To be in this place full of writers, this literary community, is what I have craved since graduating college. Eleven years it took to weave my way through a labyrinth of what wasn't me to return to where I started: writing and sharing with other literary people, other people whose lives revolve around something other than TV or obsessing about white-collar jobs.
There is nothing wrong with people who are nothing like me. The world wouldn't exist without them. We need people to build roads and write proposals and make deals to keep society afloat. We need people of all different types to keep all these balls in the air.
But fuck, it feels good to know I'm not alone.
I am always the lone dreamer, wherever I go. Or maybe just the only one who admits aloud that I have dreams outside of the space I currently occupy. I am the one who doesn't care enough about jobs to hold one down, the person who takes books to the children's museum rather than interacting with other moms, that person who would rather be alone than surrounded.
But I've learned that it is important to have people who understand me, people who share this part of me because it is also a part of them. It is comforting to belong to something rather than always existing as an outsider.
I've also learned that just as the world couldn't exist without the deal closers and the shop owners and the farmers, the world couldn't exist without us oddball dreamers. The creative types with their heads in the clouds. Us who make art to document, to imagine, to ask questions and seek answers.
I am glad to have found my tribe. I am no longer the lone dreamer. I am not a weirdo for wanting something so badly that I will spend hours and days and months and years working toward it. I am a writer. It's not odd anymore, once I am among others. And I don't want to be alone rather than surrounded anymore, not now that I am surrounded by people who understand me.