“Everybody needs a leap of faith… When are you taking yours?” – Nickelback’s “What Are You Waiting For?”
I must have been a dog in my past life. A feisty little dachshund, to be exact, if one was to ask my coworkers. Years ago when I had applied for and gotten the position to work at a dog day care and hotel, no one from my family and circle of friends had been surprised. With my love of animals, it was a natural choice.
It had been a shock when, about four years later, I had announced that I was quitting.
I still loved the dog day care, and I hadn’t grown sick of it at all. It was the first job that I had never dreaded to wake up and go to, and I had seriously considered making a career out of my position in that company. Yet, I had other dreams that had been collecting dust in the back of my heart and it was about time that I took a leap of faith to make them come true.
Writing had always been a passion of mine. My room was littered with notebooks, pens, and how-to books on crafting rich tales. My Internet personas boasted of half-finished fanfictions from video games and movies, and of stories that were always works-in-progress. There was no reason why I could not turn those works-in-progress into full-fledged novels.
My epiphany happened while vacationing with my younger sister in the most magical place on earth, Disneyworld. With how busy the dog hotel was, especially during the times of year when schools were out and families were on vacation, that Disneyworld trip had been the first vacation I had taken in over a year. It was at the end of August, a blazing time in Florida, and my sister and I sought out the indoor attractions and shops while collecting autographs from the face characters.
One such attraction that struck both my sister and me with inspiration was a certain gallery exhibit in Disney’s Hollywood Studios park, Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream. We goggled at the artifacts that detailed Walt Disney’s life and how he created a monumental company that has always touched the lives of so many people. It rekindled the spark of our dreams with writing. After all, Walt Disney was able to follow his dreams with just a mouse. Why couldn’t we do the same with just a pen?
My sister and I have had many frank discussions regarding our dreams with writing ever since seeing that exhibit. She has over a half a dozen first (and sometimes second and third) drafts of novels while balancing her full-time job along with school. I have had only two completed first draft manuscripts. Even though my work schedule had always been more sporadic than hers, she at least had the focus to complete her stories. I still had the attention span of my past-life dachshund when faced with a squirrel.
I made a decision before the end of that Disney vacation. With no debts to my name, I had a decent savings account that could allow me to take a few months off and work on my writing dreams. A mere month after returning from that vacation, I left my job at the dog day care and hotel with bittersweet feelings.
Dogs are pack animals and most thrived with socialization and being around familiar faces. I felt as if I had left my pack to try to establish my own, and I wasn’t sure about all the rules of the wild. However, I had taken my leap of faith and, though it may take me a while to learn how to fly, I will soar.
I may have been a dog in a past life but, with my stories, I believe I have many lives ahead of me. I wasn’t going to keep them waiting any longer.