I had lofty dreams.
I wanted to see my name in lights, to press my hands into cement as cameras flashed around me, to protest the paparazzi. I wanted to be a star. I wanted the kind of fame that would reduce my memory to cardboard cutouts fading in thrift store windows. I wanted to be a legend. I wanted every actor in Hollywood to woo me, to beg me to act with them. I wanted to be on the cover of every magazine. I wanted a Tony. I wanted an Oscar.
I dreamt of writing a novel so fantastic both literary critics and the masses would wait in line at midnight to get a first edition. I dreamt of my name with "Pulitzer" next to it for eternity. I dreamt that every word I typed would be studied for its near perfection. I dreamt of The New York Times best sellers lists - both the fiction and non-fiction sides - so often that I was surprised that my name wasn't really printed there. I dreamt I was a household name, like Hemingway or Shakespeare.
I pictured myself living up to my "Most Creative" title from high school. I pictured a New York loft, paint-splattered, smelling of coffee and candles. I pictured my work in The New Yorker. I pictured myself paying for meals with a napkin sketch. I pictured fingernails so stained, people mistook me for a mechanic. I pictured stretched canvas, jars of brushes, tubes of paint, a cot in the corner for napping. I pictured my "g" being as well known as Van Gogh's "Vincent."
I imagined my life being very different than what it is today.
I did get one of my wishes, though, and I have a feeling that all the other dreams coming true couldn't compare.