Lily Tomlin had a joke in her routine that went something like “What if we all grew up to be what we wanted? Can you imagine a world full of astronauts, ballerinas, and firemen?”
The corollary to that are the people who say, “Someday, I’m going to…”
“…travel to Greece.”
“…start my own business.”
“…write a novel.” (Okay, yeah, I did that, but how often do you hear people say they want to do that?)
The trouble with “someday” is how seldom it becomes “today.” Okay, maybe you can’t travel to Greece at the drop of a hat, but you can find out how much it would cost or figure out which islands you want to visit. Start your own business? I have a friend who has been writing and rewriting a business plan for years (and working some impressive jobs in the meantime that will serve her ultimate goal in terms of knowledge gained).
Want to write a novel (or non-fiction book)? Start.
At one point, I had a commute from Concord, NH to Boston, MA (according to Google Maps, the distance from one bus station to the other is 68.2 miles and 1 hour 7 minutes. That’s now; back then the Big Dig was in full swing. Add an hour. I mean it). Being a smart person (which doesn’t stop me from doing some stupid things, by the way), I took the bus back and forth (why drive when you can ride?). We had a group of regulars who nodded to each other, smiled, and exchanged small talk.
I had had an idea for a novel brewing in the back of my mind for a while. My thought process was something like “‘Titanic.’ Please. They knew each other all of what, 48 hours? And then he DIED? She went on to have a full life with someone else! Fer Chrissake, that’s her GRANDDAUGHTER with her! She didn’t exactly check into a nunnery after Jack died!” I was thinking along the lines of “Okay, so they meet, they fall in love. Then what? Why isn’t there enough drama in making it work?”
I was also thinking along the lines of “Why doesn’t anyone explore the other end of a relationship?” (Kids, leave the room. It’s about to get Russian in here) All relationships end, either by choice or by death. It’s the truth. “Someday, I’m going to write a book where someone has to decide whether to end her beloved’s life.”
I daydreamed about scenes that I would write. My process: I watch a movie in my head and then translate it into words. (Until the characters take over and then it’s just typing what they tell me to do). Of course, I’d be typing this up “someday.” I had a computer at home and this was in the pre-IPad and pre-smartphone days. And I had this 2.5 to 3 hour commute…
Then I thought about it…
I had a pen. I always have a pen. There was a CVS between my place of work in Winthrop Square and South Station. Surely, they would have notebooks. I could write in a notebook. I knew how to do that;something they used to teach in public grade school. Way back in the 60s and 70s.
So, “Someday” became a day in December 2000.
When will your “Someday” be?