While hacking away selling used-cars, I spent exhausting stretches of time standing in heels in front of showroom windows. I could not sit in my office if I were to capture the next customer on the lot.
First one to Mr. Clipboard eats. Sink or swim.
After several years, I challenged myself to find a coping mechanism for the ensuing brain atrophy.
How could I use this “dead time” to stimulate my brain and contribute to a useful goal? What brought me joy when I was a little girl?
Since I was eight-years-old, I wanted to be a writer. I loved books. The smell of the pages, the texture in my hands, the cover art, being pulled into worlds I would never otherwise have known.
My father was so busy building his crime empire, he failed to notice my learning disabilities. Mom was occupied washing and wearing her denial.
Dad drilled, “You’ll make money writing when pigs fly.”
One day, while taking a phone message, I looked at the Post-it-Notes in my hand and thought, “Why not put these in my pocket and write a book one Post-it at a time?”
I found books on writing screenplays and devoured them the in the same way I eat hot buttered popcorn.
Standing at the windows while on lot patrol, I’d take out my yellow pad and write the script a teensy bit at a time. At night, after tucking my two young girls into bed, I’d type my notes into a manuscript on a broken old laptop.
The other salesmen laughed at me standing there with my little pad.
Five months later, I stood on the stage of an International Film Festival and accepted the award for Best Romantic Comedy.
Five years after that, Earnest Hemingway, the flying bronze piggy bank on my nightstand, became the recipient of the first dollar I earned writing and more recently I received my second International Screenwriting award for an animated film.
Pigs do fly.
Life is busy. We can always find excuses to set aside that which brings us joy; to lose ourselves under the weight of our obligations. Or, we can look for a life ring, even in a Post-it-Note.
Dig deep today. Pull out a forgotten dream and make a map of how you are going to get there. Start backwards at your ultimate goal, then build the stepping stones to achieve it—one Post-it-Note at a time.