A large majority of us would admit to possessing at least some small dollop of a dream. These dreams, these goals, rapture us and wrap us around their little pinky fingers. They’re things we want to accomplish, places we want to go, or feats we must attempt. For me, my dream is to write for a living, to sustain my livelihood through the creation of literature while helping people through those written words. It’s what I work toward and it’s why I’ve relentlessly placed words into this space for the last 16 months. It’s why I’m working on my third and fourth books. And it’s why I put all of my heart and soul into ever smash of the keys. Writing is my white whale, and the thought of not being able to achieve that goal turns me into a maddened Ahab, ready to risk it all for the chance of fading glory.
Your dream may be something else. Perhaps you want to race cars or be a professional musician. Whatever it is, you likely possess the same fascination and determination I do. You won’t feel complete in your bones until you’ve accomplished this dream you have. It’s what pushes you to work at your craft and to continuously bring fresh ideas and samples into your work. Your dream is your own and with it, you’ve found your purpose.
But as time continues to slide away from us, how long are we to chase these dreams of ours? For how long are we supposed to run after these brightly shining cosmonauts we call dreams? What if our dream isn’t our life’s destination? What if our dream lets us down and we are never allowed to accomplish what we’ve so desperately set our heart on?
If that’s the case, when is the right time to give up on our dreams? At what point do we surrender the aspirations we’ve held onto and worked toward for so long? How long do I keep throwing words at the page, hoping they’ll stick as something meaningful that will take me from obscurity to security?
To be honest, the mere thought of surrendering my dream, of giving up on something I want so badly, makes me angry. And I feel that’s the way it should be. I shouldn’t want to surrender or resign from what I’ve worked toward. That’s what makes these aspirations a dream. It’s a goal and a target to be aimed for. To resign from that fight isn’t something I feel I can or will do. Maybe ask me again if I’m still just a “blogger” in ten years.
The truth is that not all of us will attain the dream we’ve built for ourselves. That’s just realistic thinking, really. Not everyone gets what they want. That’s just life, really. Some of us will fall short of our intended goal, and when we do, we’ll question our intentions and the faith we’ve had from the start. However, is it really considered failure if we never actually give up? I don’t think it is.
I may never write for a living. You may never get to play music as a means of livelihood. But if I keep writing—in this space or some other—and you keep playing or racing or dancing or what-have-you, then we will have not failed. If we’re doing something we truly, incredibly love to do, then the fact that we can continue to do that thing at all will be enough to keep us going.
I may always be just a “blogger”, but I’ll have the words, and even if I’m working a full time “real” job in addition, those words will be enough.
Dreams aren’t to be surrendered. They are to be worked for and strived toward. If your dream hasn’t come to fruition yet, please don’t give up. While we may never achieve the heights we ache for, the fact that we continue to build our craft toward those lofty aspirations while doing something we truly love to do will be enough. Disappointing as the notion may seem, the love of our art sustains us.
Always, always, always dream on.
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