Wednesday, April 14, 2010


My niece got married last weekend. She was a radiant, happy, lovely bride. If I look at my own wedding photos, I’m radiant and happy too—it was one of the first milestones in my life.

In a few days I’ll turn 49. This fact was emphasized by how LOUD the music was at my niece’s wedding and how fast my dancing energy waned. I had unlimited energy at my own wedding, certainly!

My first milestone occurred on the day I graduated from college. The world was before me: I was young, talented, and barring my student loan debt, no obstacles blocked me from doing anything I wanted to do. Three years later I got married. Now WE could do anything we wanted to do, together. Four years after that I had my first baby: Milestones don’t get much more important or thrilling.

In 1992, Tom Hanks starred in a movie about the women’s baseball teams during World War Two, called A League of Their Own. At the end, one character gives up her career to be a homemaker and her younger sister continues to play baseball. I watched that movie with a baby in my arms and a preschooler asleep upstairs, and thought: My life is over. It’s a hamster wheel of diapers, laundry, work—lather, rinse, repeat. I’ll never accomplish anything I dreamed of at those milestones.

That day I chose not to let those dreams slip away. Not to see myself only as mom/homemaker/Day Job grunt. I had dreams once. I had ambition, and energy, and goals. I reread letters from high school and college friends. We were all in theater or music or the arts, and all but one of our group had chosen the life of the audience rather than the one on stage.

It took many years to make my dream a reality. Being a stubborn broad helped.

How many of us reached that nadir but didn’t give in? The fact that we’re all on this blog is proof of our stubbornness. What was your milestone? What triggered your compulsion to grab your dreams with both hands and drag them into reality?


Lisa Bork said...

I think my first milestone was graduating from high school, because that was the point at which I really began to choose.

Writing a novel was not one of my dreams. I didn't really have any idea what I wanted to do. Still don't.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I can't remember when I didn't want to be a writer, but I didn't make the commitment to it until my early forties. I had just broken off an engagement, relocated and restarted my paralegal career when it hit me that I was halfway through my life expectancy and hadn't accomplished, let alone pursued, any of my life's dreams. Once I started writing in earnest, I never stopped. That was 15 years ago. Which goes to show that it's never to late to turn a dream into a goal into a reality.

Darrell James said...

Alice, I admire anyone who has a dream and sticks to it (whatever that dream might be). I don't think it was a low point in my life that put me on the path to writing. It was more like a final step in a lifelong struggle to not be "average". (Or to not "feel" average.)I threw a lot of dreams at the wall (to include theater) before finding one that "stuck". Nice post!

Carol Grace said...

There are dreams and there are milestones. We wouldn't be writing and publishing without both, but most important are those dreams. I never wanted to be a writer, thought it must be a lonely life, but 35 books later I think it's the only way to go.

Cricket McRae said...

Good for you, Alice! It takes a lot of courage and committment to stick to your dreams.

As for me, no marriage, no kids, started college while still in high school, started working while still in college -- lots of overlap that muddied the milestones. I guess persistence and risk taking have guided my life more. Oh, and luck. Lots of luck.

Alice Loweecey said...

Never too late is right!

Thanks for the comments, gang.