Dreams are funny things. They’re like fairy wishes: they come, but never in the way you expect. They’re sneaky. You have to work for them and often you do–hard–and the next year, you’re only half as far as you wanted to be. It was harder than you thought. You had glitches, life came along with trials, you ran out of manpower and money. You failed.
At least, you think you did.
You tell your brain it just wasn’t smart enough; you tell your dream it was too big, too unrealistic. You get sick, either wearing yourself out with frenzied action, slumping in front of your favorite distraction with comfort food, or taking that soul-killing job because bills happen.
But you can’t quite forget the dream.
It’s part of you, infused in you. It can’t die because it’s inside of you and you’re still alive and kicking. You either kick in anger or you kick ass and keep working at it in spurts of determination, feeble efforts in secret, or even guilty daydreams where you imagine all the things you should be doing while you’re not doing them. You might even try something unrelated; you act in a local theater instead of shooting for Broadway; you write articles instead of your fictional story; you design spreadsheets instead of art. It’s not your ideal, but it’s something. You see it as a compromise, a defeat, but it’s not. You’re still doing that thing you were meant to do. You are acting, you are writing, you are creating even though your outlet isn’t what you wanted. You know why? Because you were created to do this thing.
You want to know the strangest thing I’ve discovered about my dreams? I never failed–I simply didn’t give them enough time. I created vision boards for the last few years and I’ve rarely accomplished I set out to do at the beginning of the year, but the things that were really important from a board four years ago? Oh, hey! I’m doing that. And I didn’t even realize I’d reach that goal because it looks so different than what I had envisioned.
Dreams are journeys. You can’t microwave them, and you can’t take the plane. If you seed hasn’t broken through the soil, don’t stop watering it and walk away. It hasn’t failed and neither have you. It’s never too late. That twinge you’re feeling? That’s the seed asking for water – it’s plenty busy down there. Water it, friend, even if you can only manage a few drops. Do the best you can with the life you have and a few years from now, you’ll be going along a normal day and you will realize “I’m doing it!”
It’s exactly what you wanted to do – and nothing like you thought it would be. But don’t despair – it’s only a step. If you want to write, write. If you want to create, create. If you want to discover, read and learn. You’re still alive, you still have time. You can’t declare yourself a failure because you haven’t reached the end of the journey. How do you know what you will and will not be able to accomplish?
I believe in you.