A brief note:
I was interviewed today by Heidi Peterson of Along the Brandywine on her lovely blog for writers, Sharing the Journey! It was so much fun and has some great questions, so be sure to drop by and give it a read! 🙂
On to the post as usual…
It was an ordinary January morning. I had a cold. Life was half hazy, half bleak, half asleep, and three-quarters I-can’t-even-brain-today-thanks. (I also apparently cannot math when I have colds.) Then suddenly, it was a not-ordinary January morning.
A semi-anonymous (I’m fairly 1000% sure who it was from despite the lack of name anywhere) grey envelope arrived in the mail for me.
I don’t get mail very often. (A.k.a, getting snail mail is an occasion discovered once in a blue moon when the dragons wake up to turn over in their sleep, and is an occasion for shrieking and beaming like an insane person.)
All this mysterious grey envelope with nothing on it but my name and address and a cantaloupes stamp contained was a small piece of notepaper with a quote on it.
This was like the final straw.
All through the month of January, it seemed that everything I read or saw or heard was saying the same thing:
Dream. Follow that dream. Do not ignore it. Our Dreams and our talents are given to us for a reason, and often coincide . . . which is not a coincidence.
So many things were telling me this, in so many different but similar ways. Entirely unrelated books, articles, even signs at my favorite cupcake shop… even the little picture I have on my wall which was my grandpa’s and looks at me every day but I’d ceased to notice. And then this random quote in the mail, which is about as un-ordinary as you can get. All telling me something I keep trying to ignore, but finally had to listen to.
Follow your dream.
For a long time now I’ve said that I don’t have a dream. I’ve even worried that that means there’s something wrong with me, because everyone else has dreams, so I must be odd. I sometimes feel like I’m just a fixed point in the world, not moving forward, not striving toward anything, just standing there lost as all the traffic of other people flash onward to either side of me, each hurrying toward their own goals and dreams. I don’t have one. Or that’s what I tell myself.
The truth is, I do have a dream. Or dreams. I just have decided that they will never happen, that there are too many roadblocks in the way, that they’re impossible. So I pretend I don’t actually have them. Because what use are they? They will never amount to anything and it’s selfish to even imagine them, let alone imagine them coming true, or, horror of horrors, actually working toward trying to help them come true. No. Because obviously, if I enjoy something, like writing, if I have a talent for it, then obviously it can’t be what I’m supposed to do because I have to find some job that I don’t like… because writing is just my hobby and I should never take it seriously, and I should push my dreams, whatever they are, deep down and never let them see the light of day, because they’re impossible.
These are all lies I’ve been telling myself. I bet many other people are too.
But it’s not true.
We DO have dreams, and talents, for a reason.
If they’ve been given to us, we should let them see the light of day, and perhaps even let them shine or reflect some light of their own.
It would be a dark world, indeed, without them.
Perhaps they won’t turn out as we hope or expect them to, but surely something good must come of it, even if in an entirely unexpected way.
(Unless, of course, your dream is something dreadful like blowing up Jupiter, turning all adorable tiny little chubby birds into ugly spiky grey rocks, organizing fiction by the Dewey Decimal system [okay, if you actually do this, I will not judge, but Jackaby and I aren’t sure about it…], or outlawing chocolate/writing/libraries, in which case I can’t help you and please disregard this entire post.)
And when the doubts creep in? (Because they surely will, the tricksy things…) I’m reminded of some song lyrics, of a song which I listened to many times while I was struggling with doubts about my writing in November and December:
“Too young, too old
Too shy, too bold
To make a difference.
The world’s too big, and you’re too small
If you try to fly, you’re gonna fall,”
But we won’t listen . . .
— From Limitless by Colton Dixon
I listen to those words and realize I’m constantly saying them to myself… all except the last part. But I shouldn’t. They’re not true. Nothing is impossible.
So on this Leap Day — when we get an extra day (not really, but it’s symbolic anyhow) — I thought I would say: Leap! Let’s take that extra time and do something with it — which is not really extra because tomorrow never comes but we always have today. The time we have is now, and now is the time we have. Let’s use it.
Today and everyday should be for leaping . . . To take a leap of faith — to dream, and to follow that dream into tomorrow . . . and every tomorrow to come.