Monday, November 26, 2012

Physicist and Dreamer

What do you do when you're totally level-headed, feet planted firmly on the ground,
     but your heart wants to fly?

I've always been a realist. You know the type--always saying things like, "That would be great, but it's just not plausible." I'm in grad school for physics--good grief, how much more realistic can you get?

When I get my degree in a few years and go back out to the real world, I'll have lots of doors opening for me. There will be good pay, regular hours, and everything that goes with those.
My kids will be well provided for,
my husband will finally be able to pursue his dreams,
I'll be doing something that I know helps people,
and I'll finally be able to pay back, in some small way, all those who have given so much to get me to this place.

My brain sees all those things as good (well, duh--why wouldn't it?). The journey is all mapped out, and all the steps lead across solid ground. Sure there is the possibility for things to go wrong along the way (it seems that is always a major possibility in my life), but for the most part it is a safe, comfortable path.

So what's the problem?

Though I've always been a realist, someone who has to analyze everything and come to the most logical conclusion, deep inside lives a very different person:
a dreamer,
a romantic,
a girl who looks at the world around her and sees the magic that is lurking just under the surface.

A writer.
Wow, that's a hard title for me to claim...

That girl inside wants to throw caution to the wind and ask, "Why not take a leap? Why follow a path when you can take to the air and soar above it?"

I can feel her inside, desperately trying to spread her wings. When I'm working on physics problems, my mind full of numbers, I feel her stirring my heart, trying to get my attention. She makes my fingers itch for a pen, uses words to paint pictures on my soul.

She laughs when my brain starts in with, "But it just doesn't make sense..." She throws her head back and breaks free, her wings stretching wide as she takes flight. She twirls through the air, leaving airy phrases spinning in her wake. She pays no attention to the rest of the world, content in her play.

She doesn't notice the rope around her ankle until it is pulled taut. Then, as it always does, the logical, realistic part of me reins her in--it wouldn't make sense to just let her go free, after all. She's held in check for a while, the rope wrapped around her.
Little by little, though, she works free of the coils holding her wings still. She is anxious to fly again, to dance and laugh and skip across dreams.

For now, these two sides of me will just have to continue to coexist, the analytical side working on physics while the creative side etches out a little bit of writing time now and again.

Maybe one day, though, that rope will slip off the ankle of the dreamer, and she'll be free to soar.

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