One day while Tim and I were on our honeymoon in St. John, I was browsing in a boutique when I found a magnet picturing a bird sitting in what appears to be a coffee mug perched on top of the world. Its whimsical illustration and printed message – “Remember your dream” – struck me. I’m not one to make spontaneous purchases, especially for frivolous trinkets like magnets, but I just had to have it.

Remember Your Dream

You know what it’s like when you’re on vacation in some beautiful, faraway place – you get distance from your normal life. You have time to think, to breathe, to gain perspective. I had just married the most wonderful man and was celebrating with him in a tropical paradise – the real world seemed very far away. I felt probably as “zen” as I ever have, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted out of my life and what’s really important. And one thing that crystallized in my mind was that I really wanted to write.

This wasn’t a new realization. Being a writer is something I have always wanted, ever since I grew out of my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. But I never pursued it wholeheartedly. I told myself it was because it just wasn’t “practical,” but the truth is, it’s because I was afraid. Afraid of failing. Afraid of pouring my heart and soul into something and not being good enough. Or good at all.

But in St. John, I decided that it was time to stop being afraid and to try, at least a little bit. I knew I had stories to tell, things to say. Of course, just a couple weeks after returning to the real world, I became pregnant with Isabelle and had to put writing on the back burner while I dealt with morning sickness, fatigue and moving to a new house.

But I put that magnet – “Remember your dream” – on our fridge. And I did remember. Every day when I opened the door to get out the cream for my coffee, I remembered.

Once Isabelle arrived, I experienced a paradox of parenthood – I had much more inspiration, but much less time and energy to act on it. Still, I did take small steps. I rebooted this blog. I took a writing class. I worked on some personal projects. Writing is such hard work, but it’s in the process of doing it that I feel most alive, most in tune with who I am and who I want to be – similar to how I feel about running.

When I decided to try out for Listen to Your Mother, my fear of not being good enough was strong, but my desire to try, to write something meaningful and to share it, was stronger. And when the producers asked me to join the Baltimore cast, it was a big shot in the arm for my confidence as a writer. Then I met my fellow cast members, and it became so much more.

These are strong, insightful women with stories that made me belly laugh, or had me nodding in “oh my gosh, ME TOO” solidarity, or reached in and grabbed my heart with their beautiful vulnerability – sometimes all of the above. I sat rapt at our recent rehearsal, listening to each writer read her piece and feeling so grateful, honored and PUMPED to be part of this amazing show.

The cast of Listen To Your Mother Baltimore

If you’re in the Baltimore area next Saturday, April 26th, please come see us! We take the stage from 6 to 7:30 p.m. I promise you won’t regret it! You can find all the details, including how to buy tickets, here. And you can find out more about my wonderful cast mates here. They inspire me to continue to remember my dream, to tell my stories, to keep trying even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.

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10 Responses to Remember Your Dream

  1. Mary Pitchford says:

    Well written Janice… I am so happy that you are perusing your passion. I have witnessed your talent and passion your whole life. I am so sorry we won’t be able to attend the play. We will see you this summer to meet Adelyn and have a belated first birthday celebration for Isabelle. I am so very proud of you. Xo

  2. Denise Pitchford says:

    I am so proud of you that you have stepped out of your comfort zone and spread your wings to fly ! Pursing your dreams is such a big part of life! As you know, I especially LOVE the bird symbolism. 🙂
    Looking so forward to Saturday’s show where I’ll be listening and watching you shine!

  3. MrsTDJ says:

    I’m so very happy that you took the leap and decided to audition. We are delighted to have met you and have you in the cast. I look forward to reading so much more of your work in the future.

  4. I can attest to the fact that you ARE a writer, and an especially talented one at that! I am really thrilled that you tried out for LTYM and that we will be sharing the stage. I know your piece is going to touch a lot of people.

    • Janice says:

      Aww, thanks Abby! I am so glad I took your class and that you encouraged me to do this! I’m getting so excited for Saturday and can’t wait to hear your piece again!

  5. You are a captivating writer and it was a pleasure to share the stage with you. Your story gripped my heart. I can hardly wrap my mind around the LTYM experience. Ellen

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