“I write for an online newspaper,” I said excitedly to my grandparents and Aunt Johnnie last summer.
“Are you getting paid?” Aunt Johnnie asked.
You see, I come from a working–class family where almost everyone works the typical 9-to-5 job. I am the first person in my family to graduate from high school and enter into a 4-year college. Many of my family members don’t understand my passion and devotion to writing.
They also don’t understand the possibilities of journalism because they don’t personally know any journalists or writers. As it is common with a lot of working class Americans, some of them believe dreams don’t pay the bills.
Yet, I still want to pursue my dreams despite the challenges. I don’t want to stop dreaming no matter how many people think I’m being “unrealistic.”
“You got too many dreams,” Granny had said, in her Texan accent.
When I heard that, I felt like she had slapped me with those words. But I had to realize and accept that my grandmother didn’t think my dreams were likely because of her life experiences. My grandmother, a native Texan, had lived through the segregated Jim Crow laws and seen the horrors countless African Americans endured. Granny was trying to protect me from a huge disappointment.
But, for everyday, I fight the fear within myself of becoming a writer. I have been fighting for years!
I want to live comfortably, eat healthy and travel the world. But when I look around at folks around me who have more of a “stable” life, I’m struck by the fear of poverty and being broke and lose focus.
I constantly have to remind myself that I am me. I am not like everyone else and my life-goals are different from theirs. Albeit, choosing to live my passion and cast away my fears is a crazy concept. Yet, not living or pursuing my dreams would be harmful to my entire being.
So, I will continue to put my heart and soul into writing and live my dreams. Even if I end up broke, I think I’ll be happy anyway.
If you would like to learn more about Tymeesa Rutledge and her journey, you can follow her on Twitter @MiniPyTee to get day-by-day updates on her Self-Love Cleanse.