I have a vivid memory of a specific evening back in 1996. I was living with my family in Kiev, Ukraine, and I had gone over to my friend Gillian's apartment to hang out for the evening. I was seventeen, she was twenty-one. The age gap at that point made her a grown up, me still a kid, but I totally looked up to her and she treated me like I had the maturity of someone that she wanted to hang out with.
I think that maybe the electricity had gone out in the building, which was not an uncommon thing to happen, because I was reading by candlelight, and she was writing. She had this really beautiful leather bound journal that she liked to write poems in. We had this perfect flow, like waves coming in to the shore, where we would read and write for a bit, then visit for a little bit, read and write, visit, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. It was a delightful evening of connection.
She told me that night that she wanted to write a book. Well, she backpedalled, she said that she liked to write in that journal, and wanted to fill it with her own poems, so that someday she’d have written a book of poetry. She said it, holding her journal forward. It was as though saying that she wanted to write an actual book was too big of a dream to even admit to.
Last week, I went on Amazon and ordered the memoir that she wrote. It came in the mail today. I can't put it down, it's so good.
When I was seventeen, I had no idea that I wanted to write a book of my own. It wasn’t even an idea, much less a dream. But, it is now, and once again I’m looking up to her. She had a dream, she focused. She made it happen. And now, she gets to hold her own book in her hands. She did it. I’m unbelievably proud.