It’s the season of rebirth.
It’s been almost two months since I wrote to you here; yet just thinking the words I want to lay down in black and white creates tension in my throat. I feel it restrict each time the words begin to form sentences in my head.
My physical reaction speaks volumes.
I am writing a book.
At the end of last year I stood in my garden at midnight, threw my head back and looked towards the sky. I stretched my arms wide and turned my palms up in surrender. I felt the world slow down. I felt every single raindrop as it splashed onto my cheeks and became one with the tears that were sliding down my face.
“What do you want from me?” I pleaded silently through my sobs.
“Book, book, book” came the gentle reply…from within.
The book that’s been burning inside me for as long as I can recall; a dream I’d put on the back burner. Too big, too frightening. The book that contains stories I’m yet to live.
Last year was full of lessons and revelations. I learned to just be. I felt a deep sense of peace that only comes when you pay attention to where you are right now, rather than always looking ahead.
And yet…I knew in my heart that something wasn’t working. The work I was doing wasn’t working; coaching didn’t feel right, for me.
I don’t regret any of my work-related decisions: Leaving a corporate career to launch a business as a personal stylist and then wrapping up that business to focus on coaching, only to find myself here and choosing to move in a new direction, once again. Besides, either of those businesses could have gone either way. I could have decided I loved the work but instead, I reached the point where I could no longer deny the throbbing undercurrent of unclaimed – unspoken – desire for something else entirely.
I was confronted with my desire that night with brilliant and brutal clarity.
I saw exactly how I wasn’t living a life true to myself.
I saw exactly who and what I really want to be and do.
In the months since I’ve begun the process of writing: Excavating the life I’ve lived so far whilst planning and preparing for the life I’m about to live. I’m leaving London to travel across Central Asia and beyond. The first chapters of this book will be written by the side of the road, perched on rocks and from cafés in places with names I don’t yet recognise.
Writing under these circumstances will be inconvenient, but sometimes you just know when it’s time to begin.
There’s more, though. I trip and fall over my words but it feels important to share what I’m about to share; dreams I refuse to keep tucked away any longer. I’m tired of women believing we need to keep our dreams safely tucked against our hearts, where no one else can see them.
Where we can’t be judged for wanting too much.
You see, I’m writing a lot but I’m dreaming a lot too, of a book that will one day be a New York Times bestseller. Of a book that Oprah talks about. Of a book that eventually becomes a movie, produced by Reece Witherspoon, preferably.
Most importantly, of a book that sweeps the reader away.
My throat restricts. I feel an overwhelming desire to delete everything I just wrote.
Tap, tap, tap write a sentence or two, delete.
But I won’t.
This is my dandelion wish. A wish I refuse to diminish because in doing so, I risk diminishing your dandelion wish too, whatever it may be. A wish I refuse to keep tucked away, even though we’re told that the moment we reveal our dandelion wish is the moment it dies. I don’t believe that. I believe we wouldn’t dream a dream if we didn’t have the capacity to achieve it.
You may see me stumble. You may see me fall. You may see me fail. But you’ll also see me keep going, time and time again.
If you have dreams you’re afraid to share because you’re afraid of how others will judge you, let them. Share and then let them see you pursue, stumble, fall, possibly fail and keep going, time and time again.
At least you’ll be living.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default” – J.K. Rowling.
© 2018 Esther Zimmer