tongued college counselor to tell me I was an artist. For the longest time I couldn’t understand how she was able to take my teen angst and confusion and decipher such a large part of me. I’ve come to learn that my art is not only a visual representation of my imagination but a true reflection on how the world moves and grows, something I live.
My childhood I spent mostly as a loner, I constructed elaborate stories and let my imagination go wild as I dreamt of a day when I could be myself and not feel ashamed of all the random trivia I knew, my interest in ancient worlds, or my ideals for a world that didn’t let labels define people.
Many people call me a dreamer and say my optimism can be lofty. I have to admit there are moments when I feel like my dreams of artistic fulfillment and ideals are a bit selfish. When I reflect on the idea that only about 1-3% of people actually go after their dreams and make them reality, my doubt quickly subsides and I’m happy to claim my place among the stars and the dreamers.
“I learned that dreams don’t work without action; I learned that no one could stop me but me.”