For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved hearing peoples’ stories. I love hearing about their experiences, the lessons they’ve learned, and how they’ve lived their lives. I’ll pour over the blog entries of people I’ve never met, simply because their stories are fascinating. I obsessively read human interest stories in the news, because, well, humans are really interesting. If it’s a personal story that resonates with me, I dive right in and read until my eyes hurt.
A few months ago, I was thinking about what jobs I’ve liked and disliked over the years. One job stands out as being the undisputed champion of this little mental competition: the two summers I spent as a writing intern when I was in college.
I was writing for a small college’s alumni magazine, so they let me have far more responsibility than an intern in a larger setting would ever dream of having. I got to conduct interviews, co-author articles, and be totally immersed in the world of writing. I adored it. I remember repeatedly thinking to myself “I can’t believe I’m getting paid to interview people, hear their stories, and then to write. An institution is giving me actual money to do what I love! This is amazing!”
Last fall, I was reading Whitney Johnson’s Dare, Dream, Do while on the Metro. In it, she discusses the idea of interviewing one’s role models — and in one of those classic “booming-clap-of-thunder-while-a-lightbulb-flashes-overhead” moments, my earlier mental meanderings about my favorite job collided with the words I’d just read. I knew I wanted to interview interesting people and write about their stories and experiences.
Naturally, the next question was, “Ok, so who would I interview and write about?”
The answer occurred to me, like, .05 seconds later: I want to write about women who are inspiring, but accessibly so (i.e., not famous). Normal, down-to-earth women who pursue their dreams and goals, even if it’s scary or difficult. Women who listen to their hearts and do what’s right for them, even if it means leaving stable jobs or breaking out of less than fantastic relationships. Women who’ve learned a lot from their experiences, and whose stories would help inspire others to pursue their dreams and live the lives they’ve imagined.
A handful of friends immediately came to mind as people I’d like to interview: some who left unfulfilling but stable jobs to pursue careers that make them happy, one who’s burned the midnight oil while pursuing her dream of writing a novel, and one who has turned her life around in the course of a year.
As a bit of background here, I think many women are really scared of pursuing their dreams. It usually involves going down a path fraught with uncertainty, fear of rejection and failure, and concerns about what, exactly, it takes to pursue big dreams and goals. By interviewing women who have taken huge leaps of faith in order to pursue their dreams, I hope to provide women with real-life, accessible role models who can provide guidance, wisdom, and insight into the process of pursuing your dreams.
As I do more of these, I also plan to reach out to women who I don’t know personally but deeply admire to see if I can interview them as well. Basically, I’ll try to become an example of the very thing I’m writing about: courage to pursue your dream, even if it’s intimidating as all get-out.
Here’s to taking steps — whether big or small — in the direction of our dreams, y’all.