The Second Star to the Right

Ah, people.

I had thought to start out this post with an anecdote about Van Gogh or Sylvia Plath, illustrating how creative people often find themselves in a state of anguish and are known for having some — ahem — mental problems. But it’s not something that is unique to writers or painters or musicians. Everyone goes a bit mad sometimes. The last few weeks I’ve spent in the doldrums haven’t made me bring a knife to my ear (owie) or think about sticking my head in an oven (ours is electric, anyway, so that would be quite silly and macabre), but they have consisted of a routine something like this:

Think about writing.


Think about story.

Hmmm, story. That old thing?

Wrinkle nose.


Look at computer.


Fruit Ninja.

Fruit Ninja is played by using a touch pad to ...

I am waaaay better than this player. Best score: 1098. Boo-yah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It occurred to me that I had lost sight of something. Maybe several somethings. Then today I typed the WordPress address into my browser and one of the Freshly Pressed articles caught my eye. It was this one about the Scottish Highlands, and it happened to contain pictures of some of my favorite parts of Scotland, including my beloved Inverness where I used to call home (still do, to be honest).

Some of the pictures bore striking similarity to some of my own favorites that I took. Others simply brought tears to my eyes. And I realized that I have lost sight of my guiding star.

One of my favorite lines in Disney’s version of J.M. Barrie‘s Peter Pan has always been that childlike and simplistic direction Peter gives Wendy, John, and Michael as they soar out of their bedroom window.

Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.

Pleiades Star Cluster

Pleiades Star Cluster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week at work, I told someone how I wanted to live a life of adventure. How I wanted to see the world, explore it. And she said, “I should have done that earlier. Now I never can.”

And I thought to myself that her words sounded such a sad and lonely toll, like the mournful bells of a funeral knell. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard that, that getting married and having a family meant your dreams and hopes had to vanish.

It doesn’t have to. And how much resentment builds out of that sentiment? To look at a wedding ring or a child as an obstacle between you and your dreams births such bitterness. It might not surface all at once, and you may be able to tamp it down for a while, but then it will nose above the calm and make ripples that turn into waves.

Travel and family are not mutually exclusive dreams. It might not be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

I realized this morning whilst gazing at the pictures of Glen Coe and Culloden’s aqueduct and the familiar steeples of Inverness’s riverside churches that I have lost sight of my dreams. I want to write, and I want to travel. And yes, I do want to make a little Emmie or two along the way. There are no reasons not to do those things, only excuses. Like Fruit Ninja. And that it will be difficult.

I’m married. I don’t yet have children, but I will one day. I also have these guys. And they are definitely kind of like children. With fur. And I didn’t make these ones.

I'm a wolf! See?

I'm a lounging tiger in a tree!

Regardless of the critters, both four-legged and otherwise, we will have adventures around the world. And I will get published eventually. In the month of financial distress and employment upheaval, it was easy feel like I was wearing wrongly placed blinders, leaving me with only my peripheral vision and no sight of what was in front of me. As the world renews itself with spring’s rain and returning warmth, I’ve realized I have to renew myself as well. I have to keep my vision intact, clarity of the present and focus on the future with the wisdom of the past in tow.

So the time comes to think happy thoughts. Any merry little thought — think of Christmas, think of snow. Think of sleighbells…off you go!

Where’s your Neverland? What’s your second star to the right? What excuses have gotten in the way of your Neverland?


About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on April 28, 2012, in Salacious Saturday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Raiscara Avalon

    Wonderful post Emmie! I’ve lost sight of a lot of my goals and dreams and rather been reacting to life myself lately. Time to pick ourselves up, dust us off and charge! 😉

  2. Great post, Emmie! Glad you’ve found your second star again.

    Travel and children are not mutually exclusive, I can attest to that. I wanted to travel in my college years but never had the money. I had to wait many years until I could do some travelling and that happened to be after having children in my life. Instead seeing that as an obstacle, I’ve always thought that they should be a part of it and see the world with me as much as possible.

    If I could find a way to do it, I would pull them both out of school and travel the world for a year while doing some version of homeschooling. I think they would get so much out of an experience like that.

    • That is EXACTLY what I want to do with my kids for a while — homeschool them and travel the world. I feel like they would really have a chance to learn languages and absorb information about other cultures, and I’d love to do it a couple times, actually. Once when they’re in elementary school and another right before high school. Spend a year or two abroad, traveling around the world and exploring things. I hope when the time comes, we’ll have the means to do it.

  3. Love this post Emmie! I just recently rediscovered my second star to the right. I’m trying hard to cast aside the excuses and move forward…straight on till morning. Thanks for reminding me 🙂

  4. It’s nice to hear those words. While I don’t “resent” my hubby and baby, it definitely seems like it’s harder to travel and be “adventurous” right now (being broke will do that! lol) But I have my heart set on the fact that when we are better off financially, we WILL travels, and take our child with us to experience as much of the world as she can, together. XD

  5. Mmm Peter Pan, one of my all-time favorites. Financial concerns are very real, of course they can derail us! The important thing, which you’ve already done, is to constantly be aware of your dreams and goals. You’re totally right, things are going to get better! And, when they do, you can set even more of those dreams into motion. Keep writing, Emmie, I love your posts! -Kel

  6. I don’t think you are ever too old to start discovering the world. When we are out exploring new places, we often see people out there with their kids. What a great way to show your children an appreciation for their world. We don’t have kids, but we do have cats and two horses to think about. We still manage to go out and discover new places, both close to home and many, many, many miles away. It’s never too late to live. Go for it! 🙂

  7. Emmie, I agree with you. Nothing is easy. Dreams are the hardest things to make into a reality. It’s easy to give up. I think that is actually the easiest thing to do in life. To say it can’t be done. But saying it can be done and carving a path to doneness is what makes dreamers into visionaries. 🙂

  8. Daniel Swensen

    Great post as usual, Emmie. I had a friend, years ago, who quit his job and drove across the U.S. to visit all his friends. He was in his thirties, but unmarried and without kids. He actually took some flak for doing what he did, because he blew his savings on his trip and some people thought that that kind of road trip was something you only did in your early twenties. Personally, I thought it was great. I think one of the biggest tragedies in life is to do what society or strangers expect us to do, rather than what’s really in our hearts.

%d bloggers like this: