This weekend, I could be in New York City. You know, if I had the money and the ability to just drop everything here and go. For about two months, I wanted to go so badly, and that desire increased as I saw the other girls who were invited to the conference were going. It had seemed like they were all going. Every. Single. One. But. Me.
And I hated that I was stuck here in the middle of nowhere with no fancy stores or urban hotels or professional journalists.
I hated that they got to be closer to their dreams than I got to be. That they got to sit right there staring at the face of their futures, gazing longingly at something in reach. Gazing at the people they’d come to be.
Meanwhile, I sat on my laptop, trying to find a way to afford the trip. Because I wanted to network. I wanted to see the city, and feel at home there, and dress like a superstar journalist, and meet all the other girls, and gaze longingly at something that wasn’t truly that far away, but instead, right there. Even today, when I saw the girls post that they were leaving for the city soon, I felt a little bit sad that I’d just be here.
But this summer I’m writing for two publications online, and I’m involved in a project where my passions intersect. I may not be going to workshops, but I’m learning so much. I may not be gazing at magazines and editors and designer clothes, but I’m gazing at the electric blue sky that fills my mind with a seemingly endless current of inspiration. I may not be navigating the streets of the city, but today I walked the streets of a town I thought I knew so well, taking pictures that tell some amazing stories, capturing history that I didn’t know existed. History that keeps piling onto those old, worn-out bricks.
My clothes aren’t designer. But yesterday my outfit made me feel free and brave and adventurous and at home, my dress flowing through the breeze with the natural blue backdrop behind me. I was content being here, surrounded by cornfields and grass and trees. And also surrounded by my dreams.
That’s where they are. This town may not be full of opportunities, exactly. But it’s given me the courage to chase after my dreams, and the strength to believe in them.
And regardless of where I am, I believe.