Imagine Your Long Life Dream Ending…

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By Justin Susan

Imagine your long life dream ending…

Where do you go?

Who do you tell?

How do you begin again?

Time never stops. Never. As a young child I realized that important fact. The simple fact that time does not stop, or does not come to a halt. Some may say, “Oh, in this particular moment, time literally stopped for me.” But the thing is; time never did stop, it just slowed down.

Like I said time never stops which means you should never stop. I’m still young, but as a much younger child I saw athletes, singers, actors, and many celebrities say, “work hard and that anything is possible.” After awhile the message goes in one ear and out the other because it is said so often to young people. However, when you get to a point in your life where you start to get curious about what those words mean, then things start to change.

Throughout anyone’s life things are casual. It isn’t until you find something your passionate about in life does it start to become interesting. People are passionate about many things. It could be a person, a company, wealth, culture, technology, and many other possible things that people are passionate about. When a person finds a passion their life changes. I truly believe that because I think most young people seek temporary things like a car, a grade, a lit party, a new phone, and so on.

I’m not saying don’t have fun, but I’m pushing the idea of finding a passion. I’ve been sucked into seeking temporary things from time to time. As a generation of young people we often have no desire to look beyond our surroundings. To seek a greater purpose besides ourselves and to follow our hearts. It drives me insane sometimes to know that young teens are letting time go by instead of pursuing their dreams.

As I sit in my classroom and listen to the conversations, the music, and the mindset young people have nowadays and it disappoints me. I wish that we could talk about important topics. I don’t want to be the guy who ruins fun or doesn’t have any because I do have fun, but I have awareness of the dilemma.  So, realizing these facts about life, I decided to chase my own passion. Writing.

In the summer of 2012, I started writing a novel. At first I started writing and finished two chapters of this book. After I looked at the first chapters I realized that it was awful. So, I started with a whole new plot, new characters, and a new attitude. It took off pretty well and then started to slow down. There were moments where I was stuck and didn’t know what to do. I kept writing regardless of what situation I was in my life. When I felt like complete-utter crap I wrote and when I was on top of the world I wrote. It connected me to a new world and a new mindset.

Before I finished my novel I gave certain sections for my family to read. My family after nine months never finished any of the passages I gave them. Some went untouched and this was a challenging moment. I understood that they were busy with their lives, but it did hurt for them not to read it. I started to question myself. What’s wrong with the chapter? Is it boring? Do I need to start over? Am I a horrible writer? Have I done all of this work for nothing? I would walk in my backyard in circles at night thinking about my novel. After thinking I knew that I had to step up and to continue to follow my dream.

Fast forward another year I finished my book. I talked about it day and night. I worked on my novel day and night. Reading many books to study the art of writing throughout different authors. I studied how to structure sentences, how to plan a storyline, how to maximize each chapter, and many other lessons; I was driven by no one reading my book. Finally, I finished my book and it was 84,000 words all together.

In order to get a book published you must get the book edited. From there you write a query letter to find a literary agent. Then, you work with that agent to find publishing companies interested in publishing your work. Then you’re on the right track to publishing a book. You could also self publish, however, it isn’t quite the route I’d like to take. So after I finished I need my book to get edited. I rewrote my book twice personally to fix everything I could, but it is time for a professional to take a look at it. After searching endlessly for a freelance editor for my novel I came across one. The total amount money it would cost to get my book edited is two thousand-three hundred dollars. This is a lot of money, so I convinced my mother to help me schedule a meeting with my tribal council to ask for a grant for editing.

We were able to get a slot set and I practiced my presentation over and over. I believed in myself that I’d get this amount of money to follow my dream. When the day came my mother, sister, and myself drove four hours to the White Mountain Apache reservation. I skipped school and got dressed up in a black suit to make my presentation. After I made my presentation the district attorney of the White Mountain Apache Tribe looked at me with an arrogant expression. He spoke condescending to me and said, “That’s a very touching story.” When he said those words I knew that I wasn’t getting the funding and I was right.

The longest and worst drive home was that day after I was rejected. I let my family, friends, and teachers down. It hurt because I felt like my own tribe didn’t believe in me to make this book successful. I knew one thing though and it was that I’m not giving up. If I’m a good enough man to accept the good, then I’m a good enough man to except the bad.

I decided to reach out to another Native American writer by the name of Alexi Sherman. I hand wrote a two page letter to his office in Seattle, Washington. I mailed it off and five months later I haven’t heard anything. Two and half years later I’ve chased my dream and now I’m starting to feel embarrassed. I’m a very busy person because I’m always working. I have school, college preparation, Basketball practice, I’m following my dreams, I try to write for this website, and I make YouTube videos. Check out my YouTube channel it’s called (Justin Susan.) Sorry that’s my only plug, but back to the article.

I have friends and I have a family that is also very busy so there isn’t a whole lot of free time for me. I can always do something in my life to get better at. I know it’s hard to hold onto your dreams and to continue to pursue a dream. Have felt failure, but I know there is much more failure waiting for me. I’m not afraid of failure because I won’t quit. My ancestors fought the white men for years and they never quit and I won’t either. I’m ready to work for greatness and it’s hard. But if it were easy everyone would be chasing his or her dreams. I can’t make excuses and I want to learn everyday. I believe by writing a book that I can change young teen lives on reservations, not only on reservations, but also throughout the world. I’m confident in myself because I continuously work on my craft.

Sometimes you feel as if you’re on an island by yourself, but continue to believe in yourself. Don’t give up because if there is anyone who can conquer a dream it is you. If you want to become a engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, a athlete, a singer, whatever it is you can make it happen as long as you work hard. Like I said working hard is different for everybody, but be consistent. My book is still at 84,000 words and I read it everyday to improve what I can. I still have no funding, but I’ll continue to look. My dream is still alive and I won’t quit until I finish what I started. Sometimes no one will believe in you. It’s your dream, so believe in yourself.

Who am I to give advice? I’m Justin Susan and I’m chasing my dream. I’ve failed and I’m probably going to fail some more, but I’m working hard for the opportunity of success. Everyday is a new day and every moment is a new moment. Show the world your greatness because I’m going to show the world mine.

Imagine your long life dream ending…

Where do you go?

Who do you tell?

How do you begin again?

If there is any one out there chasing their dream, young or old, keep going. Life is tough and you should be tough too. Continue to push yourself and continue to work hard. There are no limits, but you. Believe. Believe. Believe in yourself.