Reach for Your Dreams

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Reach for Your Dreams
Even when the picture isn’t clear.

Do you know what your purpose is? Do you know who and what you want to be five, ten, twenty, and a hundred years from now?

I’ve been having a bit of an existential crisis lately. Typical of a girl in her twenties, I know. But I’ve always thought I had my life (for the most part) figured out.

I’m a writer who wants to be a best-selling, published author. That dream hasn’t changed since I wrote my first novella at the age of seven. But now that I’ve finally taken ownership of my life, I’ve realized I’m not quite sure how to make that dream become a reality.

I’ve kinda just been waiting (and writing), and hoping eventually my fairy godmother will show up and make all my dreams come true. I’m not completely helpless, though. I’m currently enrolled in a creative writing university, I write every day, and I’ve done my fair amount of research on agents, editors, marketing, and the publishing process in general. I’ve taken steps to build my dream, but at the end of the day, I’m not quite sure what my dream really looks like.

What does being a best-selling, published author look like? 

I always pictured it like this:

I’d be sitting at the table at my book signing with a big smile on my face because I’d get to meet all my readers, and listen to them tell me how much my book meant to them. I want the words on my pages to mean something. I want my readers to look me in the eyes and tell me “your book changed me, saved me, inspired me. Because of this book, I didn’t give up.”

But I’m realizing there are many ways to make this dream-scene a reality. I could just as easily inspire readers with a blog. Or since the creative writing university is teaching me how to write for the entertainment business (television, movies, etc…) I could also inspire with the script of a visual art. Who’s to say a book is the only way to reach people? Especially as reading becomes less and less of a desirable activity.

I’ve become paralyzed by my own unlimited opportunity.

I think we all have these paralyzing moments when it comes to our dreams. We see so many opportunities that it becomes easier to just stand in our own way, take an office job we don’t really like, make life about paying bills instead of chasing dreams. It’s easy to follow a script, the one written into society. It’s much harder to get specific and real with ourselves and chase after what truly makes us come alive, in any and every way possible.

I don’t have any of the answers yet. I don’t know who I will be one year from now. I can’t even begin to imagine where or who I’ll be five, ten, twenty, or a hundred years from now.

But that’s okay because I know who I want to be. There may be many different routes I could take to get me there, but I know I’ll eventually find the one that works best for me.

I just have to keep reaching.

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