As a kid, I had some pretty outlandish dreams of my future. First I wanted to live in the Holiday Inn, with a gold swan faucet and two kids, Ariel and Eric. Then it was to live in a loft with huge windows in New York City, writing for a magazine. So to get to New York City; I became consumed with writing. I wrote short stories, poems and essays and editorials. I pursued journalism at the University that I thought was the best pick for me and there, my dream stalled.
Everything fell apart; I didn’t get the amazing grades or support I thought I would, drama plagued me and most of all I lost my writer’s voice. It was just gone.
So I gave up on writing. I just focused on working, and living way off in the boonies. Then I got an invite to move into a place in downtown Toronto. I jumped at the chance, and even though the place was a bit shabby, I loved it. I was living in the city, one step closer to NYC.
I applied to TV jobs, writing jobs, anything I thought I could do with my shiny new degree, but nothing happened. I desperately turned to temp work, sitting in cubicles with passive aggressive co-workers and corporate rules that never quite made sense. I kept telling myself, that someday it’ll happen, New York and my big star as a writer. Meanwhile, I only wrote a handful of articles/reviews for a friend’s music website and I sank deeper into 9-5 monotony. I tried to write more after hours, mostly short stories, but would get really bad writer’s block or psych myself out of the story.
Then one day, I went to the Art Gallery of Ontario by myself and wandered around for hours. I wound up sitting in front of the Monets, just staring at them for a long time. I realized that I had been so focused on pursuing writing that I was missing out the other part of my goal. I didn’t need to devote myself to writing to make my dreams come true, the city is my dream.
Rather than stare at a notebook and try to force words to flow, I can go to St. Lawrence Market and buy too much cheese and bread. Instead of stressing over plot points, I can have a glamorous Sex and the City day with my Aunt where I can shop vicariously through her credit card. No more worrying about trying to make my life about writing, I’m going to just enjoy the life I have. However, a part of me will always want to write even after all of this, so I’ll take it one page at a time. If I do get stuck, there is always the AGO, High Park or even my skyline view to try and inspire me, but I won’t let my writing define me anymore.
This article is one step back to writing and someday, I may write that novel or short story, but for now, I’ll put up with working 9-5 to live in the city that I love 24-7.
Erin Fahy is a corporate drone by day and a Blonde Mag contributor by night. You can follow her on Twitter @rockurworld16.