A dream and a poke

This story is in my first book. The artist began the chapter with this beautiful drawing. It was from the first sentence I ever wrote. And that’s how that works.

Dreams can come true, but it’s all up to you. It doesn’t matter how old you are or even how shy or bold you are.  Aspiring to achieve a goal keeps hope alive and pushes us to new heights we are meant to reach.

The virtual vision of seeing yourself accomplishing something you always wanted to do may be more than a dream; it may be a calling from another source.

Before I was twenty years old, I became aware of a nagging within my soul to write.  When I was ten, I dreamed of dancing; at fifteen, it was acting, and then I was sure it was writing.

So, I became an Interior Designer.

I married, had children, divorced, married again, aged, and lived. It was good that God allowed me to be a designer because it mostly paid the bills.

I have met very few dancers who could feed or help a few kids through college.  Only a few actors make it to the big time. And, writing pays nothing unless your books have sold in multitudes or Queen Oprah has blessed you.

God put me in a career to be what I intended to be when I needed it.

It took me a while to accept that I would not be on Broadway or win a Pulitzer, but I would give my profession the best of me, and in turn, it provided me a rewarding career.

When I retired, I thought, “Ah, I can rest now!  I can do whatever I want. I might finally be able to play more golf, read a book on a beach, or lay in a hammock!”

The minute I was ready to retire, all plans changed.

I vividly remember going to bed and not being able to sleep. I had not quite finished decorating a large home before the curtains closed on my career stage. However, it was not the work keeping my eyes open.

It was as if someone was standing beside the bed and nudging me on my shoulder, almost poking me. It was aggravating.

Story topics ran through my mind at a rapid pace.  I pondered in the darkness how to write this or that article. I knew that writing bug never went away! It had haunted me for 48 years. Now, it was keeping me up at night!

Through those years, I would pen an occasional op-ed or a story, and to my surprise, they ended up in print. “I might write more once I grow tired of lying on that beach during retirement.”  It was my game plan.

Weeks passed, and the nudging would begin every night when my head hit the pillow.  Finally, one morning after one of these poking-filled nights,  I said aloud, “God, if you want me to write a story, you will have to pen the first sentence!”

Immediately after, I poured my coffee, and as the black coffee filled the cup, my first thought was about the old black Mercury my family owned in the early ’60s.

I took my coffee to my office and wrote the story’s first sentence that started my journey into finally achieving an old dream.

“In the wee hours of an early August morning in 1962, my father’s black Mercury drove onto a dimly lit, silent downtown street in LaGrange, Georgia.”

I don’t know how many pages I wrote that day, but from then on, the keyboard’s tapping never stopped. The only thing that ended was the poking.

A new career was born, which was different from the game plan. I intended to lie in the hammock first and then write. I would have fallen out of the dang thing anyway!

You see, it was God’s intent for me, not mine. We all need to listen to the purpose of God in our lives.  What is it that pushes us forward?  What is our calling?  What do we have to do to achieve it?  Do we dare try?

We are always capable of reinventing who we are. We are still the ones driving the Mercury in our lives. We may need to tune into the right voice on the radio.

I hope you always believe you can achieve more for yourself and others. Be the best you can be. I pray you feel a never-ceasing poke on your shoulder to remind you of your purpose.

It might be the best thing that ever happened to you.


Lynn Walker Gendusa is a Georgia-based author and columnist. Her first book, “It’s All Write with Me! Essays from My Heart,” was published in 2018. Her latest book is “Southern Comfort: Stories of Family, Friendship, Fiery Trials, and Faith.”  For more inspirational stories, click here. You may reach Lynn at www.lynngendusa.com.

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