May the Dreams Stay With You

When I was a child I daydreamed all the time. All the time. I read lots of books and pretended I was everywhere but in my bedroom. I watched movies like The Goonies, Stand by Me, and Back To The Future and wanted to be apart of all of those adventures. Yet, I was a little black Southern girl and girls that looked like me weren’t in those kinds of movies back then. It was a long time before I saw myself in a lot of the TV shows I watched, the books I read, or the movies I loved.

I believe now that’s why I loved to daydream. I could place myself in those scenes when I was daydreaming. No one could tell me I couldn’t get in the dirt and play like the boys. No one could tell me I couldn’t go into the woods to find buried treasure. No one could say that’s not what girls do or that’s not what black girls do. I hated the limitations people placed on me because of my sex and race. ( I never confessed this until I was in my 30s). I wasn’t what people used to call a ‘tomboy’ but l wasn’t a ‘girly girl’ either as a kid. I was somewhere in between still figuring myself out. I’m more feminine now as an adult than I ever was as a kid. It took me time to grow into myself.

The best times I ever had were in the summers. My twin brother and I would gather our friends and we would take trips into ‘the woods’. When we moved to the neighborhood it was mostly a wooded area. It was like being in a park with all the trees everywhere. It was a new subdivision so not many houses had been built yet. There were only a few houses and just this large area kids would go into and play like as if we were really in the ‘the woods’. I was usually the only girl there. We would come out of there like we really had been on an adventure. It was so much fun. I miss those days.

My constant daydreaming is what made me fall in love with writing. I wanted to create worlds that didn’t exist for me in my reality. I wanted to have all the friends, I wanted all the boys to have crushes on me, and I wanted to do all the cool stuff I saw in the movies. The little black girl was going to do it all as the star of my books. (Confession: I didn’t always see myself as ‘the little black girl’. In my mind, I was colorless in some of my early stories. That’s a whole other discussion for another day).

The daydreaming led me to my love for musical videos. This was the beginning of me becoming a Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson fanatic. I later carried on my love for Janet specifically because she was a black woman. She was a talented and beautiful black woman. I wanted to grow up to be a talented and beautiful black woman too. My love for Janet came from my love of dance. I loved dancing. I never took any professional dance classes but I thought I was going to be a performer. I really thought I would grow up to be Janet Jackson’s backup dancer. Haha. The ages of 8-11 I was determined that would be my dream profession. I practiced all of her choreography and was so good at it. I could do everything except the move with the chair in “Pleasure Principle”.

The love for musical videos opened my mind to all kinds of new ideas. I started reading about painters, artists, paying attention to movie directors, and following the work of many photographers. I researched how to create art. I learned there were different types of art and wanted to hang out at art museums. I was 13 and 14 by this time. It was an interesting time in my life. I was growing. I started taking my writing more seriously. My daydreams started to take shape for the first time. I started living a little more in my reality than through what was on the paper.

The daydreaming never stopped. My dreams just got bigger. I still daydream often. I still have big ideas and big plans. I will go into it more in the upcoming blog. Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: